Employee Training, Motivation and Performance

Introduction

The modern world of employment continues to put a lot of emphasis on employee motivation as a considerable factor in the growth and ultimate success of the organizations. Most organizations nowadays consider training as one of the most imperative initiatives that promote sustainable professional development and corporate growth (Van Wart, Cayer, & Cock 1993). Regardless of its imperativeness, people rarely understand how motivation and factors work. Until today, it is still questionable as to whether training is a factor in creating employee motivation, or whether a successful training requires already motivated employees.

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Theoretically, managerial experts believe that managers have the ability to inspire and motivate performance in organizations through stimulating workers to perform certain tasks. Due to the professional demands to keep the operations of the company’s persistent and successful, some managers have found employee motivation to be a paramount aspect of organizational management. This essay seeks to offer explanations as to why motivation in itself, acts as an imperative factor in creating employee motivation.

Training Influences Intrinsic and Extrinsic Motivators

Back in the early days of human capital management, philosophers developed interests in understanding what makes workers feel motivated or inspired to continue working in certain workplaces (Van Wart et al. 1993). They discovered intrinsic and extrinsic motivators. Training as a motivating initiative created by managers to support employees to develop skills and knowledge necessary for their daily performances directly motivates and inspires the growth and achievement of other motivators in workplaces. Training, as a motivator in an organization, enables employees to increase their professional growth and development at their workplaces.

Achieved professional growth, in turn, helps and enhances the abilities of the employee to achieve on-job promotions, high paying positions, salary increments due to professional growth, acknowledgment at workplaces, and increased power in decision-making roles, and enhanced work freedom (Van Wart et al. 1993). Training comes solely for making certain organizational goals successful, and through training and development, managers are capable of creating chances for the achievement of other job motivators.

Employee Training and Knowledge Transfers

A salient aspect that makes employee training and development appear, as an essential aspect of employee motivation is knowledge transfer. According to Zafar et al. (2014), employees often encounter challenging circumstances that likely make them dissatisfied and unhappy with their performances at work. Employee underperformance due to lack of sufficient knowledge to complete a task or carry out certain responsibilities in a workplace normally results in constant dissatisfaction (McGregor 1987).

When managers conduct and promote training and development in their organizations, they help their employees to build knowledge on what they require to remain competent in their professional commitments. According to Zafar et al. (2014, p. 55), ‘knowledge transfer is necessary for efficient management, as knowledge transfer enables employees to work together efficiently’. Training and development programs create an opportunity for the managers to pass the relevant knowledge on task-related and professional related issues for supporting the employees to meet certain employment demands.

In 1960, Douglas McGregor designed the X and Y theory in which he believed that some employees need an authoritarian leadership because they are reluctant to fulfill their obligations and cannot work independently and wholeheartedly towards achieving the goals of their organization (McGregor 1987). Additionally, Douglas McGregor believed that some employees could work independently with high levels of self-direction and self-control in achieving the goals and objectives of their organizations.

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Based on the assumptions of theory X and theory Y, theory Y stands for democratic leadership, which enables employees to have a likeness towards training related achievements (McGregor 1987). From a managerial perspective, training is an intrinsic motivator that helps employees to develop interests in achieving their professional goals that in turn result in tangible and intangible benefits (Manzoor 2011). Training is part of organizational initiatives and programs purposely designed influence the achievement of certain goals and targets through the professional knowledge transferred from the experts to the employees.

Training and Job Promotions

Training is a powerful aspect of employee motivation as it influences the achievement of professional growth that further results in on-job promotions.

Nowadays, competent employees are those with enough knowledge and skills needed to deal with the technological and corporate development demands in the business management realm (McGregor 1987). Training as a developmental initiative creates an opportunity for the managers to bolster the performances of the employees through the available on-job promotions. Training is a source of empowerment because trained employees can demonstrate high prowess, comfort, and stability in dealing with certain professional demands (Manzoor 2011). Through training, employees can gain the knowledge needed to fulfill certain professional positions within their capabilities. When managers are capable of trusting their employees with certain professional demands, chances for job promotions increase, thus, making employees develop high work esteem in their workplaces (Manzoor 2011). Increased work esteem brings about increased motivation towards maintaining consistent performances in certain professional demands.

