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Motivation Problem at National Pediatric Center

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Introduction

It is normal for employees to encounter different problems at their workplaces. Occasionally, they find it difficult to solve some of these problems.  In most cases, these problems result in conflicts between employers and fellow employees, employees and employers, and employees and clients. Therefore, it is imperative that workers identify and understand some of these problems so that they could prevent such conflicts from arising. The main problem that affects most workers in pediatric centers is the motivation problem. “Motivation is the combination of a person’s desire and energy in order to achieve the set goals.  It is the cause of action influencing people’s motivation means getting then to want to do what you know must be done” (Military Leadership, 1993).   This paper seeks to establish the root cause of this problem and provide solutions, using a model that revolves around motivation and performance in order to improve customer satisfaction in pediatric centers nationwide.

Motivation Problem at National Pediatrics

Many people confuse motivation with excitement.  Motivated employees are different from excited employees. Motivating is more of encouraging workers to fulfill the goals that they have not yet realized, no matter the challenges and obstacles in the way. Inadequate emphasis on motivation at work retards organization’s ability to maximize performance. Clark (1998) asserts that human knowledge and motivation system are the key factors that boost individual’s internal performance.  These two systems need to balance to accomplish effective work. Knowledge is the mother of direction, strategies, and essential tactics that help in the realization of goals while motivation provides necessary energy to achieve goals.

People Fail To Meet the Target Goals Continuously

Workers that have displeasing working environment and conditions are stressed and demoralized. In any organization, most people believe that this problem is rather one-sided. However, in National Pediatric Center, this is not the case.  The problem is bigger than what the management has perceived it to be. It demands understanding and tact to enhance employees’ performance. One major issue affecting all employees is the small pediatricians groups who have failed to meet the daily set goals and targets on their job description.

Pediatrics involves at lot of paper work and, as a provider, one fills out many forms that include but not limited to physical exams, school/sport exams, disability forms, health maintenance forms, and college entrance forms, among others.  Some providers have failed to provide the expected performance constantly.  They fall short when it comes to completion of the forms on time and always attempt to give excuses for not completing them.  Some even indulge themselves in the “childish behavior”; for example, if a particular form is placed under the door of a doctor and when no one is watching and the other provider is busy with a patient, some providers may toss the form under the other provider’s door. They do this to avoid dealing with such forms.  This issue can become a major problem. Such individuals do not comply with the ethics of their work. Thus, they are less likely to achieve their set goals. This behavior has placed a tremendous amount of pressure and workload on the other team members.  Furthermore, it has created patient’s dissatisfaction and constant complaints because they have to wait for a long time for the completion and verification of their forms.

Most employees who lack motivation may fail to perform even when they have resources and know their roles. Therefore, motivation is essential in any organization that wishes to see its employees performing their duties correctly while the lack of motivation undermines performance and productivity in an organization.

Diagnosing Motivational Problem

Working conditions may boost or undermine motivation. Consequently, motivation changes over time, whereby good working conditions favor motivation, while poor working conditions hinder it.  Theory of motivation helps one understand how to work with employees and help them meet the set objectives. From the preceding discussion on the motivation problem, it is evident that lack of employee motivation leads to poor performance. Motivation accounts for half of the performance quality in workplaces.  The Maslow hierarchy of needs is applicable when identifying the unmet needs of a particular employee.

When employees lack clear and achievable goals, it is predictable that they will not be able to achieve anything meaningful. Witchell (2003) affirms that employees’ motivation depends on three pillars: the belief that they can perform at the expected levels, the knowledge of the outcomes tied to their performance, and their need to achieve satisfactory outcomes.

The commitment, effort, goal-oriented, and expectancy model are applicable in solving the problem at the National Pediatric Center.  It expects the employees to be motivated to act by their internal initiative. Workers may be born or not born with self-motivation and drive.

Motivation is a skill that one must learn because it is essential for the survival and success of any business.  Performance is a function of ability and motivation. Lack of motivation can cause a number of problems that include personal, financial, and family. Lack of commitment arises when workers refuse to perform duties that demand adequate priority.  According to Clark (1998), employees with commitment problems may evade tasks or complain that some duties are less important, compared to others.  Similarly, some pediatricians avoid some of these tasks and blame others when they fail to perform them. They are also good at procrastination and blaming the delays for not moving their services to higher priority tasks. This behavior among staff does not lead to the realization of set objectives. Besides, the lack of commitment shows the lack of personal strength and goals, or rather motivation.

