• A person could be being treated fairly, and be seen by coworkers as being treated fairly, but if a person does not think he or she is being treated fairly, then that person’s motivation most likely will be low.The reverse is also true.Unfair treatment will not affect motivation if it is not seen as unfair treatment.One obvious implication is that there will be times that, no matter how fairly a manager treats someone, the employee might not see the manager as being fair.In the workplace you often can determine who perceives their situation as unfair from their words and actions.Inputs vary from person to person.Do you think you bring a good, relevant education to the workplace?Useful experiences, skills, or knowledge?A strong work ethic?The ability to learn quickly?What are the qualities that you think you bring to the workplace which make you a valuable employee?Likewise, the outcomes we desire will vary.Some outcomes will be extrinsic, such as fair pay, job security, an opportunity for advancement, or a pleasant work environment.Others will be intrinsic, such as job satisfaction, recognition for a job well done, a feeling of accomplishment, or personally meaningful work.Regardless of whether we are aware of it, we compare ourselves with other people.A person with whom we compare ourselves is what Adams called a referent. As the social psychologist Leon Festinger described many years ago, we are social animals who by our very nature are continually comparing ourselves with others.8 We observe others and compare this information with ourselves.In the workplace your referent could be a coworker or coworkers, a friend, family member, or even yourself as you recall your work and rewards in a previous job.We go through life comparing our inputs and outcomes with our referent’s inputs and outcomes.If they do not match up well, then it can affect motivation.Chris thought that he brought a lot of experience to his job in marketing, at least as compared with Evan, who had the same job.Chris worked hard, worked smart, and got results.He enjoyed the work.Even though his supervisor thought he was a good worker, Chris did not get the recognition he thought he deserved, especially as compared with Evan.Seeing Evan promoted was too much for Chris to handle.Fed up with the unfairness of it all, he resigned and took a marketing position elsewhere.For most of us, when we compare our inputs and outcomes with others, if the scale is not even, we are less motivated.Chris saw himself having high input with [low](https://gitee.com/uk_b6a6/sync/wikis/Nursery Management Systems) outcomes whereas he perceived Evan has having low input and high outcomes.Chris’s perceived input/outcome ratio does not match up well with Chris’s perception of Evan’s input/outcome ratio.This perceived difference creates psychological tension that, over time, we try to resolve.Chris resolved this tension by leaving the company, but there are other ways to do so.One method is to play mental games with ourselves, change how we view things.I guess I really did not do as good a job as I thought I was doing. That promotion just wasn’t that big a deal. Or we might change our input, such as getting more education or working harder.Or we even might change the outcome.Mario was hired into a company along with two other employees who had similar positions.After a year, the other two new hires received pay increases and the company then hired three more people.Two years after Mario was hired, all five of the other employees got a pay raise.Mario figured he just had to work harder.Three years after Mario had been hired, the other five employees received yet another pay increase.Mario had had enough.He scheduled a meeting with his supervisor.I’ve been here three years.The people hired when I was hired have received three pay increases.Even the people hired after me have received pay increases.My work is just as good as any of them and I have never received a pay increase, Mario stated.You have never asked for one, his supervisor replied.I have wondered what took Mario so long, but such things do happen.There is another way to resolve the tension from inequity that I think has wide application for our lives.Change your referent.You can use comparisons with referents to elevate your performance or strengthen your resolve.But you also can make your life miserable by comparing yourself or your life with the wrong referent or referents.I received my doctorate at Purdue University.My fellow graduates have gone on to distinguished careers at research universities, as endowed chairs, in leadership positions of major professional organizations, and have successfully climbed the corporate ladder to financial riches.Had these been my pursuits and had I fallen short, having chosen these referents I would have regrets and be less satisfied with my life.But they are not my referents.I love what I do and my academic home.Think about your referents.Some will change over time.Who are you comparing yourself to in the workplace?How does that affect your behaviors?Identifying your referents and evaluating your choice of those referents could be beneficial.When you believe that your effort will get the job done satisfactorily and lead to outcomes you desire, you are more likely to be motivated.This might seem like a straightforward statement but it actually is packed with implications for understanding your motivation and that of others.It is especially useful in evaluating the effectiveness of managers.M = E × I × VHere, M is motivation, E is expectancy, I is instrumentality, and V is valence.If either expectancy, instrumentality, or valence is low, then motivation will be low.Expectancy is about how you see the relationship between your effort and your performance.Conversely, you might think that, no matter how hard you