Why is it that a few decades ago people did not need as much motivation and were driven to work productively and efficiently even though the employees were most of the time taken advantage by their employer? Also, why is it that today’s employees have much better work conditions and incentives, but still need a form of motivation to get satisfying performance in their job? I do not have answers to these questions, but I know that people have different motivations than years ago. During the mid 20th century, the mere idea of having a job was enough to motivate an employee and receive a great performance from such.
Nowadays, employers must spend a lot of time managing their employees in order to design jobs in function of there employees to receive a good outcome from their work. I believe that such a change in the level of motivation may be explained by the change in needs in a generation. The generation of the post-war period had the need to satisfy the needs of the lower part of Maslow’s pyramid such as physiological and safety. Therefore, these needs were easily satisfied by money and permitted the people to buy food, have shelter, and have feeling of safety.
Today, most Canadians do not worry as much of not having food or a shelter as the middle class increased. However, they strive for to satisfy the higher needs on Maslow’s pyramid such as social, esteem, and self-actualization. These needs are not easily satisfied with an incentive such as money. Anyways, people already have incredible job conditions and a job safety since the creation of syndicated workplaces and laws. There has been a great evolution in the work areas, but I do not believe that people are more productive in their work because of their incentives.
People have received so many incentives over the years, but what happens is that every time they receive something, they still ask for more. Employees want to work less and receive more, but that is not how the system should work. The countries with the most productivity which are India and China produce great outcomes from their workforce because the people are motivated by much less than Canada. To be able to be productive again, people will need to start motivating themselves with less.
Last summer, I was hired to work full-time in the offices of the CSST. I worked for the government in the public area. I was motivated when I arrived because I wanted to show that I can be productive at work and can handle a good workload. Therefore, I completed tasks that were supposed to be done over the 7 hour day in only 30 minutes. At first, I did not understand why they would give me such a low amount of work, but I quickly realized that it was because the people of this work place usually completed such tasks over quite a period of time.
People arrived at work at the hour they wanted and left when they wanted. In the morning when everyone arrived, employees would discuss for over an hour of work time about personal topics. Also, they spent time playing games on the internet and talked on the phone with friends and family. As a result, the amount of work that was done at the end of the day was very low and the government spends enormous amounts of money to pay these people.
Therefore, a minimum amount of authority and supervision is required and many incentives should be removed or earned only in relation with the productivity. As a result, the government and businesses spend millions of dollars for the management of their employees and productivity is still decreasing. Courses such as Organizational Behaviour would have had absolutely no purpose years ago, but now are essential for us to be aware of motivation and job design as it is an important issue nowadays.