Interviewer: How important is motivation for a manager?
Professor: Oh, motivation is extremely important. I’d say it’s the most important aspect of a manager’s job. A manager’s job is to get the job done, whatever that job might be. So a manager has to motivate the workers, both as a team and also on an individual basis. Without motivation, the job just won’t get done.
Interviewer: So how do managers go about doing this? It doesn’t sound very easy.
Professor: No, it is a complicated issue. But managers have special tools. They are trained to use them to boost motivation and increase production to a maximum.
Professor: Yes, tools like praise, approval and recognition. And then there is trust and expectation. They are all important for workers.
Interviewer: And money? What about money?
Professor: Yes, money is a factor but you might be surprised to learn that it comes out last on the list of these tools that we are talking about.
Interviewer: So, what comes before money? What sort of things are more important for workers?
Professor: Well, all of the things that I have already mentioned, and then job enrichment and good communication between the workers and the bosses.
Interviewer: And have you got any examples of real life situations to back up your claims?
Professor: One good example is the firm Western Electric. When managers started taking an interest in their workers, there was a huge increase in production. They started to talk to the workers and encouraged them to get involved in decisionmaking. Workers began to feel that their contributions were important. And it paid off.
Interviewer: Productivity increased?
Professor: Yes, hugely. The Swedish company Kochums is another example. The company was on the verge of collapse when managers decided to try a change in motivation practice.
Interviewer: What did they do?
Professor: Well, basically it was a change in attitude towards their workers. Managers decided to stop giving orders and to try persuading them instead.
Interviewer: And it worked?
Professor: Absolutely. In just ten years they managed to turn a 15 million dollar loss into a 100 million dollar profit.
Interviewer: So, let’s get this straight. Are you saying that workers are not interested in earning more money?
Professor: I’m saying they’re not just interested in money. It is important of course. We need to enjoy a certain standard of living. But, as I mentioned before, there are other things that are just as important: praise, approval, recognition, trust and expectation, job enrichment and good communication.