Alderfer’s ERG Theory
Clayton Alderfer developed this theory. He grouped the needs of human beings into three categories. These are; relatedness, growth and existence. Existence needs are the individual’s psychological and physical safety’s related needs that include shelter, good working environment and food. Relatedness needs involve the desire for socialization with other individuals, desire for recognition and the sense of security among others (Yourcoach.be, 2014, p.1). Growth needs include the self-esteem of an individual that is achieved through personal accomplishment and self-actualization concept as depicted in the Maslow’s model.
This theory also states that employee’s behavior is usually motivated by several need levels. As such, a person can attempt to satisfy growth needs despite having not satisfied relatedness needs. This theory also applies the process of satisfaction-progression as described in the hierarchy of needs in the Maslow’s model (Management. Net, 2014, p.1). When a person satisfies one level of needs, the subsequent needs’ level becomes essential. Despite having a variation in priority among individuals, ERG theory puts into consideration the fact that existence occupies the highest level. Relatedness follows it and growth comes last.
This theory can be used by managers to improve the performance of the employees at their workplaces in different ways. For example, managers ought to understand the different needs of employees and satisfy them simultaneously. Their focus should be on satisfying all needs that employees have to avoid frustrating them at the workplace (Yourcoach. Be, 2014, p.1). Essentially, the organization’s management should consider the principle of frustration-regression. This is due to the fact that failing to give employees opportunities to advance, regression takes place and they tend to satisfy their other needs that include socialization. It is important that managers understand the possibility of regression in order to allow growth and socialization room among workers.
In addition, managers should understand the varying needs of employees and satisfy them at the same time. This means that when managers consider meeting a need of an employee, the staff might be demoralized and this might affect their performance. The manager is responsible for ensuring that all needs that the staff has have been met.
Managers can take time to understand the different needs of all employees. They should also comprehend that the needs of employees can change due to personal life’s situations of an employees. Therefore, managers should also be flexible. The managers ought to understand that dividing labor causes complacency and boredome which affects workers’ performance. This means that managers ought to assign duties while setting attainable objectives.
Alderfer’s theory can be ineffective in the management of people within an organization on the basis of different events or situations. For instance, it is impossible for a manager to dictate the way an employee’s day starts and ends. Any time the manager appears in a Monday morning’s meeting in a grumpy, sleepy and frowing face, employees easily realize that the mood of the boss is not good (managementstudyguide, 214, p.1). This affects the employees negatively since the boss is not motivating them. Additionally, the employees will execute their duties while ensuring that they do not meet with the boss. ERG theory is inapplicable in such cases since the manager should motivate employees.
This theory is also inapplicable in situations where the employees of an organization wants the organization to satisfy their needs at once. There are three needs of the ERG theory which individuals meet simultaneously. The implication of this is that each need is met at a time by the managers. In a case where every employee wants the manager to meet his/her need, this theory is inapplicable or less effective (Yourcoach. Be, 2014, p.1). Additionally, if individual needs are not understood by the manager, applying this theory will be difficult since the needs are different among individuals.
If employees’ performance is not improved by ERG theory at the place of work, managers may turn to other motivation theories. For instance, a manager can apply the Maslow’s motivation theory. It is apparent that there are three needs of ERG theory. This is different from Maslow’s theory which comprises of five needs. If the manager uses the ERG theory, most employees may not satisfy their needs at the high level. This can affect performance. As such, managers should employ Maslow’s theory if this happen and