How management affects employees has been a highly researched topic throughout the world. Several forms of motivation and communication have been implemented to increase employee productivity to better serve an organization's needs. In the past, many managers believed that employees perceived money as their greatest motivator. Yet, many employees do not view it as the best reward for their accomplishments. Instead, they list acknowledgement for their contribution as the most important factor. Feedback on employee performance can be beneficial to both manager and employee. It not only demonstrates appreciation for the employee's work, but also motivates them to strive for that level of performance on a consistent basis. In this manner, it compensates the employee for a job well done, motivates them to achieve positive responses, and informs them of their overall performance.
Money is an essential part of a career and lifestyle. Without some form of income, one cannot pay his or her bills or take care of those they care for most. These needs fall within Maslow's primary levels of hierarchy. Motivation exists for money because money satisfies these basic needs. Because of this money is a good overall motivator, but its main role is to induce people to do the work for which they were initially hired. According to management theorist Frederick Herzberg, fair salaries are considered a 'hygiene' factor of the workplace (Neslon, 1996). Other 'hygiene' factors include adequate workspace, temperature control, and office equipment (Nelson, 1996). These factors provide the means for employees to do their jobs, but not the best job possible. The extra effort stems from the way they are treated by their superiors.
When bills and expenses are not out of control and money is not necessarily needed right away, employees perceive other factors as having much greater significance on their motivation. They want to know that they are making a worthwhile contribution, have a manager that tells them when they do a good job, gain the respect of their peers, and be informed about what is going on in the company at all times (Nelson, 1996). These desires of the employees demonstrate the fact that they are human beings and not machines who simply need to be fed fuel, in this case money, to perform.
When monetary awards are distributed for exceptional performance they eventually become a right, sought after by employees and not a reward (Nelson, 1996). In other cases where teams are involved, "cash awards would reduce teamwork as employees [concentrate] primarily on individual cash gains" (Nelson, 1996). Cash awards lose their value over time. What may have been considered a substantial amount in the past will be seen as an insufficient reward in the future. Reward amounts must increase to satisfy the expectations of the employees. They will have no incentive to increase their output above that previously rewarded unless they expect the bonus to be higher or are forced to raise their standards. In this respect, monetary rewards depreciate in their intrinsic value at a higher rate than in the economy. If employees are forced to raise their output levels to those previously attained, and no significantly higher cash bonus is anticipated, the majority of employees would find it in their best interest to simply sustain their current level of output so to avoid raising the required levels in the future. The employees could also decide to work for a different company or division that does not require such high levels.
Other research has shown that money is not the greatest motivational factor. There are studies that date back to the 1940s, concluding that employees ranked other factors, "such as being shown appreciation for work done, feeling 'in' on things and having interesting work, as being more important than their salaries" (Nelson, 1996). The 1994 National Study of the Changing Workforce found that respondents ranked open communication as the most important factor in selecting one's current job (Nelson, 1996). In a 1996 national survey, "limited praise and recognition" was the number one reason employees left their jobs, not compensation, low empowerment, or personality conflicts (Nelson, 1996). In another study, conducted by Dr. Gerald Graham, professor of management at Wichita State University, "instant recognition from managers was reported to be the most powerful motivator of the 65 potential incentives he evaluated. Second was a letter of praise for good performance written by the manager" (Nelson, 1996).
Feedback, in the context of this report, is any form of written or verbal communication that conveys information on an employee's performance. Feedback from management to employee can be positive or negative, helpful or hurtful, critique or criticism. It can be used incorrectly or can help effectively assess the performance of an individual or group. Feedback is essential to employee development, without it an employee may not know what their managers think about their performance or perhaps what their performance is themselves. Feedback is the information that is critical to knowing the current level of skill an employee has and what is necessary to take that employee to the next level.
Feedback must be honest, well expressed, and specific for it to work. One of the most common ways used by management to deliver feedback is the performance appraisal. Performance appraisals are worthy in their intent but poor in result if used improperly. These appraisals typically ...