Introduction It is important for companies, especially for one that is rapidly expanding and continuously reorganizing itself, to gradually motivate its staff so as to stay ahead of its competitors and to give the best product experience to its customers and consumers. Motivation is the psychological feature that arouses an organism to action toward a desired goal; the reason for the action; that which gives purpose and direction to behavior (Miller A, George, Fellbaum, Christiane, Tengi, Randee, Langone, Helen. 2009). Define Motivation. Available: http://wordnetweb. princeton. edu/perl/webwn? s=motivation. Last accessed 03 Jan 2009. ). Companies constantly face the key issue of motivation while trying to re-brand itself or switch its focus to a different product. The purpose of this analysis is to examine the use of behavioral viewpoints of Abraham Maslow and Frederick Hertzberg to a company like Cisco and apply these theories so as to contribute to Cisco’s development as a whole.
Issues that will be discussed are the two types of behavioral viewpoints namely, Maslow’s hierarchy-of-needs theory and Hertzberg’s two-factor theory, compare these two theories and apply them to analyse the motivation needs of people in a company like Cisco. Maslow’s hierarchy-of-needs theory According to Maslow’s hierarchy-of-needs theory (Maslow, in Bartol 2008), individual needs form a five-level hierarchy. Each level is dependant on the previous one and the hierarchy cannot exist if one is absent.
When all levels of the hierarchy exist and are met, the individual is said to be highly motivated and are able to reach their full potential. In this hierarchy, the base of it forms the individual’s psychological needs which is the key factor for survival. Examples of this can be in the form of basic pay, food, water and shelter. Next, the individual is concerned with their safety and security needs so as to feel confident, secure and free from threats in their jobs. Examples of this are job security, job benefits like life insurance and also safety regulations that are in place when they work.
Once the individual feels safe and secure, the attention is turned to relationships within the company to fulfill their belongingness or social needs. This gives them a feeling of being accepted and allows them to interact more freely with their colleagues. Examples of this are good co-workers, peers, superiors and customers. Supported by these three levels, only then can the individual focus on their esteem needs which allows them to have a positive self-image and have their contributions be valued and appreciated.
Examples of this are the opportunity to helm important projects, recognition and prestigious office locations. Finally, the highest level of the hierarchy is self-actualisation needs. In this level, the individual is highly motivated and is more concern with bringing the company to new heights rather than ‘lower-order needs’ (Kaliprasaad 2006). Examples of this are the ability to do challenging projects, opportunities for innovation and creativity and training (Maslow, in Bartol 2008, p. 446).
Hertzberg’s two-factor theory According to Hertzberg’s two-factor theory (Hertzberg, in Bartol 2008), individual needs make up a two-pronged approach where there is a factor which prevented workers from being dissatisfied and also a factor which kept workers satisfied and motivated. A neutral point exists in between where workers are neither satisfied nor dissatisfied. In this neutral point, workers are still content with working but are unable to reach their full potential and thus not benefiting the company as a whole.
The factor which prevented workers from being dissatisfied is known as the hygiene factor and some examples of this are basic pay, working conditions, supervisors, company policies and fringe benefits. These forms the basic needs for an individual to continue working without being dissatisfied. However, if certain factors are added, workers will feel motivated and thus, contribute more to the development of the company. These factors form the other half this theory and are called motivators.
Some examples of motivators are achievements, responsibility, workload, recognition, growth and advancement (Hertzberg, in Bartol 2008, p. 448). Compare and Contrast Both these theorems share similarities and differences. Hertzberg divides employee needs into 2 main factors while Maslow separates employee needs into different levels forming a hierarchy which ultimately leads to employee satisfaction. In Hertzberg two-factor theory, a neutral point exists between the hygiene factor and the motivator factor, This neutral point is not seen in Maslow’s hierarchy-of-needs theory.
Maslow does not address this because as the employee needs progresses with each level of the hierarchy, the employee feels more involved and thus gradually reaches his full potential. However, in Hertzberg’s two-factor theory, once the hygiene factor is met, the employee is satisfied with working and feels secure with his job but not able to reach his full potential unless with the introduction of motivators. Both of these theorems are based on dependant scales where one level has to be completed first before the next can be reached.
They both also suggests that employee needs has to be met in order for them to continue working contently and at their optimal level so as to benefit the company as a whole. Hertzberg translates the higher levels of Maslow’s hierarchy-of-needs theory namely, esteem needs and self-actualisation needs, as motivators and the first three levels namely, psychological needs, safety needs and belongingness needs as hygiene factors which are essential in keeping the employee content with working and can only cause dissatisfaction if not addressed .
These theorems are also influenced by internal and external environmental condition of the company. For example, a sudden depression in the market could mean a loss of revenue which indirectly affects the company’s payroll and ultimately, causing employee dissatisfaction. The company’s organisational culture might also affect the effectiveness of these theories. For example, different companies might have different rites or rituals and it might take some time before employees feel a sense of belongingness to the company especially if it is one with strong beliefs thus affecting their level of motivation.
Application of theories and recommendations to Cisco In a complex company such as Cisco, it is important to ensure that employees are duly satisfied and feel secure with their jobs so as to encourage motivation. Considering the type of products and business ventures that Cisco is dealing with, employees needs needs to be satisfied and taken care of as quickly as possible so as fuel motivation and to take advantage of the current market situation.
