Motivation, Culture, Workforce Research Paper

Motivation, Culture, Workforce Research Paper

Motivating Employees from Other Cultures

Differences in cultural values require extra skill when attempting to motivate changes in behavior. Managers need to accurately interpret the situation and design a strategy that fits an individual’s values and needs.Motivation, Culture, Workforce Research Paper This process is fairly straightforward when working with people of similar backgrounds, but is much more difficult when attempting to understand and motivate employees whose values and backgrounds may be different from your own.

The three steps listed below will help you design motivation strategies that are culturally aware and, therefore, useful in your efforts to maintain a harmonious and productive multicultural workplace.


Effective behavior change begins with accurately interpreting why an individual is involved in undesired behavior. Understanding why a person behaves in a particular way makes it easier to modify that behavior. For example, it is common for managers to misinterpret the speaking of a foreign language in the workplace as a sign of laziness, rudeness and disrespect. In fact, most often, using another language is an effort to communicate a job-related message accurately, a sign of extreme stress or fatigue or an effort to speed up the communication process.Motivation, Culture, Workforce Research Paper

You might be wondering, “How can I possibly know enough about cultural differences to accurately interpret all the different behaviors I may encounter?” The answer is simple: Ask. Ask the employee why he is late for work or why he failed to get the job done on time. If you do so with respect, you gather valuable and accurate information that will help you motivate the change you desire

Motivating employees is crucial to ensuring a company’s success. Low morale damages productivity and relationships, which hurts the bottom line. To counter these problems, managers must build a positive rapport with workers and learn what motivates them. For employees, one of the biggest concerns is the chance to make meaningful contributions, even on small tasks. By recognizing these desires, employers can build a positive work environment that promotes creativity, mutual respect and productivity.

Why Employees Leave

A bad relationship with a boss is the most commonly cited reason for quitting a job, according to Gallup poll results cited by “Psychology Today” in November 2006. Supervisor problems outpace all other areas of workplace dissatisfaction, including day-to-day assignments, salaries and working hours. The inherent power imbalance of employer-employee relationships often forces subordinates to constantly monitor the boss’s behavior and study its meaning.Motivation, Culture, Workforce Research Paper Such negative dynamics drag down the organization, making it more likely that employees see quitting as the only way to address them.

Inner Work Life

Making progress on meaningful tasks is the chief driver of inner work life, or the combination of emotions, motivations and perceptions that employees experience on the job. This is the theory of authorities such as Harvard Business School professor Teresa Amabile, according to the Society of Human Resource Management. Managers should break major goals into smaller parts, to give employees a sense of accomplishment along the way. Tapping these emotions enables supervisors to promote higher levels of collegiality, commitment and creativity, which also helps to boost the bottom line.

Motivation is a critical element of employee engagement and organizational success. While employees need to have internal motivation, leaders are also responsible for creating a motivational culture where employees are able to contribute their best work.

A recent Gallup poll showed that 70% of employees are “not engaged” or “actively engaged” at work.  Another national study revealed that less than 1 in 4 non-management employees are fully engaged.  Stated another way, 70-75% of your employees are not motivated or productive.

There are two faces to motivation. Intrinsic motivation arises from the employee finding value in their work. Extrinsic motivation results from the desire to obtain outcomes that are separate from the work itself. Both types are essential to ensuring employees are highly motivated in the workplace.Motivation, Culture, Workforce Research Paper

So, how does a manager create an environment that motivates employees to give maximum effort? A 2014 TINYpulse Survey asked over 200,000 employees in more than 500 organizations, “What motivates you to excel and go the extra mile at your organization?” They were given an opportunity to choose from a list of 10 ways to motivate employees. At the top of the list, identified by 20% of respondents, was “Camaraderie and Peer Motivation.”

The motivators were:

·      Camaraderie and peer motivation (20%)

·      Intrinsic desire to do a good job (17%)

·      Feeling encouraged and recognized (13%)

·      Having a real impact (10%)

·      Growing professionally (8%)

·      Meeting client/customer needs (8%)

·      Money and benefits (7%)

·      Positive supervisor/senior management (4%)

·      Believe in the company/product (4%)

·      Other (9%)




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Benefits of Motivated Employees

Employee motivation is highly important for every company due to the benefits that it brings to the company. Benefits include:Motivation, Culture, Workforce Research Paper

Increased employee commitment
When employees are motivated to work, they will generally put their best effort in the tasks that are assigned to them.

Improved employee satisfaction
Employee satisfaction is important for every company because this can lead towards a positive growth for the company.

Ongoing employee development
Motivation can facilitate a worker reaching his/her personal goals, and can facilitate the self-development of an individual. Once that worker meets some initial goals, they realise the clear link between effort and results, which will further motivate them to continue at a high level.

Improved employee efficiency
An employee’s efficiency level is not only based on their abilities or qualifications.Motivation, Culture, Workforce Research Paper For the company to get the very best results, an employee needs to have a good balance between the ability to perform the task given and willingness to want to perform the task. This balance can lead to an increase of productivity and an improvement in efficiency.

Job satisfaction has been associated with positive organizational outcomes such as increased employee productivity, higher innovation and reduced turnover, all of which are linked to improved firm performance. Motivation is considered to be a primary determinant of job satisfaction. Yet little research has focused on the links between motivation, job satisfaction and the impact of culture in the workplace. This qualitative research uses Heisenberg’s Two-Factor Theory of Motivation to assess job satisfaction in the Brazilian hotel industry. The results partially support the theory and suggest that culture influences the degree of job satisfaction.

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