Respond to 6 students posts

Student  1

1) In the simplest sense, motivation involves three elements: (a) what is important to a person, and (b) offering this in exchange for some desired behavior. Chapter 9 discusses various theories that motivate employees. Select two of the theories discussed in the chapter that currently or previously related to your motivation at work. Explain these theories and how they impacted you at work and why.

Expectancy is employees’ assessment of their ability to perform required job tasks. Instrumentality is employees’ beliefs that higher job performance will be rewarded by the organization. Valence is the value employees attach to the organization rewards received for job performance. Motivational force to choose high performance is higher to the degree expectancy, instrumentality, and valence are high for that choice. Employees experience equity and will be motivated to perform when the ratio of their perceived outputs (e.g., pay) to perceived inputs (e.g., effort, performance) is equal to the perceived outputs/inputs of a comparison person. If the two ratios above are not equal, perceived inequity results and the person is motivated to take action to restore equity. Some actions employees take (e.g., lower effort) to restore perceived equity are not helpful to organizations. (Gerhart, 315) Expectancy is directly related to the motivation, where both the employer and employee should set individual expectancy with corresponding measurements. I have been impacted by expectancy and equity most of the time in the working environment. Expectancy and equity would indicate where and how far I could become in a workforce. In this case, if there is anything wrong, changing job would become the wiser decision to make.

Gerhart, B., Milkovich, G., Newman, J. (2017). Compensation. New York: McGraw-Hill Education. 

Student 2

The first theory that I feel highly relates to my current workplace is the expectancy theory. I work in the healthcare industry and this is something that I have been hearing all around the company more so now than ever with the pandemic. Between the high level of stress, the high level of care and responsibility needed, and the working conditions with short staff, employees are expecting to be fairly compensated for their roles. The expectancy theory is described as motivating individuals by relating outcomes to “strengths or value of the outcome and on the perceived probability that this choice will lead to the desired outcome”. (Newman, Gerhart, & Milkovich, 2017, p. 708). Here, employees like a nurse or doctor, may feel that if they deal with the struggles the outside world creates and if they are able to successfully mend someone back to heal, this outcome will lead to a higher level of pay. Currently with the pandemic, nurses on the covid units have been striving to get continuous hazard pay, but this seems to be an uphill battle. Also with the take on of travel and flex nurses, nurses within the company feel that it is unfair that these nurses are receiving a much higher level of pay for the same level of work they put out. Outside of the pandemic, nurses are continuously developing their skills through company I-Learns and other outside resources. From this continuous development and acquisition of new talents and/or skills from fellowships, they feel that they should have increases in their pay on a yearly basis. Based on this, the second theory I associate with my company is the equity theory. This motivational theory looks at employees’ perception of outputs being equal to inputs. Relating this back to the debacle of unfair compensation when compared to the travel nurses or flex-staff, the equity theory states “if employees perceive that others are paid more for the same effort, they will react negatively to correct the output-to-input balance”. (Newman, Gerhart, & Milkovich, 2017, p. 321). This could lead to more callouts or employees morale and satisfaction skyrocketing downward. 

Gerhart, B., Milkovich, G., Newman, J. (2017). Compensation (12th ed.). New York: McGraw- Hill Education.

Student 3

Some ways on how I would design a pay-performance system that uses powerful incentives to motivate behavior, yet keep their behavior from veering into unethical are by paying employees based on their performance. Paying employees based on the performance will motivate the employees to work efficiently and effectively. I believe it’s important to use powerful incentives to keep employees motivated, this is not unethical at all. Some pay performance plans include variable pay, incentives, compensation at risk, success sharing, earning at risk, and risk-sharing. Incentives are a great way for employees to stay on track and continue to be driven. Bonuses are also a great incentive. Another type of incentive is merit pay. This includes permanent salary raises based on the past performance of the employees. Employee performances will be evaluated by supervisors so there will be no unethical behavior. There is no reason for unethical behavior if all employees just stay motivated to “do the right thing“. I know that is easier said than done but with the right form of incentives, employees will focus on the right path and not the wrong path.

Milkovich. (2016). Compensation, 12th Edition. McGraw Hill.

Student 4

I believe designing a pay-performance system that uses powerful incentives to motivate behavior, while also keeping the desired behavior from veering into unethical actions would be a challenging task. While I do not support widespread cheating in the theoretical school district, I understand why it was done, because poor performance could lead to budget cuts and school closings, which would impact teachers, administrators, and students. 

In this scenario I would design a pay-performance system that not only gave incentives to principals, teachers, and administrators, but also for the students, which the test scores are reliant upon. In order to motivate students to work harder to achieve the desired improved performance scores, they must also be motivated to do so, or they will have no reason to work towards improvements. In this situation I think using a combination of the reinforcement theory, goal setting theory, and Maslow’s need hierarchy theory would be beneficial. Students cannot perform to their full ability, and teachers cannot teach to their full ability if their basic needs are not being met. For example, a hungry child will have more trouble focusing on school tasks because his most basic needs are not being met, which is not motivating him to achieve his higher needs, such as critical thinking to perform better. (Ex: Maslow’s need hierarchy). In regards to reinforcement and goal setting, these can be beneficial to students as they are getting specific and challenging goals, and receiving feedback, and positive reinforcement for achieving the goals that have been set for them. Rewards that are a result of high performance and positive reinforcement will continue to reinforce and motivate high performing behavior in order to achieve that desired award. Since this is a school district and not an organization the reward would not be financial compensation, but could be a multitude of other rewards that students would value. Once students are motivated to perform better, I think this would transform the pay-performance system, and would be enough to motivate students and faculty without performing unethical behaviors. 

Student 5

A merit pay system provides financial rewards for employees who meet and exceed performance standards. The merit pay incentives are a direct reflection of an employee’s performance evaluation. Like with any short or long term pay for performance approaches, the merit pay system has its own advantages and disadvantages. While the advantages of merit pay system are that it keeps the employees motivated to meet and exceed performance standards at the organization, and helps identify high performing employees in the organization and helps them grow in the organization, some disadvantages to this model are not all organizations or employees favor performance evaluations – there are cases where managers don’t take performance evaluations seriously, and/or do not perform the evaluations on a timely manner as necessary or help employees identify where they are falling short so they can rectify the deficiencies. Another disadvantage is that performance evaluations are subjective. For example, for a sales associate, may be evaluated on the number of deals closed within a year. However for some other jobs such as a financial analyst, there are no specific goals. In such case, it might seem unfair to the employees to be awarded a merit pay system, since the goals are not well defined or cannot be quantified.

Milkovich. (2016). Compensation, 12th Edition. McGraw Hill.

Student 6

3) Identify one of the short or long term pay-for-performance approaches discussed in chapter 10. Present the advantages and disadvantages of this approach to the class.

In short term incentive plans, there are advantages and disadvantages involved with cash profit sharing and stock ownership or options. Cash profit sharing could become very simple and easy to understand with low administrative costs, however, the profit is influenced by many factors beyond employee control and may be viewed as an entitlement with limited motivational impact. Option awards have minimal impact on the financial statements of the company at the time they are granted and if properly communicated, can have powerful impact on employee behavior. At the same time, it could bring indirect pay/performance link and employees may be required to put up money to exercise grants.

Gerhart, B., Milkovich, G., Newman, J. (2017). Compensation. New York: McGraw-Hill Education. 

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