Cisco has developed an elaborate system of committees made up of managers from different functions and the job of most of these groups is to tackle new markets. “Councils” and “board” are in charge of markets and both are supported by “working groups” which are created when needed. These working groups are either led by a formal leader or sometimes fiction without one and work like a sports team (The Economist, 2009). It is because of the robustness of these working groups that the leader of each group has to ensure that each member’s needs is satisfied so as to have maximum output.
From Maslow’s hierarchy-of-needs theory (Maslow, in Bartol 2008), needs such as basic pay, work space, job security and benefits have already been met since a working group is made up of dedicated employees as mentioned in The Economist, “whereas those who work well with others have been promoted, lone fighters have been pushed out” (The Economist, 2009) . So therefore, the first two levels of the hierarchy namely, psychological needs and safety needs have already been met. Leaders now have to concentrate on establishing good working relationships with the group’s members so as to fulfill employees’ belongingness needs.
One way in which they can do this is by having an ‘open-door policy’ with group members by letting them know that they are always welcome to discuss any issues regarding their job scopes. Solutions to their problems should be discussed and come to a conclusion in a fair and just way. This would allow employees to feel a sense of acceptedness towards the company knowing that their problems are well looked after. Leaders could also organise weekly meetings to find out the progress of their group members and tackle any situations should they arise (Dupont-Day, D. 2009). Managers: How to motivate your employees at work . Available: http://www. helium. com/items/806724-managers-how-to-motivate-your-employees-at-work. Last accessed 03 Jan 2009 ). Employees, on the other hand, should also be encouraged to solve problems on their own or be discussed with their fellow colleagues to develop a sense of independance while at the same time, foster good working relationship among each other. In terms of esteem needs, leaders should give recognition when and where it is due.
Recognition need not come in the form of financial rewards but rather in the form of praises and small gestures to let the employee know that the work they do is valued and is of good standard. Examples of these rewards could be a letter of appreciation or a name mention in the company’s weekly bulletin (Elite, J. (2009). Managers: How to motivate your employees at work . Available: http://www. helium. com/items/1566622-how-to-motivate-your-employees. Last accessed 03 Jan 2009. ). Other types of non-financial rewards includes extra time off or leave bonuses.
All of these contribute to the employee being more motivated and to strive better in their next assignment. Once all of the other needs are met, only then can leader move on to self-actualisation needs of the employees. Leaders could pin-point which of their group’s members is putting in extra effort in their work and reward them by allowing them to helm more important and challenging tasks. In a way, these employees could serve as ‘right-hand men’ to the leaders to oversee the smooth running of the group as a whole.
While this might not sound much of a reward, it is seen as a form of promotion and the employee would feel appreciated and respected by fellow colleagues to hold on to such a role. Leaders could also recommend these employees to higher authorities so that they could also one day, be converted to lead a team themselves. From Hertzberg’s two-factor theory (Hertzberg, in Bartol 2008), employees in a working group already exist at the neutral point in between hygiene factors and motivators.
Factors such as pay, working conditions and benefits have already been established and there is no satisfaction but no dissatisfaction. In this phase, employees are already content with working but are unable to contribute more effectively to the group or to the growth of the company. Leaders should then introduce motivational factors to allow these employees to reach to their full potential. These factors could be made up of higher responsibilities, setting up goals and achieving them and finally getting rewards and recognised for a job well done.
Motivators can also come in the form of friendly competitions among members to see who can get the job done in the quickest possible time or having the most number of goals achieved (Elite, J. (2009). Managers: How to motivate your employees at work . Available: http://www. helium. com/items/1566622-how-to-motivate-your-employees. Last accessed 03 Jan 2009. ). This not only promotes strong working relationships but also makes the working environment one that is fun and less stressful to work in.
Employees would then be less likely to be dissatisfied and with the introduction of motivators by the leaders, they will be able to reach their highest potential and bring the company to greater heights. Conclusion To summarise, companies must ensure that their employees stay satisfied with their jobs so as to be able to contribute effectively to the company’s growth and development . However, being satisfied alone is sometimes not enough and employees must constantly feel motivated to get the job done efficiently.
In today’s business environment, being competitive and staying ahead of the game is what companies look for and the only way is to get your employees to be creative and innovative so as to offer what other businesses cannot. Motivation is the key factor in bringing the best out of employees’ abilities and leaders of companies should strive to continually motivate their employees if they want their businesses to thrive and be successful. References Miller A, George, Fellbaum, Christiane, Tengi, Randee, Langone, Helen. (2009). Define Motivation.
Available: http://wordnetweb. princeton. edu/perl/webwn? s=motivation. Last accessed 03 Jan 2009. Maslow, in Bartol 2008, p. 446 Kaliprasaad 2006 Hertzberg, in Bartol 2008, p. 448 The Economist, 2009 Dupont-Day, D. (2009). Managers: How to motivate your employees at work . Available: http://www. helium. com/items/806724-managers-how-to-motivate-your-employees-at-work. Last accessed 03 Jan 2009 Elite, J. (2009). Managers: How to motivate your employees at work . Available: http://www. helium. com/items/1566622-how-to-motivate-your-employees. Last accessed 03 Jan 2009