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Motivation in the Workplace

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Motivation in the Workplace.

Motivation is a reason why most people do something to achieve something that needs to be achieved. In a work environment, motivation can be achieved in different ways depending on the kind of business the workplace consist of. Many aspects of the work environment affect employee motivation such as pay, benefits, recognition, job security, the quality of leadership, and the physical and psychological work climate (Youssef & Noon, 2012). In particular when the work place is a restaurant/bar some motivators that would work in an office environment do not work for the customer service world of restaurants or bars. Even though all workers need motivation, in the restaurant/bar business the key motivators are fun contest to win something either monetary or food wise, a safe and organized work environment and being able to express thoughts about how to make it better, and finally respect and support from management and staff.

Working in a restaurant can be a highly stressful job. Most servers and bartenders make their money through their customers and the service they provide. The way to make money as either a server or bartender is to up sale, the higher the ticket, the higher the tip. One great motivator is to have a fun contest rewarding the person who either sold the most appetizers or desserts, or bottles of wine with a gift card from the restaurant. It is a win: win scenario. Both the employee and the employer are gaining in sales. Plus it brings in healthy competition to keep things interesting hence creating a pleasant working environment.

Another motivator is having the employee place input on creating a safe and organized work environment that is conducive to making everyone's life more tolerable at work. Employees understand they need to grow, learn and develop new skills in order to advance. The ability to be able to choose their assignments and rise to new challenges offered by new responsibilities is also appealing. People appreciate the opportunity to be part of the team. They enjoy the idea of working closely with managers and management, being involved in key decisions and being listened to and heard.

Lastly, a key motivator is respect and support from management. In today's high paced work environment it is reported that employees consider recognition of their work and efforts rare and infrequent. Think about it - What better way to have an employee continue their good work and success then to offer them praise-verbal, written or ideally a public announcement. Everybody wants to be acknowledged for a job well done. Most employees pride themselves in doing their jobs to the best of their ability, and nothing improves self-esteem more than a compliment and a pat on the shoulder. This is a form of motivation called interjected motivation. In interjected motivation, employees believe that they should engage in work activities but have not fully embraced the value of the activities. Individuals that are motivated by this form of motivation perform activities to comply with their inner "shoulds"; they strive to feel good about themselves- to maintain or enhance their egos (Deal, Stawiski, Graves, Gentry, Weber & Ruderman, 2013).

The author's personal opinion on how to strategize a plan to make this happen is simple. As a manager, even when things are going wrong positive reinforcements will always turn the outcome back to positive. Creating a fun contest to inspire and create a fun environment, raising sales for the restaurant is one way, but other ways is listening to your employees and doing what is necessary to create a healthy, safe, and organize environment while giving support and recognition for hard work and a job well done. If the author was a manager, she would try these steps daily, and also focus on what is going on positive instead of what is going on negative. Even though negative issues are always proceeding into the work environment, address them without putting too much focus on them, and move to fixing problems positively. Supporting the employees through there bad days and working with them to remain a positive focus will always be a sure win in any work environment.

While trying to motivate the employees two particular theories come to mind, goal-setting theory and equity theory. "Goal-setting theory states that specific, difficult goals lead to greater performance than vague goals, such as encouraging a person to do her best" (Youssef & Noon, 2013 pg. 208, chapter 7.3). While "equity theory states that motivation is influenced by our perception of how equitably or fairly we are treated at work (Youssef & Noon, 2013 pg. 209, chapter 7.3). The author feels that goals are an important part of everyday life whether at work or not. She personally makes goals everyday depending on what is needed at the time. Goals allow her to achieve particular standards involving up-selling, and helps her self-esteem when her sales are extremely higher than other servers or bartenders. In the long run she makes more money than others because she has these goals and achieves for something better than normal service. In the same breathe equity theory makes more sense to the author. She like to be recognized for her hard work and job well done, and would like to be compensated for that instead what she sees is other employees that are friends with



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