Frederick Herzberg’s conception of ‘job enrichment’ also indicates the psychological foundations of pay. Herzberg believed that there are key motivators for work. They are achievement, recognition, responsibility, advancement, growth in competence and work itself. (Hume, 1995) Though these motivators sound quite abstract, one easily associate pay with each of these concepts.
Hence, it is fairly obvious that while pay plays an important role in the employment relationship, “it is not the be all and end all in all circumstances to everyone”. (Is Pay a Motivator?, p.6) For HRM practitioners, it is essential to “consider how much evidence there is that pay and rewards motivate people in similar jobs, organisations and cultures, what other factors are as important in motivating people and which methods provide an effective and efficient rewards system.” (Is Pay a Motivator?, p.6)
In order to translate the findings of motivation theory into effective practice, HRM professionals can adopt a number of proven methods of motivation. These include scientific management, ergonomics, work design, performance appraisal, etc. Scientific management of work involves answering this basic question – ‘What is the best way to do a job?’ and then proceeding to systematically design the work flow, schedule, allocation, streamlining team dynamics, etc. The implementation of scientific management will be a cost to the company, which is a cost borne on behalf of employees. Hence, the cost is an implicit form of payment to the employee.
Likewise, the HR team can ergonomically arrange the work environment so as to maximise productivity. By creating an environment with adequate and ideal heating, lighting, ventilation, rest breaks, work station and shift patterns for employees, the HRM department is indirectly incentivizing employee performance. Work Design is an allied method of motivating employees, whereby principles of job rotation, job enlargement and job enrichment work hand in hand to enhance the employees’ perception of work and consequently their satisfaction. Finally, performance appraisal and remuneration are more direct ways of motivating employees. This is achieved by way of interactive feedback between managers and workers and by quantitatively linking pay to performance.
Foundations of Pay, Is Pay a Motivator?, Department of Human Resources, University of Strathclyde Business School.
Hume, D. (1995), Reward Management: Employee Performance, Motivation and Pay. Oxford, Blackwell Publishers.