Part A 1. Evaluate three (3) factors that influence employee motivation and provide one (1) original example of each. 2. Compare and contrast three (3) motivation theories, choose one...

Part A

1. Evaluate three (3) factors that influence employee motivation and provide one (1) original example of each.
2. Compare and contrast three (3) motivation theories, choose one to support and defend, and provide one (1) original example that illustrates each.
Part B

Julie will be adopting a child in December and needs to take 10 weeks off to complete the process and bond with the baby.  Julie works full time and has worked for her current employer (which has over 75 employees at its one location) for four years.

Steven is having knee surgery next week and will be off for six weeks.  He is full time and has worked for his employer, which has almost 30 employees, for 7 months.  

1. Provide a brief explanation of the FMLA law and appraise this law.
2. Which of these individuals is eligible for Family & Medical Leave Act (FMLA) leave?  Provide two (2) supporting facts to justify your position. Share your opinion about why you have made your decision with elaborations and evaluate the issue of fairness.
Expert Answers
thetall eNotes educator| Certified Educator

Part A

Factors influencing employee motivation include:

  • Working in a field that matches their interest
  • Recognition for their achievements
  • Good working conditions

An employee would be highly motivated if they were engaged in assignments that interest them. For example, an individual interested in game development working for a gaming company would be motivated because they are working in a field they are passionate about.

People also naturally appreciate recognition for their achievements and exemplary performance. It is not enough to pay the employees well without recognizing their achievements. By according them the deserved recognition, the employees will reciprocate by offering their best at the work place. For example, if an employee is recognized for their good performance on a particular day, they will likely arrive the next day looking forward to doing better that the previous day.

Employees also perform best when working under good conditions. For example, an employee offered all the required safety items to perform their job will be motivated in performing their tasks, as compared to employees who know the company does not consider their safety.

In summary, motivation theories include:

Expectancy motivation theory, this theory suggests that the employee believes more effort on their part would translate to better performance and rewards.

Equity theory, this theory suggests that the employee is not only motivated by good pay and working conditions but also fair treatment. For instance, if an employee believes they are responsible for a particular achievement but their colleague is recognized for the job instead, they will likely feel unappreciated.

Job characteristics theory, this theory suggests that the employee will be motivated depending on the nature of the job considering the responsibilities, impact and challenges of the tasks. (Your Coach)

The three theories are different because: expectancy motivation theory is based on personal employee dynamics to influence motivation, equity theory is based on the relationship between the employee and colleagues and how they are viewed and handled by their overall supervisor, while the job characteristics theory is based on the job and tasks assigned to the employee.

Part B

The Family and Medical Leave Act (FMLA), entitles and protects employees of covered employers with regards to situations where the employee needs to take leave to attend to serious family obligations or medical conditions. The Act also outlines the type of employer covered and specific conditions that entitle the employee to the stipulated protection.

The Act is important as it maintains cordial relations between the employer and employee as stipulated by the law. It protects both the employer and employee by outlining the specific conditions that necessitate the unpaid leave and the procedures to be followed.

Julie is eligible under the FMLA but Steve is not eligible. This is because Julie’s employer is covered under the Act as the total number of employees is over 75. The minimum number of employees is set at 50 for the company to be considered covered under the Act. She has also worked for over 12 months in the company, which is the required time for an employee to be considered eligible under the FMLA. However, regardless of Steve’s ineligibility under FMLA, the employer will be required to consider the knee procedure. This is because most if not all jobs require movement from one point to another and thus it is unreasonable to expect Steve to continue with normal operations after such a procedure. In this regard, both employees are eligible for leave. (FMLA)

Noelle Thompson eNotes educator| Certified Educator

Please realize that, as an eNotes Educator, I could write a master degree thesis on your "Part A, Question 1."  You have certainly revealed your professor’s assignment quite well, but eNotes employees are not able to do assignments for you.  As a result, I have taken out the assignment specifications and simply left the questions you would like answered.  Perhaps another eNotes Educator will try some of the later detailed questions for you.

That being said, employee motivation is a many faceted query.  Many times motivation is tied directly to the type of employment.  However, I will comment on the three most common employee motivation types mentioned in business literature.

One of the main motivating factors for employees is the ability to increase or make more money, instead of maintaining a stagnant salary.  For example, when the state government employs workers, they are placed in a pay grade. This pay grade has a minimum and maximum amount the employee may earn.  Regular raises increase the salary, motivating the worker, until the next motivating factor arises, such as a promotion to another pay grade level.  One of our eNotes educators says it this way (the link is below):

If salaries are frozen and no pay increases are possible, it tends to discourage an employee from going above and beyond the minimum expectations of the worker.  (As a student, think about how you would respond if the highest grade you could get in a class was C.)

This leads to a second motivating factor which is the ability for the employee to grow professionally.  Are there areas in which the employee has the ability to increase their job satisfaction through promotions?  When one hits the ceiling of growth in a profession, motivation may decrease.  However, this may also lead to the Peter Principle in which employees are promoted to their level of incompetence.

A third motivating force in the workplace is employee validation.  Does the employee see themselves as an important, integral part of the organization?  Do the employers provide incentives and validate the individuals through understanding the pressures put on employees by the need for sick leave and vacation?  Loyalty to a company is a highly motivating factor in workers.