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Motivation Techniques at Microsoft

Motivation Techniques at Microsoft

With more than 4,000 of its 27,000 employees already millionaires, Microsoft faces the challenge of figuring out how to motivating its employees though means other than pay raises. While this problem is not unique to Microsoft, the circumstances under which this problem evolved however, are. As a company that must caters to the needs of the 'professional' worker, Microsoft's motivational strategy should center around recognition of individual employee achievements, the work itself, responsibility, growth, and other characteristics that people find intrinsically rewarding. By simple virtue of its position as a high-tech company - where highly trained, highly skilled 'professional' workers account for the vast majority of its employees - under normal circumstances money factors would play only limited role in actually motivating employees.

As a company composed of 'paper millionaires,' Microsoft is in a unique position - while many Microsoft employees may be labeled 'professional' employees, the company's financial position will play a special interest to many of its employees. As Microsoft stock-holders, the average Microsoft millionaire (the so called paper millionaire') has a vested interest in helping the company succeed and advance its financial position. This is true because the stockholder will directly correlate the amount of money they earn with the perceived worth to the organization. Driven by the idea that their financial success or failures are directly related to the performance (as well as public image) of the company, these employees will work with great vigor to maintain the success of their company. Until their financial position no longer depends on the company's stock performance - that is, until theses employees sell their stock and secure their fortunes - the Microsoft millionaires will likely view themselves as masters of their own destiny. Hard work, they are likely to reason, will translate into better company performance which in turn, will translate into steady (if not increasing) stock performance.

Clearly, money plays an important role in motivating job performance. But as mentioned earlier, money has its limitations as a motivator, especially in the world of the 'professional' worker. In the work of management theorist Frederick Herzberg, a fair salary is considered a "hygiene" factor - something people need as an incentive to do the jobs they are hired to do. Hygiene factors include adequate workspace, light and heat, and the necessary tools such as a computer or telephone. Without any of these items, employees will be demotivated and...

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Category:   Company Profiles

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