Colin Barry

Motivating Employees/Jielang Phone Home (BSSE, Monday, Week 11)


Cliffs Notes: Maslow is wrong; everyone grasps for actualization.

The things that make people satisfied with their jobs (motivation) are different in kind from the things that make people dissatisfied with their jobs (hygiene).

Job security, good salary, fringe benefits, pleasant boss = hygiene => lack of dissatisfaction
But more salary doesn't make people more excited about their job.
Accountability, new tasks, feedback on performance = motivation/actualization => satisfaction

Takeaway from Chinese manufacturing plant (variant on Foxconn):
Formal ecosystems can emerge that are very different from what upper-level management intends. Huge division between direct and indirect labor, serious barriers to bottom-up improvement => NOT ideal for a self-professed lean manufacturing facility.

KITA (Kick in the Ass) inspires movement, not motivation. Even positive reinforcement (incentive compensation) only inspires movement.

Why do Chinese assembly line workers with tenuous, incredibly desirable jobs break the SOP to increase plant efficiency? They realize no material reward, and they'll be fired if they're discovered.
Answer: Everyone wants self-actualization. Even if their physiological and security needs are not met...