As previously mentioned, training acts as a source of empowering employees to achieve certain on-job promotions. In return, on-job promotions often act as a means of demonstrating the commitment of the managers and the companies in ensuring supporting their employees to enhance their professional growth and improve their commitments to work (Manzoor 2011). Promotions at workplaces act as important sources of employee motivation as they promote a sense of recognition and acknowledgment of employees at their workplaces. When employees achieve their targeted promotions through the training, they undertook purposely for the promotion, the levels of motivation towards their work-related issues normally increase (Grugulis 2009). Promotions act as sources of job satisfaction and motivation as they came with high levels of intrinsic motivations that boost the performances of the employees. Through promotions, employees are capable of understanding the degree of appreciation at their workplaces and the extent of the company’s commitments towards their professional developments.

Training and Professional Development

One important aspect that makes employees feel confident about their working abilities is the amount of knowledge and professional prowess they have in their work positions. Buckley and Caple (2009) posit that the employees’ confidence increases with the amount of training that they receive through the workshops, work seminars, professional development programs, and vocational training initiatives. Training facilitates easy professional development as it consists of initiatives that promote learning and educational growth among the employees.

From a definitional perspective, professional development is a modern corporate practice that entails the use of various facilitated learning opportunities meant to increase the educational competency of the employees. For employees who understand job satisfaction, fulfilling the objectives of their work through their professional abilities makes them more comfortable and contented with their achievements (Grugulis 2009). Training is a powerful source of motivation as it creates chances for professional development for the workers, through the various training programs that dominate the on-job training.

In 1943, Maslow developed the needs hierarchy theory in which he categorized human needs in the form of physiological, safety, love or belongings, self-esteem, and self-actualization needs. Maslow posited that human beings continually consider their physiological needs as the most important needs in the hierarchy of needs, before considering their safety and love needs. As investigations on human needs at workplaces commenced, researchers discovered that employees love confidence and stability in their daily undertakings.

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When viewed from a professional perspective, the Maslow hierarchy of needs theory provides people with an understanding that when people feel secured at their workplaces, the next important thing that they look after is self-esteem and self-actualization. Self-esteem denotes personal worthiness, and self-actualization means self-fulfillment. Increased levels of professional development through increased educational achievements are an important factor for employees as higher levels of education make employees satisfied with their professional stabilities and their competencies at work.

Training and Job Performance

Training is a powerful source of motivation as it empowers workers to increase their performance at work, which is normally their main concern and worry in their workplaces. Underperforming employees fear lay-off because of constant negative appraisals in the performance of the employees often instill fear of retrenchments and employment discharges (Manzoor 2011). Training is an employee developmental tool because it helps the employees to understand their various weaknesses in their workplaces and the ways to tackle various challenges that emerge in their professional responsibilities. Employee performance that involves achievements made through training and development programs have a sufficiency value among the workers who consider such achievements as improvements in their daily responsibilities (McGregor 1987). Based on the content theory of motivation, some employees feel motivated when they satisfy their basic needs while some of them feel inspired when they satisfy their psychological demands. Regarding the issue of training, employees find on-job training as a motivational aspect.

Employee training is an empowerment factor that makes the workers satisfy their professional demands and increase their competencies in various professional activities that demand their involvement (Manzoor 2011). Concerning the management of employees, training is a motivating initiative as it triggers, the higher the levels of increased job performance, the higher the levels of motivation at the workplace due to increased abilities and attitude towards personal satisfaction (Grugulis 2009). In a study of the impact of training on the performance and satisfaction of the employees at their workplaces, Manzoor (2011 p. 39) discovered that no matter how ‘automated an organization may be, high productivity depends on the level of motivation and the effectiveness of the workforce, so staff training is an indispensable strategy for motivating workers’. Increased sense of high job performance among the employees increases the confidence and sense of job security among the employees working in tough work environments.

