The Victor Vroom’s expectancy theory is based on the assumption that humans behave in various manners due to the conscious choices they make.
Of the alternatives they are given, they aim to select the option that will give them maximum benefit and minimum discomfort. Vroom was a Canadian professor of psychology. He did extensive research and study on people’s motivation.
Vroom understood that there are various individual factors, for instance, personal knowledge, skills, abilities, and experience that play a role in an employee’s performance. He further stated that performance, effort, and motivation are interconnected in an employee’s motivation.
Vroom came to the conclusion that there are three variables; Expectancy, Instrumentality, and Valence that stem from the behaviour in employees.
Abraham Maslow and Frederick Herzberg have also researched the link between human needs and the amount of effort they make. What distinguishes Vroom’s theory from others is that he focuses on the effort a person puts in their work, how they perform, and what is the final result.
The theory mainly relates to the motivation of an employee in the workplace. When employees are allowed to make their choices pertaining to their work, Vroom believes that they will make a decision based on which option stimulates them the most.
Key Elements of Expectancy Theory
Victor Vroom concluded that three variables play a pivotal role in an employee’s motivation. Let’s discuss these variables in detail.
Every employee has certain expectancies regarding what they believe will lead to their success in the organisation. If they put in the maximum amount of hard work, it shall result in increased performance and therefore greater productivity. You expect a certain degree of performance from an employee and expect results from the tasks given to them. However, the employee should also carry with them a skillset, toolset, and a mind-set along with the much-needed support.
An employee’s expectancy from a task depends upon various things.
1. Skillset – The employee’s ability to finish the work effectively. If they don’t have the required skills to complete the work given to them, then you might not get the results you expect.
2. Toolset – Being provided with sufficient resources and tools which are needed to perform the job. The employee needs a good set of resources such as a properly working computer, flawless internet access, etc., otherwise, their skills will not be put to the best use.
3. Mind-set – the employee’s willingness to do the work with dedication.
4. Support – Getting support and guidance from co-workers and managers to perform the task, without which the efficiency and quality of the work would not be ensured.
This variable can be well-defined as the perception of an employee that if they perform the best at the task assigned, it will lead to desired rewards. These incentives can be an increase in salary, a raise, or any other form of materialistic reward.
Every employee needs recognition, and even the most willing hard worker can dampen their enthusiasm and slow down their speed of doing work if they are not given the rewards they hope to get. Motivation is an uplifting factor that makes an employee strive to continue putting in their best and produce better and better results.
Motivation can come in various forms. Just a verbal appreciation can be very uplifting. A salary raise is always much desired. The promise of getting a better position is what makes the employee strive hard and outshine in their work.
When employees feel ownership for the organisation where they belong to, they trust their employers and have faith that their putting hard work will help the organisation reach its goals. If the organisation profits, then they too as they are a part of the organisation, given a reward.
When employees are hired, they are assigned to do the job for the salary they earn. Employees work for their salary, but if given better incentives, they can be prompted to go out of their way and perform the task to the best of their abilities.
Rewards should be given in such a way that the office atmosphere remains congenial and supportive regardless if it is a praise, a certificate, or a sum of money.
Instrumentality of an employee depends on some factors that help in determining the magnitude and nature of the reward:
1. The management in charge of determining the amount and which employee should be given the rewards.
2. The policies set in the organisation regarding performance and rewards.
3. Selection criteria of the recipient and the nature of the reward.
If an employee is given incentives that are of not much value to them, then they will not be motivated enough to enhance their performance and show greater productivity. For example, the employee of an essay writing service might be rewarded with a two-night stay at a chalet for having all their clients score an A grade on their essay. This might be an incentive for employees who are young and enjoy these resorts. But for that employee who might be striving for a higher position in the company, this incentive will not be of much attraction to them.
Many employees eye the position they want to attain. They are not devious, they are just ambitious. In their ambition, they strive to do good for the company. But they become disappointed when they are not awarded their desired incentive. Therefore, the valance for that employee will be negative. It is important to know what kind of incentive is favourable for an employee.
You want the employee to continue their interest in working for the company and be steadfast in their work. Now, if they are not awarded with the right incentives, then you might not get the desired results. Your intentions may be right but you did not recognise the factors that motivate your employees.