Workplace is one of the common places where motivation is applied to ensure that goals are attained. It is vital for the management and employees to be determined, enthusiastic, and concentrated on their work. There are factors which motivate people to act or behave in a certain way. Workers’ productivity depends on the motivation they obtain in the working environment as well as outside. It is not only important to satisfy employees financially, but also to show that they are relevant to the team, which would make them motivated (Brown, 1948). However, various motivational problems hamper the attainment of the ultimate goals in an organization. Motivational problems may emanate from the workplace, while others occur outside the workplace, but all of them have an influence on the worker’s performance. In this regard, this paper will focus on personal life interference as a common motivational problem.
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Motivational Problem Description
Whereas it is necessary to separate personal life and work, it is sometimes difficult, and family affairs may affect performance at the workplace (Monin & Miller, 2001). There is a need to concentrate fully on the work if meaningful goals are to be realized. Personal life issues are a motivational problem that affects the attainment of goals. Personal problems that derail motivation may include interpersonal conflicts at home or stress at home. These personal issues are a problem to motivation, and the affected employee may not deliver as per expectations. Because motivation is directly related to high productivity at workplace, various psychologists have developed theories that explain how employees can be motivated.
Abraham Maslow’s motivation theory of the 1950’s is one of the most used today. The theory, which is known as the hierarchy of needs, divides people’s needs into various levels. According to the theory, a person requires five levels of needs. The needs range from “psychological, safety, social, esteem, and self-actualization needs.” The theory emphasizes that the needs appearing first in the hierarchy must be met before meeting others. The needs in Maslow’s theory are termed as motivations for achievement of a particular goal. Lack of achievement of lower needs in the hierarchy may derail motivation for the achievement of other needs up in the hierarchy.
Following Maslow’s theory, family issues will fall under the social needs. It is paramount to meet the social needs first before seeking recognition for an outstanding performance at the workplace. An interpersonal conflict at home may force an employee to focus on the problem first before focusing on the work. His or her mind will be carried away by the unsatisfied psychological need. This will result in a lack of motivation for the work, therefore leading to poor performance. A peaceful interpersonal relationship between the family members will not only satisfy the psychological needs, but will also ensure that safety needs of the employee are met (Monin & Miller, 2001). The safety needs may not include the physical safety needs, but majorly the safety from emotional harm.
The esteem needs are necessitated by recognition for achievement and are always preceded by the social, safety, and psychological needs. Motivation at the workplace will originate from the need for esteem. A need for esteem will provoke an employee to deliver the desired results. High performance by an employee at the workplace depends on his or her need for esteem. Once other lower needs in the hierarchy have been met, an employee will be motivated to execute diligently in order to deliver the desired goals. Workers whose primary needs have not been met will not be motivated in their work. Once all other lower needs have been met, the employee will be able and willing to achieve high performance at work. Employees whose lower needs have been met will seek recognition and achievement at the place of work (Monin & Miller, 2001). This will be realized through high performance and hard work. There will be a need for achievement of the set goals because of the high self-esteem. Fulfillment of lower needs will create a high self-esteem within an individual. The high esteem will in turn create a high motivation for work, which will lead to achievement of goals.
According to Maslow’s theory of hierarchy of needs, if the lower order needs are not fulfilled, people are no longer interested or concerned with maintenance or meeting the higher order needs. This principle is applicable to employees whose physiological safety, belongingness, and love needs must be fulfilled first (Brown, 1984). Family issues among employees ensure a sense of belonging and love. Interpersonal conflicts in the family leave employees without affection and a sense of belonging. This denies them the chance to exploit their esteem needs, which would ensure high performance in the place of work.
Intervention to Change the Motivation
A favorable environment plus other personal issues affecting employees create motivation at the workplace. Interpersonal conflicts at the family level lower the motivation of employees at the workplace. According to Maslow’s theory, it is fundamental to ensure that the lower order needs are met. Once the lower order needs are met, an employee will have immense motivation for his or her work. It is also imperative to ensure that interpersonal conflicts at the family level are solved as fast as possible to ensure that they do not affect the performance at the workplace (Carver & Scheier, 1998).
Interpersonal conflicts at the family level can be resolved when an employee applies his or her interpersonal skills to diagnose the situation. It is fundamental to encourage the second party to talk about the situation. This will create a sense of belonging, unity, and love between the conflicting parties. Resolving interpersonal conflicts requires the concerned parties to avoid jumping into conclusions. One should not judge others, as this will enhance misunderstanding. It is necessary to distinguish between long-term and short-term conflicts (Carver & Scheier, 1998). This will help in determining what may be affecting the employee’s motivation at work.
According to Maslow’s theory, it is impossible to motivate an employee to meet a certain target of sales, whereas he/she is experiencing problems with his/her family. It is imperative to cater for the personal needs first before the employee can be motivated to perform highly at the place of work. According to this theory, it is clear that the five levels of needs are to be met in the given order.
The issue of human resource performance and motivation cannot be separated. Performance at the place of work is directly connected to the level of motivation of employees. Highly motivated employees have a desire to achieve and deliver desired goals. This is opposed to employees with a low level of motivation. Both factors within the work environment and outside it affect an employee’s performance. It is fundamental to ensure that employees’ personal needs are met first before expecting them to be highly motivated at the workplace. Maslow’s theory of hierarchy of needs has set an order of how human needs are to be met. It is imperative to follow this order as this would ensure highly motivated workers. Motivated employees are more productive and, thus, beneficial to an organization and society on the whole.
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