Role of HR in Fostering Employee Motivation

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  • 0:04 Identifying Employee…
  • 0:53 Values, Nature of…
  • 2:40 Relationships & Communication
  • 3:38 Personal Growth & Recognition
  • 4:43 Lesson Summary
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Lesson Transcript
Instructor: Brooke Linn

Brooke has a masters degree in Human Science and is in the dissertation phase of a PhD in Organizational Systems.

This lesson describes the role of human resource teams and managers in fostering employee motivation. Using an HR manager as an example, this lesson discusses several ways human resources can increase and maintain employee motivation.

Identifying Employee Motivators

Kat is the new HR manager at Bayley Cosmetics. She is looking for ways to increase employee motivation. Kat knows that individuals are more likely to be motivated when they have a voice in what is happening in their work world. With that in mind, she starts by asking her employees the following questions:

  • What motivates you to do your job? Is it money? A feeling of purpose? Is it recognition?
  • What do you need from your organization's culture to keep you motivated?
  • What do you need from your managers to keep you motivated?

Like much of the American workforce, Kat's employees identified a combination of motivators. With the employee feedback and help of her HR team, Kat develops a list of ways she can better motivate her workforce.

Values, Nature of Work, & Shared Knowledge

Many of Kat's employees cited company values and a sense of purpose as key motivators for performing their work well. The staff relayed their desire to work in an organization that exhibits good corporate citizenship and social responsibility. Corporate social responsibility describes the ethical obligations of an organization within their environment and community. This includes concern for the interests of employees and behaving ethically in response to the needs of people in the organization and the community. Kat's employees noted that knowing the organization holds these values is a motivator to be stewards for the business.

Additionally, some of Kat's employees indicated that they are motivated simply by the work itself. They shared that they enjoy their work and feel passionate about the purpose of their work. Some researchers argue that purpose-oriented employees do better work, have better well-being, stay in their jobs for longer, and are better agents for their organizations. Ultimately, these employees cited the need and desire to work together and contribute to a shared goal.

An organization must also consider how to transfer expertise and share knowledge among its people. In this type of organizational environment, employees work together to conceptualize ideas and navigate issues. Information about tasks is distributed within the organization, and collaboration is crucial. Kat's employees indicated that incentives, such as recognition or rewards, may aid in the facilitation of knowledge sharing and help build a supportive culture.

Relationships & Communication

Many of Kat's employees cited the importance of relationships in motivating their work behaviors. Effective relationships built between employees, managers, departments, and all levels of the company are critical to employee motivation. Trust, mutual respect, and communication were used to describe the ideal workplace relationships. Kat's employees described their ideal managers as those who would listen and consider ideas, stand up for them, and include them in shaping the work environment.

Employees described effective communication as open, aware, and responsive. This level of communication includes listening as well as showing interest in employee concerns and addressing these concerns. This is important because eliciting and addressing employee concerns and complaints in a timely manner minimizes the impact on employee motivation and curtails dysfunctionality in the workplace.

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