try, you will never be able to get the job done well enough to meet your organization’s stated requirements or satisfy your boss.Latanya was frustrated.It took her forever to get a job in a call center and now she wasn’t measuring up.Her boss told her that her quality ratings were good but she was taking too long with each customer.The call center expected each agent to answer ten calls per hour.Usually it took her ten minutes to resolve an issue for a customer.On her best day, Latanya handled only seven calls per hour.Latanya’s boss offered her another week of training.She agreed but she seriously doubted that she would ever be able to average ten calls per hour.Latanya’s boss clearly identified the level of performance expected.When Latanya did not meet the standard, he got her additional training.He was trying to help her succeed.But Latanya did not think she could do it.There are numerous reasons why you might have low expectancy.Maybe the level of performance is just too high.Perhaps you do not have the necessary training or skills.It might be work for which you do not have the aptitude.In high school I was hired to work in a television repair shop.I only lasted a few months at the job.While studying at the United States Air Force Academy, I was required to take a couple courses in electrical engineering, double E. My expectancy was low, and so were my grades.Good managers let you know what level of performance is required.They give you feedback and tell you whether you are meeting that level.If not, the better managers will try to help you attain that level of performance.Instrumentality is how you perceive the relationship between your level of performance and some outcome that you desire.Do you think that your level of performance will be instrumental in helping you attain the outcome you want?Ashley rose to the top of middle management at her company, an international enterprise.By all measures her career was a success.Her performance continued to be outstanding but she felt her opportunities were limited.Ashley wanted to demonstrate her leadership at a higher level, to move to senior management.But Ashley did not think this could happen.Her company had never had a woman as a senior manager.Those positions went to members of the old boy network.She was looking at the glass ceiling.Ashley had reached a point in her career at which her instrumentality was low, and hence her motivation was not what it had once been.Her chain of command either did not understand what Ashley wanted or they were not willing to make that outcome happen.In reality, most of us will have a variety of outcomes we desire from our jobs, not just one.There are two important implications for managers here.First, managers should make clear the link between performance and outcomes.Second, managers, whenever possible, should know their direct reports well enough to have some idea what they really want.My consulting experience and my graduate students from corporate America suggest that it is in this part of expectancy theory that managers need to improve.We really do not do a good job showing how performance leads to rewards, especially ones people want. My opinion is that managers who buy into these two points and execute them through their actions potentially will be more successful.A manager cannot always deliver on what an employee might want, such as a promotion or better office, but the act of trying can make a difference to the employee.The more powerful the supervisor, the more likely the desired outcome can be achieved.These two points served me very well in my years as a manager.I talked with my direct reports.Then I made clear the level of performance I expected, and that if workers gave me that level of performance, I would do my best to help them achieve that which they desired.Valence is how much an employee values or desires the outcome or outcomes associated with their level of performance.In some occupations, job security might be sufficient, highly valued, or a steady paycheck.Support in obtaining more education had a high valence.My experience as a manager is that you have to know your employees well enough to know their desired outcomes.Tomas loved playing softball.He was very well respected as a player on church and community teams and was noticed by the Hawks, the top amateur team in the city.The Hawks asked him to join their team, a significant honor in local softball circles.To get to the Hawks’ practices on Thursdays, Tomas would need to leave an hour early from his job.Tomas thought about the offer, how much he would love to play with the Hawks, and he found the courage to approach his boss.Sir, you know how much I like playing softball.I just got an offer to play with the Hawks.They are by far the best team in the city.Tomas, good for you.I know that will be a lot of fun.Sir, there is a problem though.They have to practice early on Thursdays.Has to do with the field being available.How early?Well, to get there in time for practice, I’d need to leave here about an hour early.Tomas’s boss thought for a moment.Tomas, you are a fine employee.I suggest we give it a try and see how it works.Tomas was very appreciative.He did great work for his boss and their organization.For the Hawks, at the end of the season Tomas was their Most Valuable Player.His boss understood this and was able to make it happen.Tomas’s motivation was outstanding as was his work.No coworkers complained.They knew the boss tried to help them individually achieve the rewards each desired.Does your manager know what you want from the workplace?What your coworkers want?This idiographic or individual nature of rewards can be lost easily.Because the office has done well, everyone gets tickets to a local professional baseball team.

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