Training and Increased Compensation

Training as an employee development strategy emboldens and inspires the achievement of other extrinsic motivators. One important motivator is a financial reward that comes through appropriate compensations. According to management experts, the most favorable and attractive extrinsic motivator in the employment realm is reasonable compensation and recognition through rewards. When employees attain better educational levels, better vocational training, and better professional development standards, they increase their chances of achieving financial rewards and other salary bonuses that make up the compensation strategies of the companies (Grugulis 2009).

Giving reasonable or sufficient compensation to the employees is the first indication of workplace motivation as most employees work towards fulfilling their financial obligations. In various studies concerning the factors that motivate employees in workplaces, researchers have discovered that sufficient or reasonable employee compensation acts as the most imperative reward that employers can offer to their employees as an appreciation for their commitments at work.

As the world continues to grapple with harsh economic downbeats, most of the employees feel safe and contented when they can manage to withstand the economic crunches and fulfill their daily physiological needs (Van Wart et al. 1993). When employee training is capable of offering a reasonable work achievement that further inspires and motivates work improvement and increased chances of better compensations, it offers an optimal solution to most of the socioeconomically tied factors of an employee. As Maslow’s theory postulates, human beings first consider fulfilling their physiological demands, which are nowadays achievable mostly through financial stability (Van Wart et al. 1993).

Such survival dynamics imply that monetary rewards make up the most important facet of employee motivation, and since training inspires and emboldens possibilities of increased financial achievements, it revamps every important motivational factor within the employment realm (Grugulis 2009). In addition to increased salaries and wages due to increased responsibilities and promotions, training inspires the achievement of bonuses and fringe benefits that further act as motivators for the employees.

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Training Emboldens Capacity Development

Employees have nowadays understood that employment does not only involve submission and obedience to the managers but also requires increased readiness and ability to work independently and under minimal suppressions (Grugulis 2009). Every employee would feel appreciated and involved when their opinions count towards corporate growth or when they have the freedom to make personal on-job decisions at the helm of their positions. Training employees act as an initiative that inspires capacity development and increased a sense of self-autonomy in the workplace, as trained employees have the capacity to make informed decisions even under strenuous conditions.

According to Grugulis (2009), capacity development in a workplace is the increased sense of self-independence and sovereignty among the employees. Workplace employee sovereignty comes when workers have the freedom of making autonomous decisions on critical workplace issues. Buckley and Caple (2009) state that employees feel motivated when effective training increases their abilities to be independent in making crucial work-related decisions.

When closely observed from a managerial perspective, the levels of work commitment and responsibilities in workplaces have increased as managers to continue to find ways of empowering more workers to manage multi-tasking to reduce labor turnover and high wage bills. Grugulis (2009) postulates that increased levels of capacity development mean that employees have the sovereign powers to execute various duties under minimal supervision from their employers. According to theory X and theory Y of Macgregor, most employees prefer less constraining leadership because minimal supervisions and reprimands make employees comfortable, satisfied, and motivated at their workplaces. Unnecessary pressures from the leaders make employees frustrated, hopeless, and dissatisfied with their work, especially when their leaders tend to exercise inordinate control or power on them (Grugulis 2009). When properly trained in major areas of corporate development, employees can make decisions that boost their work productivity and the welfare of their organizations, hence, creating motivation in their workplaces.

Training and Achievement of Goals and Objectives

In contemporary organizations, it should remain known that organizations have goals and objectives that propagate almost all the activities of the organizations. Such objectives make employees live and work with certain targets to make sure that the goals and objectives of their organizations become successful through the appropriate application of the required procedures (McGregor 1987. When put in the training and development programs, employees get the opportunities to learn important corporate management issues such as strategic management, succession planning, goal development and achievement, and proper planning for successful management (Grugulis 2009). What inspires employees most in their work commitments is their ability to maintain continued positive performance by ensuring that they have achieved most of their goals and objectives. Goal-oriented training creates continuous satisfaction and motivation because it rejuvenates the employees to work towards achieving their personal goals and the goals of the company through concerted efforts made through the training and development programs.

