The Practice of Management

By Peter F. Drucker | Go to book overview

CHAPTER 23
MOTIVATING TO PEAK PERFORMANCE

What motivation is needed--" Employee satisfaction" will not do --The enterprise's need is for responsibility--The responsible worker--High standards of performance--Can workers be managed by objectives?--The performance of management--Keeping the worker informed--The managerial vision--The need for participation--The C.&O. example--The plant-community activities.

WHAT motivation is needed to obtain peak performance from the worker? The answer that is usually given today in American industry is "employee satisfaction." But this is an almost meaningless concept. Even if it meant something, "employee satisfaction" would still not be sufficient motivation to fulfill the needs of the enterprise.

A man may be satisfied with his job because he really finds fulfilment in it. He may also be satisfied because the job permits him to "get by." A man may be dissatisfied because he is genuinely discontented. But he may also be dissatisfied because he wants to do a better job, wants to improve his own work and that of his group, wants to do bigger and better things. And this dissatisfaction is the most valuable attitude any company can possess in its employees, and the most real expression of pride in job and work, and of responsibility. Yet we have no way of telling satisfaction that is fulfilment from satisfaction that is just apathy, dissatisfaction that is discontent from dissatisfaction that is the desire to do a better job.

We also have no standards to measure what degree of satisfaction is satisfactory. If 70 per cent of the employees answer "yes" to the question: "Do you think the company is a good place to work in?"

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