Saturday, January 25, 2014

Motivating Employees & Users P- 12. Management of Libraries and Information Centres & Knowledge Centres * By :PK gupta

इस ब्लॉग्स को सृजन करने में आप सभी से सादर सुझाव आमंत्रित हैं , कृपया अपने सुझाव और प्रविष्टियाँ प्रेषित करे , इसका संपूर्ण कार्य क्षेत्र विश्व ज्ञान समुदाय हैं , जो सभी प्रतियोगियों के कॅरिअर निर्माण महत्त्वपूर्ण योगदान देगा ,आप अपने सुझाव इस मेल पत्ते पर भेज सकते हैं -

Motivating Employees & Users

P- 12. Management of Libraries and Information Centres & Knowledge Centres *

By :PK gupta

1 Introduction

Organizational effectiveness is largely determined by the quality of the employees and how the organization de­velops them. Therefore, it is natural that high performing organizations try to recruit and retain the right people and provide them with training and professional development opportunities. However, abilities, skills, personality, and organizational support alone might not lead to individual job performance that contributes to overall organizational effectiveness if people are not motivated. It is possible that some employees choose not to perform even if they have the right qualifications.

Managers face tough motivational challenges especially in economic downturns and it seems helpful to know key organizational behavior studies’ findings related to human motivation. However, the goal is not manipulating and mak­ing people do what managers want them to do, but making people reach their highest job performance potential and getting them excited to do so.''

2 Motivation – Concept, Definition and Meaning

A man or woman/person is motivated when he or she wants to do something. Essentially, a want, a need or a requirement can become a motive for a person to perform an action, motivate him/her to do a job or achieve something. A motive is not quite the same as an incentive, whereas a person may be inspired or made enthusiastic by an incentive, his or her main motive for wanting to do something may be fear of punishment. Motivation covers all the reasons which underlie the way in which a person acts. It is the result of interaction between an individual and within individuals at different times.
Motivation has been defined as:
  • the process used to allocate energy to maximize the satisfaction of needs (Pritchard and Ashwood)
  • the psychological process that gives behavior purpose and direction (Kreitner, 1995)
  • a predisposition to behave in a purposive manner to achieve specific unmet needs (Buford, Bedeian, and Linder, 1995)
  • an internal drive to satisfy an unsatisfied need (Higgins, 1994);
  • and the will to achieve (Bedeian, 1993).
  • all those inner-striving conditions described as wishes, desires, drives, etc. (Donnelly, Gibson, and Ivancevich 1995)
  • the way urges, aspirations, drives and needs of human beings direct or control or explain their behavior (Appleby 1994)
  • some driving force within an individual by which they attempts to achieve some goal in order to fulfill some needs or expectations (Mullins, 1996). 
Motivation is a process of that accounts for an individual’s intensity, direction, and persistence of effort towards attaining a goal. It is a human psychological characteristic that contributes to a person’s degree of commitment. It includes the factors that cause, channel, and sustain human behaviour in a particular committed direction. Motivation and leadership are concurrent and are inseparable.
From an organizational perspective, motivating is a management process of influencing people’s behaviour based on this knowledge of “what makes people tick”. Motivation and motivating both deal with the range of conscious human behaviour somewhere between two extremes of their reflex actions, and the learned habits. The following are some basic assumptions about motivation:
  • Motivation is commonly assumed to be a good thing.
  • Motivation is one of the several factors that go into a person’s performance.
  • Motivation is in short supply and in need of periodic replenishment.
  • Motivation is a tool with which managers can arrange job relationships in organizations.
Motivation is the psychological feature that arouses an organism to act towards a derived goal and elicits, controls, and sustains certain goal directed behaviours. There are many approaches to motivation viz., physiological, behavioural, cognitive and social etc.
Broadly, motivation can be classified into two types as:
  1. Intrinsic / Internal Motivation: Intrinsic motivation is related to motivation that is driven by an interest in the task itself, and present within the individual rather than depending upon external pressure. Intrinsic motivation is based on taking pleasure in an activity rather than doing for a reward. Intrinsic motivation is defined as the doing of an activity for its inherent satisfactions rather than for some separable consequence. When intrinsically motivated a person is moved to act for the fun or challenge entailed rather than because of external prods, pressures, or rewards.
          Although, in one sense, intrinsic motivation exists within individuals, in another sense intrinsic motivation exists in the relation between individuals  and activities. People are intrinsically motivated for some activities and not others, and not everyone is intrinsically motivated for any particular task.
  1. Extrinsic / External Motivation: Extrinsic motivation refers to motivation that comes from outside an individual. The motivating factors are external, or outside, rewards such as money or grades, and threat of punishment. These rewards provide satisfaction and pleasure that the task itself may not provide. Extrinsic motivation refers to the performance of an activity in order to attain an outcome, which then contradicts intrinsic motivation.

It is widely believed that motivation performs two functions. The first is often referred as to the energetic activation component of the motivation construct. The second is directed at a specific behaviour and makes reference to the orientation directional component. Competition is in general extrinsic because it encourages the performer to win and beat others, not simply to enjoy the intrinsic rewards of the activity. A crowd cheering the individual and trophies are also extrinsic incentives.

3 Theories of Motivation

There are many motivational theories in management literature. In general, these theories are divided into the following categories as:
  • Content Theories: These theories will have methods for analyzing staff in terms of ‘needs’.
  • Process Theories: They provide insights into what and how people think about and give meaning to organizational ‘rewards’.
  • Job characteristics Theories: They work around the concept of making the job interesting to an employee by way of job enrichment, role enlargement etc.
  • Environmentally-based Reinforcement Theories: They deal with guidance about the way that people learn patterns of behaviour that finally leads to environmental reinforcements.
Let us look into the details of the above categories.