Performance is a function of ability and motivation.  Ability depends on levels of education, experience, and training. Improving ability is a slow and very long process. Management may employ seven strategies to promote motivation in their organization. These include positive support, effective control and punishment, fair treatment of workers, fulfillment of employees’ needs, formulation of task-related goals, reformulation of duties and reward schemes as based on worker’s performance. However, to achieve all this, there is need for specific individual desire to fix the gap between individual’s actual state and the desired state, as well as the management’s desire to reduce the gap. Green (1993) states that when workers realize that their outcomes are connected to their performance, workers will be motivated to work on their outcomes, eventually improving performance and realizing the set objectives.

Motivation is essential when it comes to covering these gaps and it is up to the management to induce subordinate workers to work towards realization of their specifically stated goals that are in alignment with the organization’s mission, vision, and policy.

When applying the expectancy theory to this organization, pediatricians’ performance depends on personal factors like skills, knowledge, experience, and ability.  If the pediatricians had different set of goals, they could only be motivated if they believed that their personal effort would lead to a better performance and, through the good performance, they could get the desirable rewards.  Employees have different expectations and confidence about what they are capable of doing.  Expectancy integrates various elements of the theories because it combines perceptual aspects of equity with other behavioral aspects of other theories. However, several studies show that monetary rewards are not the prime motivators for many workers.  Motivation builds up when other employees achieve, gain recognition, and when they have the opportunity to play a role in a group. Green (1993) argues that workers will be highly motivated if they see that their efforts are reaping satisfying results. Conversely, they will not be motivated if they believe that what they gain from their efforts is unsatisfactory.

Using Motivational Theories to Intervene/act to change the Motivational Behavior

Any leader’s main goal is to develop a workplace that is essentially productive to all employees.  A leader needs to motivate individual staff members and the whole group in order to maintain general productivity, commitment, employee satisfaction and excellence in the organization.  Mallow theory suggests that the features of the highest state of self-actualization include veracity, accountability, nobility, straightforwardness, and naturalism. Self-actualization focuses on external motivation problems. The theory prescribes hard work and total commitment as solution to performance.  This is the personal calling and drive, which is an important milestone that leads to high performance at the work place.

It is important for the leader to intervene and change the behavior of the employee and the whole organization.  It is imperative that the leader change and design their leadership style to fit the individual needs of the employees. The leader should also provide solutions that will lead to the satisfaction of the unmet needs.  The basic kitbag for encouraging any team includes practices such as approval and eradication of organizational barriers, honoring the employees through recognition, trust, respect, and high expectations. An organization should also offer same quantity of loyalty which it expects from its employees. The company may also employ financial incentives and good communication process in motivation of its workers. An institution should employ such techniques so that it may improve their workers’ job quality. Additionally, the organization needs to employ persuasion techniques in building workers’ morale and self-initiative, rather than practicing the traditional scolding practice. It is easier to motivate the high performance from workers through persuasion.

Therefore, management should work towards individualization of motivational policies, because each individual is unique and exceptional. Consequently, the effective management team will trigger high long-term performance through tailoring of motivational policies to suit the worker’s individual needs. The management should also be able to collect positive feedback and evaluate behavior modification, workers involvement, decisiveness, as well as acknowledge all workers for improved performance.  Excellent performance is possible only when all workers perform excellently.

Conclusion

To sum up, employee motivation is not a simple task to many organizations’ management. There is no simple solution to motivation problems, because motivation is a feeling. Motivation is a mental issue that demands getting into worker’s psychology.  Many organizations have employed extrinsic motives, such as money, which are not enough.  We have discussed some of the motivational theories that affect individual behavior in an organization.  Motivation can be in balance with performance, which leads to excellence and grants job satisfaction experiences, such as achievement of a goal or resolution of a challenge in the organization.  Motivation factors increase productivity, satisfaction, and performance.  Motivation also promotes personal growth and development, apart from making the employees enjoy their work. It is important to identify that different individuals have different needs, which demand different motivational techniques.  As a manager, one must understand different needs of their subordinates in order to be able to make satisfactory motivational decisions.

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