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Why motivate employees?

Any attempts to evaluate staff motivation are fraught with serious consequences for the management system. Everyone knows that with good quality work of employees and high productivity, research on motivation is practically not carried out. There is simply no reason for them. The need for assessing motivation arises when there is a suspicion (or actual confidence) that employees work half-heartedly, engage in extraneous activities at workplaces, use company resources to solve personal issues, in particular, all the means of communication. In this case (as in the case of a large “staff turnover”), the management system is tempted to assess employee motivation in order to make feasible adjustments to it. For this purpose, a study is being undertaken, the main form of which is a questionnaire. Other psychological methods are less commonly used, for example, the so-called projective techniques, which allow you to determine the individual characteristics of a person by his nonspecific manifestations – drawings, statements, color choice, geometric shapes, and so on.

The effectiveness of such forms of research in organizations is low, since the research itself, as a rule, creates an undesirable aura of tension around itself. Even with well-prepared training, questioning or testing always raises expectations, as employees are sure that this is a sign of change. Everyone understands that something should follow from this study. Moreover, it is no secret to anyone that individual parameters are determined using psychological methods. There is a fear that this information may be used in an uncontrolled manner, for example, when identifying candidates for promotion or sending on a long business trip. Everyone understands that the questions of the motivational questionnaire are asked for good reason. This can mean both positive and negative changes for a number of employees. That is why everyone is in suspense. If the company’s administration has not prepared gifts such as an increase in salaries or a positive change in the bonus system for employees, the questionnaire may result in a further decrease in labor activity as a reaction to vain fears or unfulfilled hopes.

Any study of personality is possible only if the person himself is interested in the results of this study (with career guidance, personal contact with a psychologist, etc.). If the study of personal characteristics is carried out for a different purpose (for example, for management), then the effectiveness of such a study is reduced, since this goal may not directly affect the personal interests of the respondents. Therefore, often the result is the answers “as is customary”, “as expected”, “how it will look better”, and not how it really is. Moreover, practice shows that the occupancy rate of such questionnaires ranges from 25–40%. People are always alarmed by the curiosity of management about their personal plans and the reasons for their construction. In other words, direct measurements of motivation is an almost impossible task.

Why motivate employees?

The popularity of the motivation problem is largely due to the fact that in Russia, traditionally, the legal side of the “employer-employee” relationship has been pushed into the background. In the foreground, managerial-subordinate relations and professional relations always appear. Both those and others have a greater degree of psychological (emotional) coloring than rational. That is why the detailed honing of managerial tools is still not given due attention. Back in 1999, a study was conducted of the pay systems of 10 large industrial enterprises of St. Petersburg. The provisions on bonuses for various services of these enterprises were analyzed. The result of the study was quite predictable – in 90% of cases, the bonus fund was distributed according to the decision of the head based on vague criteria, such as “for the quality of work”, “for the performance of tasks”, “for the absence of cases of violation”. It is clear that such “motivational schemes” set up staff to solve problems of building personal relationships, and impose additional moral obligations on managers. And only his manager’s personal position will depend on his choice: whether he would prefer to build “friendly relations” using the resource of the wage fund, or will he fundamentally advocate the use of managerial criteria for evaluating employees, risking spoiling these relations once and for all.

Ineffective motivational models do not arise from scratch. Of course, everyone wants employees to carry out a large amount of work efficiently, to do this without disruption to the deadlines and additional costs of raw materials, etc. However, far from all companies, representatives of the management system can give a concrete answer to the question: through the use of what organizational resources (tools, mechanisms, communications)

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