Before we go in to look at the Expectancy theory and the Equity theory in detail, it is thus vital to understand what ‘process theories’ are in the first place, as the Expectancy theory and the Equity theory are both process theories. Hence so in general, the process theories are basically concerned with how the people think and behave to get what they want. To say, these theories do go to explain how the employees/people are motivated thus focussing on the process by which motivation occurs. In other words, it could also be said that these theories explain why the employees behave the way they do. However, the process theories do help the managers to basically understand, predict and influence employee performance, job satisfaction and other outcomes paving way to help motivate the employees.Having said that, let us now look at each of the two theories seperately in order to better understand the two and their contributions to help motivate employees.
Vroom’s Expectancy Theory
The Expectancy theory is a process theory developed by Victor Vroom. Unlike the other content theories which focuses on the needs of the individuals in order to motivate human/employees, this theory basically concentrates on the outcomes. What Vroom explained in his theory is that fact that in order to motivate employees/ people the effort put in by the employees, the performance generated and motivation must be linked to one another. In other words Vroom basically proposed three variables which in turn was vital to motivate employees. They are basically,
Having said that, Expectancy is the believe that increased effort will basically lead to increased performance. In other words, the more the effort put in, the more the performance will be. For example, an employee assumes that if he works harder the better the performance will be. But believing that increased effort will lead to increased performance is mainly influenced by factors such as having the right amount of resources available, having the right skills to carry out the job and the necessary support of the supervisor etc. Without these, it is unlikely that expectancy could be achieved.
Likewise, Instrumentality is the believe that if you perform well in a task then the outcome is going to be good. In other words, a valued outcome is received the more you perform the task well. At the same time, instrumentality is also influenced by factors such as having a clear understanding of the relationship between performance and outcome and trusting the people who will basically decide on the who gets what outcome.
Valence on the other hand is basically the importance that the individuals place on the expected outcome. In other words, meaning to say that how do the employees take the outcomes offered to them for their task performance. For example, an employee may be motivated by recognition. If so the case, then the employee may not value a rise in pay because it is not the most important to him. At times, they may even go to reduce the effort they put in according to how they value the outcomes received.
Having said that, the employees in an organization will only be motivated if they tend to believe that,
• By putting in more effort will lead to better performance.
• Better job performance will lead to better rewards such as better salaries, benefits etc.
• And the predicted organizational rewards are valued by the employee.
By any chance if the employees happen to believe that any one of the above are not true, then Vroom states that the employees are unlikely to be motivated. In other words, meaning to say that in order to motivate the employees all of above three have to be achieved by the organization.
Adam’s Equity Theory
The Equity theory developed by Adam in 1963 is based on the idea that employees basically expects a fair balance between their inputs and outputs. In other words, what exactly means by is that the employees are likely to be de-motivated both in relation to their employer and the job if they happen to believe that their inputs ( effort, loyalty, hard work, commitment, ability, adaptability, tolerance, flexibility, skills etc) are greater than their outputs( salary, benefit, recognition, reputation, responsibility, sense of achievement, sense of advancement/growth, job security, praise etc).
The employees usually compare themselves with the other employees who are likely to put in similar inputs as they do and the outputs they receive. Meaning to say that, an employee will basically compare himself/ herself with another employee in order to find out whether he/she has been treated fairly. However, this actually does not mean that all employees have to be treated the same way and given exactly what is being to the other employees. This is because all employees are not motivated by the same outputs expected by the other employees. For example, a newly working mother may look for something like flexible hours more than an in crease in pay.
However, even though employees may seek for a balance between their inputs and outputs it is not always possible to measure the inputs and out puts of the employees and provide them with the correct balance . But still it is possible to give a similar output for the inputs of the employee in order to have a fair balance between the two. Having said that, in order to motivate the employees to higher levels and which eventually lead to enhance the performance, it is thus important to try and give a fair outcome for the inputs of the employees. In order to do so, the managers must understand the employees better of what are they aiming for and try and give them the best possible out come according to what they expect.
Finally, it should be said that both the Expectancy theory and the Equity theory do provide the managers with an insight of how to motivate the employees not by concentrating on the needs of the employees but rather the outcomes. In other means, the managers basically get to understand what exactly have to be done or the actions taken when it comes to motivating employees, by way of outcomes. To say, when it comes to the expectancy theory this theory highlights the fact that in order to motivate the employees the managers should basically tie the rewards to performance. In other means, the employees need to be rewarded according to how they perform meaning to say that the better they perform the better the rewards should be. In spite of that the manager should also ensure that the rewards given to the employees are deserved and wanted by the employees. Not only that , but the managers should also conduct training programs which will eventually improve the capabilities of the employees while making them to understand that the more the effort the better the performance will be. Like wise, the equity theory also goes on to say that if the employees are to be motivated then it is time for the managers to try and provide the employees with rewards that are very much equal to their inputs as far as possible.
Original Author : Shameena Silva
Courtesy : www.articlebase.com