In this discussion of motivation, we are exploring the factors that drive individuals to work, including extrinsic and intrinsic motivations. Today, we will focus on extrinsic factors, which are often considered hygiene factors or artificial factors that are mistakenly assumed to motivate employees to stay or come to work for an organization. Specifically, we will delve into company policies and administration.
It is important to note that when discussing artificial factors, we are referring to aspects that, if not met at a baseline level, can demotivate an employee in the opposite direction. Nobody comes to work thinking that they are motivated by well-written policies and efficient administration. People expect that the rules and regulations are applied equally across the board, regardless of their status or position in the organization. While we know that this may not always be the case, it is crucial to recognize that poor communication, lack of delegated authority, and inequitable enforcement of rules and regulations can lead to contempt towards the organization and its leadership.
The Negative Impact of Unfair Policies and Administration
Research supports the notion that when employees perceive an organization’s policies and administration to be unfair or inconsistent, they become demotivated, less productive, and are more likely to look for alternative employment. Leaders must recognize that treating people fairly, equally, and with respect is the bare minimum expectation from their employees. Employees are human beings, and they need to be treated as such. The current “Great Resignation” trend is not by accident but rather a culmination of long-standing employee dissatisfaction with organizational culture, policies, and administration.
Treating People Fairly and Equally: The Key to a Motivated Workforce
Company policies and administration must be fair and applied equally across the board, regardless of the company’s size or industry. When considering treatment of employees, a former supervisor’s advice to “treat people fairly, not equally” resonates. For instance, newer employees are expected to make more mistakes and require more grace and patience, while more experienced employees should have a smaller margin of error. It is crucial to give employees a chance to figure out the job, offer professional development opportunities, and provide support during their probation period.
In conclusion, company policies and administration are a bare minimum expectation from employees, not a motivating factor. Poor communication, lack of delegated authority, and inequitable enforcement of rules and regulations can lead to employee dissatisfaction, contempt, and demotivation. Leaders must recognize that employees are human beings and treat them fairly, equally, and with respect. This will increase employee morale, productivity, and retention, which are vital for organizational success.