Part I – “People are our greatest Asset” – Human Capital Management

Part I – “People are our greatest Asset” – Human Capital Management

What motivate you may not motivate your subordinate

Hence it’s important to identify what motivates an employee before deciding on an action of How to motivate an employee. This applies not only in organizations but in our day to day lives. What motivates me to write this article differ from the reader’s expectations. While appreciating the feedback given by many readers on  the previous articles, some readers felt the need to focus on practice. Let me try to balance both aspects going forward.

The important of theory or empirical research findings acts as a guideline in interpreting the data you have collected via surveys on employee satisfaction, employee engagement, climate surveys etc .

When I presented the findings of motivation of key employees to the board of directors in a fast growing group of companies last week, the board appreciated the importance of theory used in developing Individual Development Plans (IDPs) for their core team members. Today I am motivated, when I see the busy executives now reading books, articles, browsing knowledge data bases to keep them up to date with global changes happening in the business environment and the relevant theories

The commonly used motivational theories can be categorized as

  • Content Theories (What?)
  1. a) Maslow’s Needs Hierarchy Theory
  2. b) Herzberg’s Two Factor Theory
  3. c) McClelland’s Three Needs Theory
  4. d) Alderfer’s ERG Theory

    2)  Process Theories (How motivation occur?)

  1. a) Porter and Lawler Motivational Theory
  2. b) Expectancy Theory
  3. c) Equity Theory
  4. d) Reinforcement Theory
  5. e) Goal-Setting Theory

The Model below show the link between various integrated contemporary theories of motivation to Individual performance leading to individual goal achievements. As per the diagram a combination of motivation theories are used to assess the individual efforts, leading towards achieving the personal goals.

If you are to treat employees as Assets, you need to constantly maintained the asset related attributes of employees (Knowledge, Skills and diverse experience), if not will depreciate faster than a physical asset, which may lead to write off from the organization (i.e. Dead Woods) as well as from your book of accounts. Hence we need to identify the value people can bring into the organization.

How many times have you asked yourself, am I adding value to the organization, or self, in return for the investment the company has made on behalf of me?

The more diverse your knowledge, skills and the experience coupled with positive attitude leads you to be identified as a high value employee .i.e. a STAR?

One of the major challenges faced by HR professional today is to sustain the motivation level of a STAR? (High value in terms of potential and performance). Some companies get carried away with giving more trainings or financial incentives to STAR employees to see that they are either being pouched by your competitors or leaving the organization.

The best way to sustain motivation of a STAR employee is via Executive Coaching. In the next edition let’s discuss on impact of executive coaching.

About the writer

Mahesh Jayasinghe
PhD(Reading OUM), MBA (Col), BSc (Col), ACMA (U.K), CP (U.S.A)

( Management Consultant, Certified Executive Coach & Coach Practitioner , Corporate Trainer ,Lecturer Motivational Speaker  & Company Director, Forward your comments to

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