By Paula Soriano

Employee motivation is essential both for the achievement of business objectives and to facilitate the development of employees. A characteristic of the modern competitive and globalized world is that companies are constantly striving to do better than the previous year. To achieve this goal, they resort to all available means, and among the most essential in this context, is the optimal administration of human capital. With the evolution of the job market and human – resource systems, we have seen attempts to motivate employees through improving working conditions and worker’s rights. Many experts have pointed to another important aspect in motivation though. They theorize that the more autonomy or control employees have, the more productive they are and the greater their sense of belonging. Particularly relevant are Profs Edward Deci and Richard Ryan, who first published their self determination theory in 1985. According to this theory, there are three psychological needs that must be met for individuals to develop both personally and professionally: autonomy; a feeling of competence; and relatedness (connection with others).

As the world evolves, so do companies and leadership styles. Moreover, with the change in management methods of organizations, come changes in people’s behavior. Having more control over tasks, being more motivated or having flexible hours are just some of the changes employers can make to enhance employee job satisfaction.

By identifying what factors motivate an employee, and using effective techniques such as job enrichment to implement these, companies can create the right conditions to channel an employee’s efforts, energy and general behavior towards the achievement of objectives that are in the company’s interests – a win-win situation.

This article was written by Novomed clinical psychologist Paula Soriano and first published in Wall Street Journal’s Compliance Channel Newsletter

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