Research has revealed that the greatest focus of all modern companies is ensuring that their employees are having that sense of commitment towards achieving the goals and objectives of their organizations and their personal objectives that embolden the productivity of their companies. In his research on the manner in which training influences motivation through the achievement of goals, Manzoor (2011) explained that motivation symbolizes the psychological procedure that creates stimulation and determination and depicts the progression of moving and supporting goal-directed behavior. When employers motivate their employees to achieve the goals and objectives of the company, they inspire them to have a sense of high achievement because objectiveness means to focus on corporate success. Employees feel hopeful and empowered when they know they have achieved the goals of their organizations as expected and after discovering that the employers are supporting them to understand goal planning and achievement through the training initiatives.

Training is a Supportive Element among Workers

Workers feel tired and dissatisfied with their workplace conditions whenever their employers fail to provide them with the appropriate training in their daily professional commitments (McGregor 1987). Training is an important motivational element as conferences, seminars, workshops, and daily supportive training initiatives act as empowerment facets for the employees. Training helps managers to understand the weaknesses of the employees in various employment responsibilities, design supportive programs, and formulate means of reassigning and redistributing tiresome and demanding tasks (Van Wart et al. 1993).

Apart from gaining knowledge and capabilities in handling various work commitments, training programs offer employees with opportunities to acquire new ideas, inventive techniques, and progressive ideas that help them to emerge with strategic options of dealing with responsibilities and challenges at their workplaces. According to Grugulis (2009), supporting employees in their training provides an empowerment opportunity for efficient working and achievement of certain goals at their workplaces, as it helps managers to acquire supportive ideas and disseminate them to the workforce.

Workforce training has an element of career development and employee support as it offers employees an opportunity to interact with experts who can help them to develop positive attitudes towards their highly committing jobs. According to Buckley and Caple (2009), workplaces where employers effectively support and value the training experience better employee commitment. In the 1950s and 1960s, a US clinical psychologist Fredrick Herzberg came up with the hygiene theory of motivation in which he believed in certain job characteristics that cause significant satisfactions and some dissatisfaction. In his view of employee motivation, Fredrick Herzberg postulated that employee satisfaction factors include achievement, recognition, work environment, responsibility, advancement, and growth. According to Fredrick, employee satisfaction involves factors that promote advancement and growth, and that training employees to offer optimal performances acts as a strategic motivational factor (Zafar et al. 2014). When employees achieve the goals of the company with minimal strain, they become rejuvenated and motivated to continue offering their services.

Conclusion

In conclusion, from a critical assessment of the manner in which training appears to influence motivation in workers, it is theoretically and practically evident that the practice of training offers extensive motivation opportunities to the employees. This factor comes primarily because training acts as a catalyzing factor that intensifies chances of achieving or accessing other workplace motivators. Research shows that there are intrinsic motivators that come due to training and extrinsic motivators that come after training. In this sense, training is a motivator that motivates the achievement of other motivators such as on-job promotions, increased capacity development, knowledge acquisition, professional development, increased job performance, and increased compensation. Among other unmentioned aspects, training also increased the chances of having a supportive work environment and goal-oriented management, which are two important factors that inspire and motivate employees. From the theoretical and empirical assessments of this report, training overrides all the motivators, as it catalyzes the achievement of all of them.

Reference List

Buckley, R & Caple, J 2009, The Theory and Practice of Training, 6th edn, Kogan Page, London.

Grugulis, I 2009, ‘Training and Development’, in T Redman & A Wilkinson (eds), Contemporary Human Resource Management: Text and Cases, Harlow, Pearson Education, pp. 117-137.

Manzoor, Q 2011, ‘Impact of Employees Motivation on Organizational Effectiveness’, European Journal of Business and Management, vol. 3, no. 3, pp. 36-44.

McGregor, D 1987, The Human Side of Enterprise, Penguin Books, New Hampshire.

Van Wart, M, Cayer, N & Cork, S 1993, Handbook of Training and Development for the Public Sector, Jossey-Bass, San Francisco.

Zafar, N, Ishaq, S, Shoukat, S & Rizwan, M 2014, ‘Determinants of Employee Motivation and its impact on Knowledge Transfer and Job Satisfaction’, International Journal of Human Resource Studies, vol. 4, no. 3, pp. 50-69.

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