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Leonard Croft

Motivation & Employees
By: Leonard Croft
College Now Course - BA 10

This is my first year being a manager at a department store. I have to supervise several employees but they don't seem to be that enthusiastic about doing their job. As a manager, I have devised a plan that will motivate my subordinates. Two motivational theories that aided me in my search for a plan were The Hawthorne Studies and Maslow's Hierarchy of Needs.

I believe that my employees need me to ensure that confidence and enthusiasm, which will help, motivate them. Referring to these employees as subordinates is the first thing that needs to change. Even though I may be the manager of this department store, all my employees will be looked at as equally respected individuals. I want them to feel that their presence of work is very much needed and appreciated. Building a sense of togetherness and teamwork is the foundation of my plan to motivate the employees.

The Hawthorne Studies were two experiments conducted by Elton Mayo at the Hawthorne plant of the Western Electric Company in Chicago. These experiments were to determine the effects of the work environment on employee productivity. In the first set of experiments, the lighting in the workplace was varied for one group of workers but not for the second. Then the productivity of both groups was measured and it remained constant for both groups. The group whose lighting was varied had productivity that remained high until the light was reduced to a level of moonlight. These results showed that a change in the work environment would not affect productivity if the manager were supportive. As a manager, I decided that my employees work environment would have to be comfortable. A place where they feel at peace and happy to be at for several hours. Making sure that the workplace is vibrant by putting up pictures, plants, and decorations for those special occasions such as Christmas, Easter, and Thanksgiving should bring about that sense of comfort and pleasantry.

My next step in motivating the employees focuses on their needs. Maslow's Hierarchy of Needs is the theory behind this idea. Abraham Maslow believes that a need is a personal requirement and assumed that humans are "wanting" beings who seek to fulfill a variety of needs. He assumed that these needs could be arranged to their importance in sequence as followed, physiological, safety, social, esteem, and self-realization needs. Safety needs is one that I looked to focus on as a motivating tool. Allowing there to be an opportunity for advancement can satisfy that need for job security. Having that career advancement opportunity, allows the employees to feel like they have something to drive for. Placing security cameras and metal detectors will allow them to feel secure in doing their job.

Fulfilling those social needs of acceptance and sense of belonging. Respecting each employee as a unique individual creates confident workers who try to top what he or she has already accomplished. Taking time out to talk individually with them in hearing how they are doing emotionally and physically will help that feeling of acceptance and sense of belonging.

Self-esteem is another need assumed by Maslow. Once again, respecting each employee and showing appreciation for their efforts can help motivate them. Various honors and awards such as employee of the week or month will show that grateful recognition of their work, having holiday bonuses is another motivating tool. Just saying good job, excellent progress, keep up the hard work are motivating words of encouragement and sometimes the only encouragement needed.

Building a sense of togetherness and teamwork is the foundation for my plan to motivate the employees. Taking a few ideas from Elton Mayo and Abraham Maslow are the building blocks of my plan. Having a comfortable work environment and fulfilling those needs is my plan to motive the employees in my department store.