Essay on Pay and Job Performance

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Critically evaluate this statement: Managers who rely only on pay to motivate their employees to higher levels of job performance will always be disappointed n the results.

Pay is one thing that causes many discrepancies within the work environment. Most employees continue to try and further themselves in work usually with the hope of better pay; fringe benefits i.e. company cars, pensions and so on. There are however, those who show “highly motivated behaviour where economic rewards are low.”[1] This citation agrees with the above statement, however, throughout this essay I will sum up where pay can be seen as a good motivator and where extrinsic benefits fail.

Content theorists such as Maslow and Herzberg look at needs and
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Motivators include achievement, responsibility and chance of promotion. People would want to work to better themselves – relatively similar to Maslow’s higher orders. Hygiene factors are the issues surrounding an employee whilst they work that “help avoid dissatisfaction with work.”[5] These include status, work conditions and quality of personnel management. What sets Herzberg apart from
Maslow is the fact that he looks at how job design can be a potentially motivating factor. Herzberg would suggest that what truly motivates is intrinsic factors such as achievement rather than pay.
This goes towards explaining why some managers who rely on pay may be disappointed – it’s not what makes a job enjoyable.

Despite these two theorists agreeing with the above statement Taylor is one content theorist more inclined to disagree. He favoured using incentive wage plans and was seen to continually achieve consistently good results. However, in the article Why Incentive Plans Cannot Work by Alfie Kohn he goes into innumerable detail about the disadvantage of using payment as a motivator. He explains that rewards can work, they will motivate people to strive for the reward. Employees will become accustomed to working for the sole

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