Feedback and Rewards

The Evolution Of Employee Motivation

Andrew Green asked:

The concept of employee motivation is not at all a new idea. It has been around as long as there have been employees and employers. While the concept itself is not new, new research and awareness have made new aspects of employee motivation not only a possibility, but a reality in the world today.

It was not at all uncommon in the past for an employer to offer some system of rewards and privileges as a means of employee motivation. Recent thinking however has given way to the fact that this process may actually alienate other workers who, for whatever reason, may not be as capable in a particular field or endeavor. Ultimately, the belief was that this was actually contrary to effective employee motivation and in reality, decreased employee productivity. Since the main idea behind employee motivation is to increase worker productivity, this was seen as very limited in scope and detrimental in the long run regarding employer-employee relations.

Recent beliefs and ideas have introduced new concepts to the field of employee motivation. One of the most common “new” areas of growth in the area of employee motivation is through the use of work teams.

This concept of employee motivation had its major start in the aerospace industry. It allowed a group of dedicated employees to focus together as a team on any given project. This idea of employee motivation worked especially well since it allowed for creative input from a number of employees without restricting the thought of any single person or alienating any one employee in particular. When the projects went well, the employees were celebrated as a group or as a team, offering employee motivation to the whole group instead of to any one individual.

This concept of employee motivation has since evolved and become common in many fields of study. There are a number of seminars offered which are specifically designed and promoted as a means to offer not only employee motivation, but to create an atmosphere of team work that is surprisingly beneficial to worker productivity. By allowing the people to work together as teams, and as is often the case in these seminars, making any one employee’s success dependent on the ability of the team as a whole, the workers are unified and become more closely knit and function much better together. This has had profound and far reaching effects in the area of employee motivation.

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