A typical individual goes to the workplace for one or both of two core reasons. The first one is to earn a livelihood and second, because work gives meaning to a human life. Animals ‘work’ to earn a livelihood. Humans also have that requirement. But humans have depth in their being. They can imagine, create, plan and strategise consciously to set and achieve a target, introspect and contemplate, possess a complex and evolved brain through which they can speak a language, comprehend mathematics, do poetry and sketching and much more. Doing all or some of this shifts a generic being from the common animal kingdom, a human being.

But it is appalling to see the same human beings with a potential to do so much having to be disciplined to come to the workplace on time. Whether it is the time check in the attendance register or the new biometric thumb print attendance mechanism, it has become essential to take note of the timings of the employee reporting to the office because people tend to come late when such mechanisms or reporting systems are not in place.

How animalistic. But then who’s fault is that? I hope you are not blaming the organisation. It is obviously an extra work, pain and cost for organisation too, to manage all of this in addition to then ‘motivate’the long faced’ cribbing employees having being punished (salary cuts or whatever or even being scolded by the boss) for a stupid thing like coming late.

An individual who doesn’t want to come to the office on time and has to be pushed through the fear of punishments through such tracking will seldom be a motivated employee. The fact that he doesn’t come to office on time or craves for holidays or weekends and finds ways to escape the workplace through regular tea breaks during the day is a sure sign that this employee will always have to be pushed to work. There is a huge cost to be incurred by the organisation to push such employees through rewards (mostly extrinsic) or punishments.

Many a research has proven that intrinsic rewards do better to keep the employee motivated than extrinsic rewards. As per the concept of the psychological contract, if the organisation is remunerating the employee fairly and on time and providing suitable work conditions, the employee is ethically supposed to provide his one hundred percent commitment and effort towards work and workplace discipline.

Self actualisation is one trait which takes care of this. Self actualisation, as proposed by Abraham Maslow as part of his Hierarchy of Needs Theory of motivation opines that an individual should use his full potential towards whatever he does and should not leave any stone unturned. But for some reason, this is highly absent in an average employee. The definition of self-actualisation is much wider in essence but the basic idea is that one should know his strength and should want to use it to the maximum effect.

Leadership here has to play a major role in activating the self actualising ability in the employees. Self-actualisation is a natural feature in a human being, a ‘factory setting app’, it just needs to be brought out and applied – doesn’t need to be downloaded from some ‘play store’. Every leader has to first ensure that he activates this essential part within an employee through counselling and other methods including being a role model.

With this being done, the employee can be expected to be self motivated (intrinsic motivation) and organisation will have a more efficient human resources management system in place. The manager will have to be trained to be applying the ability of self-actualisation within himself and being a role model to the team on the said parameter and lead by example.

One way of doing it is by understanding the need of the employee and creating a synergy between his needs and the organisation’s needs. This is not an easy task and that is the reason managements must invest much of their energy into creating, upgrading and upholding very mature leadership in its hierarchical ladder. A good team leader, if, is able to make an employee understand the importance of his work and profile to his personal life will create self-actualised employees on whom no unnecessary effort will have to be invested or wasted to keep them motivated.

Self motivated employees is the key for a healthy workplace and organic growth in an organisation. How to nurture them is all that a sound management who wants to exist for decades or even more, must learn.

Categories: Workplace


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