Identifying Employee Needs as a Means of Motivation – Business Management Essay
The motivational process in management can be treated as a need satisfying process. While motivation is universal, each employees needs are unique hence managers should focus on identifying what needs are important to each individual in order to satisfy these needs and encourage motivation. Content/need theories of motivation are primarily concerned with what motivates people whereas process theories offer a more
in depth understanding of motivation looking at how and how people are motivated. To fully understand motivation managers should take both of these types of theories into account. To show the vast scope of needs in motivational processes, (and thus how each employees needs are likely unique) this essay will look at three content theories of motivation; the hierarchy of needs, Mc Gregor’s X and Y theories, and the three needs theory.
Firstly, Maslow’s hierarchy of needs theory proposes that within every person is five needs that need to be satisfied. These include, from the bottom of the hierarchy to the top physiological needs (eg. food, shelte), safety needs (protection from emotional and physical harm), social needs (feeling of belonging), esteem needs (self-respect) and self-actualisation needs. This theory asserts that individuals satisfy these needs in a step like process. Within each of these stages there is a vast range of needs that could fit into each category hence suggesting each individuals needs could be different and unique.
Secondly, the Mc Gregor’s X and Y theory is primariy a negative and positive view of employees respectively. Theory X assumes employees to be lazy, to dislike work, must be coerced to perform and that lower order needs dominate individuals. On the other hand theory Y assumes that employees are responsible can exercise self-direction and that higher level needs predominate. In this way both Theory X and Y offer wide-ranging categories of needs, suggesting the needs for motivation are not predetermined but rather unpredictable for each individual employee.
Finally, there is also a three needs theory. Theses three needs include the need for achievement, the need for power, and the need for affiliation (the desire for close interpersonal relationships). This theory adds another layer as to what needs employees are motivated by. Each of the three categories are able to be adapted personally to each individual needs for instance, while two people may be high in need for power one may aspiring to be the CEO of a multinational corporation, while the other may want to manage a clothing shop. These groupings of needs can be applied to a vast scope of circumstances and individual desires.
Overall, the motivational process is universal as all organisations through various strategies attempt to motivate employees in order to attain high performance and reach organisational goals. ‘Needs’ however, refer to an internal state of an individual that makes certain outcomes appear attractive. The types of needs that motivate employees have been suggested by the hierarchy of needs theory, Mc Gregor’s X and Y theory, and the three needs through. The categories within these theories are wide-ranging thus suggesting that there are no definite needs of each employee, but each individuals needs are unique.