Innovation as a Motivator Essay

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Motivation, an important concept in management theory, can be defined as: “the reasons people do the things that they do” (Zenisek, 2009). A company that effectively motivates its employees will often perform better than one that does not. One motivation technique is innovation time: giving employees the freedom to work on their own projects as a portion of their normal workload. These projects are entirely self-directed, and rely heavily on the employee’s creativity and entrepreneurial spirit. Innovation time is an advantageous policy for two reasons: it can facilitate the creation of new revenue streams, and it exemplifies the positive aspects of academically accepted motivation theories, in particular the job characteristics model…show more content…
Google also adopted this strategy, but altered it to make it fit their corporate culture. At Google, all engineers spend eighty percent of their time on company assigned projects, and twenty percent of their time on personal or group projects (Google, 2009). Google’s implementation of the technique is unique because it adopts additional motivational theories in the administration of the twenty percent rule. Google ensures that employees remain motivated in regards to their projects through constant feedback and review. Each employee submits a weekly description of the progress made on their personal project and attends regular peer review meetings (Girard, 2009). The feedback gained from these meetings helps the employee to brainstorm solutions to problems and remain focused on their project goals. As well, peer review sessions allow engineers see what their colleagues are working on, and provides them with the opportunity to join other projects. Although innovation time could apply to many types of companies, it has been proven most effective in organizations with a technical research focus. One primary reason for employers to implement innovation time as a motivator is to expand new product lines and revenue streams. One example of this is 3M’s popular product created by Arthur Fry, the Post-It Note. Fry was frustrated that the bookmarks
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