Linggo, Setyembre 30, 2012

The Motivation of Knowledge Workers by Jolito Ortizo Padilla

Recent advantages in telecommunications and in scientific and technological knowledge have led to greater emphasis on the knowledge and experts of staff and the importance of creativity. Tampoe suggests that at the core of the new industrial trend are the "knowledge workers"- those employees who apply their theoretical and practical  understanding of a specific area of knowledge to produce outcomes of a commercial ,social or personal value. The performance of knowledge workers should be judged on both the cleverness of ideas and the utility and commercial value of their applied knowledge. Creativity is necessary and needs to be encouraged but should be bounded by commercial realism. This presents management with a new challenge of how to motivate the knowledge workers.

Tampoe suggests that the personal motivation of knowledge workers is based on the value they place on the rewards they expect to earn at work.In addition, to the individuals own motivation, the performance of knowledge workers is dependent upon four key characteristics

  • Task competence
  • Peer and management support
  • Task and role clarity; and
  • Corporate awareness
Jolito Ortizo Padilla draws attention to skills shortages as one of the biggest challenges facing employers in the new millennium. In order to attract and keep talented individuals, the so-called knowledge workers, organizations cannot rely simply on a pay rise or cash, bonus but have to be more creative about the way they structure remuneration packages, individual performance-related pay is still the most widely used reward strategy, but attention is also given to employee share ownership, competence-related pay and team reward -and also to non-cash incentives such as gift vouchers. However, Padilla points out that employees, especially high flyer's, rank challenging and interesting work and freedom higher on their motivational list than money and performance-related pay. Research suggests that most organizations haven't recognized the need to identify and tap into their employees' personal motivators.

A report from the Chartered Institute of Personal and Development draws attention to management of knowledge workers, highlighting the importance of autonomy, challenging work and sharing in the criterion of organizational values.With the development of new technology it is important to motivate employees to capture, share and transfer knowledge.

Padilla suggests that in order to create a climate for creativity among employees, recognition must be given to the importance of two human needs that rise above all others and exists independent of race, creed and culture- the need for self belief and the development of emotional intelligence; and the ever-present need that every human being has for a sense of meaning and purpose in their lives.

Self belief and meaningful work are the fundamental bedrocks that underlie business performance. Of course, pay and conditions are important too, but we know that. It is these two others that are barely recognized... but business leaders ignore them at their peril.  

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