Siemens. Motivation Within a Creative Environment

Why Taylorism is not an appropriate theory of motivation for engineers within a modern workplace setting

Engineers within a modern workplace setting need to be highly motivated to be able to come up with innovative products. Without innovative products, it is easy for a company to loose its markets. New products are released into the market very regularly and it is therefore important to ensure that an engineering company maintains highly motivated engineers. A modern workplace is composed of work teams as opposed to the traditional workplace. Taylor’s theory championed for work segmentation and specialization. Under work specialization, workers are supposed to understand only specific parts of the whole process. Engineers today need to be exposed to different working situations since they get challenges which vary from time to time. With the work environment requiring innovative minds, engineers today are expected to understand the whole process involved in the production of a certain product. Without understanding the whole process, engineers may feel limited and hence lack motivation.

Taylor’s theory emphasized control as a replacement to individual responsibility. This theory contradicts modern working environment. Today, engineers are expected to take full control of certain processes while maintaining close contact with their work mates. To be able to come up with a sound and innovative product, individual’s control as well as strong team work must come into play. To sum up, Taylor’s theory emphasized on fulfilling the lower needs of employees. Modern work place setting requires the satisfaction of higher needs such as work recognition and job satisfaction. Since Taylor’s theory was not able to recognize higher employee needs, it fails as an appropriate motivation theory for engineers today.

Similarities and differences between the theories of Maslow and Hertzberg

Maslow and Hertzberg theories share some similarities. First, both theories are considered to be modern and applicable today. These two theories are applicable to a modern work place such as Siemens, where engineer’s wants need to be satisfied as a way of motivating them to work harder. A Closer look at the two theories shows that they consider the satisfaction of complex goods as a way of motivating employees. Siemens engineers get motivated when their complex needs such as work recognition, training and career achievement are satisfied (Beck, 2003).

There are fundamental differences between Maslow and Hertzberg’s theories of motivation. Maslow believed that human needs can be categorized and represented using a hierarchy of needs. The hierarchy was in form of a triangle with the most basic needs at the wide base and the complex needs at the narrow top. Basic needs are such as water, food, clothing and shelter while the complex needs are such as job satisfaction and recognition. The latter needs fall in the Self-esteem Category which is highest in this hierarchy of needs. Maslow therefore believed that motivation in a challenging work place such as Siemens comes from satisfying the higher needs.

Maslow’s theory differs from that of Hertzberg who considered human needs using two important factors: satisfiers and dissatisfiers. This shows that the theorist considers motivation to be as a result of ensuring that employees are satisfied. According to Hertzberg theory, motivation becomes effective when dissatisfiers are eliminated. From his research, which involved engineers and accountants, he found out that that if a company is able to provide satisfiers to its staff, they get motivated. Satisfiers in a modern work place may be work recognition and freedom to propel an original idea.

How a company like Siemens can benefit from the use of motivation theories to influence its management style and strategies

Motivation theories describe how and when an employee is likely to get motivated in different work environments. When an employee is highly motivated, his/her productivity goes high and the company gains more from such an employee. A highly motivated employee in an engineering field becomes very innovative and leads to production of new products and hence new markets. On the contrary, when an employee in an engineering company lacks motivation, he becomes a liability to the company. Knowledge of motivation theories is very useful to the management of a company such as Siemens in different ways. By being able to understand the way human needs are classified, it becomes possible for the management to realize which needs ought to be satisfied to achieve maximum motivation. Using knowledge gathered form Maslow’s theory for instance, the management is able to gauge and find out the level that every engineer in the company is in. To be able to achieve efficient motivation, the company can try and satisfy the needs of every employee. With most of the engineers in a company such as Siemens being in the self-actualization stage, it becomes easy for the company to adjust its management style to meet the needs of its employees.

Knowledge gathered from Hertzberg theory can help a company to realize how human beings feel about responsibilities placed on them. From such knowledge, the management of a company such as Siemens is able to align its management strategies to encourage those activities or actions which motivate the employees. For example, when a company’s strategy is to ensure that promotions are given strictly on merit, many employees would be motivated to work harder (Drucker, 2006). The theory may also help the management in ensuring that dissatisfiers are eliminated since they are a source of discouragement to the employees. To sum-up, motivation theories assist the management in planning for a course of action to ensure that all the employees remain motivated.

References

Beck, R. (2003) Motivation: Theories and Principles. London, Prentice Hall.

Drucker, P. (2006) The Practice of Management. New York, Harper Publishers.