Understanding of Expectancy Theory by Victor Bloom

The expectancy theory by Victor Bloom is based on the believe that organizational employees act in a certain way based on the strength of an outcome and how attractive the outcome is to the individual. The theory contains three main relationships and when all three are maintained the desired behavior from the employee will be achieved. These three relationships are effort-performance (Expectant probability), performance-reward (Instrumentality probability) and rewards-personal goals (Valence).
In the effort-performance relationship or expectancy the employee must believe that if they perform in a certain manner that they will indeed increase their performance and thus make goals obtainable. In order for the employee to actually believe that increase effort will lead to increase performance they must believe that the process is valid, that they have the tools and resources to achieve the goal and that the goal is meaningful. The goal can’t be without merit based on their knowledge of the job and their past experiences.
The performance-reward relationship or instrumentality hinges of the belief that if the employee does work harder and does meet the performance goal that they will receive a reward or a greater reward compared to others. The employee again needs to have trust in the reward system and the people who manage the processes and reward systems. The reward process should be transparent and fair. The rewards-personal relationship or valence is the value that the employee sees in obtaining the goals. This will be variable because different things motivate people.

Paid time off motivate some, bonuses and or pay raises motivate others. Some employees simply are satisfied with being recognized and others seek promotion. The key element to the rewards-personal relationship is not that the employee is satisfied but the satisfactions meet their expectant level of satisfaction. (Expectancy Theory of Motivation, 2012) In the task’s given scenario there is plenty of evidence that the employees have little confidence in the thought of working hard and producing more has any positive affect on them. This is an excellent scenario to apply the expectancy theory.
Based on the interviews of supervisor A’s employee by supervisor B’s supervisor there is lack of trust that work is rewarded at all, fairly, and the current reward system is not worth the trouble. The statement that the bonuses are not enough to make a difference in their pay after deductions and the statements that you have to be way underperforming to have a negative effect on your pay and over performance has no positive effect on pay confirm this. These opinions are obviously based on past experience of working with the audio product company.
Supervisor A obviously must have the same attitudes as the people he supervises being that his group is underperforming and supervisor B is the person concerned and asking the questions on how to better the situation. There is also a statement that some employees believed they did not have the dexterity to perform the new process undermining the confidence in the new program. The company needs to do several things utilizing the expectancy theory. First there needs to be confidence in the new program that it is meaningful and the goals are obtainable.
First for the employees with the issue of dexterity, there needs to be some education and assistance provided to those employees to evaluate what they can do to make it easier to perform the job. Maybe additional tools or resources are necessary. This education and assistance could even be provided by the employees that are doing well and excelling in the new process. The company should set common individual and team goals. The individual goals would motivate the employees and the team goals should motivate the supervisors. These goals need to be obtainable and enough of a challenge that the employee feels accomplishment when they meet them.
There also should be regular feedback about their performance. This addresses the expectancy part of the theory that if they work harder that it will increase their performance. Then to gain interest in the rewards, there needs to be an overhaul of the reward system itself. There needs to be variety in the rewards. A poll could be taken of the employees and ask them what would be fair rewards for met goals. The employer could take the majority opinion of the poll and offer the result as a reward or offer options of rewards either by individuals or by group.
The rewards must be of value to the employee that is the bottom line. The company needs to have transparency in the new goal and reward program. That will make sure there is confidence and fairness in the reward program. Employees must see that the achievers are being rewarded while the underachievers are not. This tangible difference must be known and visible to reinforce that things are now different and effort is awarded. This aspect addresses the instrumentality relationship aspect of the expectancy theory.
To accommodate those employees that are motivated by recognition, individual rewards that include company wide recognition should be established in addition to the monetary or benefit rewards. Team recognition awards could also be established. This would create a little friendly competition while providing openly displayed performance numbers which in turn provides positive feedback for increased performance. By making sure that the reward system has value and makes the employee desire to make the goal and want the reward addresses the valence relationship of the theory.
By giving the employees the skills and tools necessary to obtain goals and to have the employees’ confidence that there is an open and fair reward mechanism is vital for successful motivation of the workforce. It is of utmost importance that the employee feels that their increased effort will increase performance and the increased performance will result in meaningful expected rewards for them. Bibliography Expectancy Theory of Motivation. (2012, 11 4). Retrieved from Management Study Guide: http://www. managementstudyguide. com/expectancy-theory-motivation. htm

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