3.1 Content Theories: What motivates people?

The motivation theories that deal with the content of what motivates people are referred to as content theories or static-content theories as they look at only one point in time and do not predict behavior. The most well-known theories in this area include Maslow’s hierarchy of needs, Alderfer’s ERG theory, McClelland’s theory of socially acquired needs, and Herzberg’s motiva­tor-hygiene theory.
Let us look at Maslow’s and Herzberg’s theories in a little detail.
Maslow’s ‘Hierarchy of Needs’
American motivational psychologist Abraham Maslow’s hierarchy of needs was a ground breaking motivational theory and is also the most popular and referred motivational theories in management literature. His article “Theory of Human Motivation” (1943) became an important source in the field of employee motivation.  In ‘A Theory of Motivation’, Maslow tried to establish some sort of hierarchy of prepotency in the realm of basic human needs. He classified needs into five categories or levels, as:
  1. i.        Physiological;
  2. ii.      Safety;
  3. iii.    Social;
  4. iv.     Esteem; and
  5. v.       Self-actualization.
These needs are incremental in nature from bottom to the top of the pyramid, as depicted in the figure. This theory helps to understand human nature.
Physiological needs: In the physiological needs, Maslow advocated the use of the word need, basing his case on the notion of physical homeostasis, the body’s natural effort to sustain a uniform normal state of the blood stream. Not all physiological needs were homeostatic. Maslow considered for two reasons physical needs as unique rather than typical of the basic human needs. Firstly they could be considered as relatively independent of one another and other orders of need. Secondly, in the case of hunger, thirst and sex, there was a localized physical base for the need. Physiological needs are the most pre-potent of all needs. Pre-potent means that the human being who is missing everything in life in an extreme fashion will still tend to seek satisfaction for his/her physiological needs. At the most basic level, an employee is motivated to work in order to satisfy basic physiological needs for survival, such as, having enough money to purchase food.
Safety needs: After the physiological needs are properly satisfied, a new set of needs emerges for safety of the organism. So, the next level of need in the hierarchy is safety, which could be interpreted to mean adequate housing or living in a safe neighbourhood. It can also relate to physical security. For instance, one can find sudden reaction in children when there is sudden disturbance, loud noise, flashing lights etc. Injustice, unfairness or lack of consistency in the parents’ attitude and behaviour make a child feel anxious and unsafe. Adults express their safety needs in employment with security of tenure, pension and insurance schemes, etc. Maslow also says that the appeal of religions and philosophies, which conduct the universe and the people in it into some sort of coherent whole, may in part stem from this universal human need for safety and security.
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                                                 Maslow’s Hierarchy of Needs

The next three levels in Maslow's theory relate to intellectual and psycho-emotional needs such as love and belonging in a social setting, followed by esteem (which refers to competence and mastery), and finally the highest order need, self-actualization.
Social needs: If the physiological and safety needs are fulfilled, the social needs viz., the need for love; affection and belongingness emerge as the dominant centre of motivation. According to Maslow, the awareness that love needs to involve both giving and receiving love for close personal relationships, is essential.
Maslow believed that people will not seek to satisfy a higher level need until their lower level needs are met. However, there has been little empirical support for the idea that employees in the workplace strive to meet their needs only in the hierarchical order propounded by Maslow.
Esteem needs: Maslow divided esteem needs into two subsidiary sets: a) the desire for strength, achievement, adequacy, mastery, competence, confidence in the face of the world, independence and freedom and b) the desire for reputation, prestige, status, dominance, recognition, attention, importance and appreciation.
Self-actualization: It can be fulfilled when the individual does what he is fit for. A musician must make music, a professor must teach, a doctor must treat patients if he is to be finally at peace with himself. This need we can call as self-actualization. Not only this but seeking personal and professional growth in their respective fields, and deriving a sense of fulfilment in their careers or domains of work are also self-actualization.
Frederick Herzberg's Two-Factor Theory / Motivator-Hygiene Theory:
This theory is also known as intrinsic/extrinsic motivation, concludes that certain factors in the workplace result in job satisfaction, but if absent, they don't lead to dissatisfaction but no satisfaction. The factors that motivate people can change over their lifetime, but "respect for me as a person" is one of the top motivating factors at any stage of life. He distinguished between ‘Motivators’ and ‘Hygiene Factors’ in the following manner:
  • Motivators give positive satisfaction, for example challenging work, recognition, responsibility, etc.; and
  • Hygiene factors do not motivate if present, but, if absent, result in demotivation, for example status, job security, salary, fringe benefits, etc.
Herzberg’s moti­vator-hygiene theory is different from other content theories as it suggested that motiva­tion is composed of two dimensions: 1) hygiene factors or the conditions surrounding the job and can prevent dissatisfac­tion; and 2) motivators, or the factors associated with the work itself and influence employees to grow and develop. The hygiene factors include such things as salary, supervision, policies, working conditions, re­lationship, and job se­curities. The motiva­tors include promotion, growth opportunities, responsibility, recognition, and achievement. The main implication of this theory is that for employees to be truly satisfied and perform above minimum standards, motivators had to be built into the job.

3.2 Process Theories: How does motivation operate?

Although the static-content theories can provide a basic understanding of what energizes people, they are not sufficient to explain the complex nature of human motivation as people respond differently to their needs. Factors other than unfulfilled needs also influence mo­tivation, and various process theories were developed to explain how motivation operates.

Expectancy theory: Also known as VIE theory, for an individual to be motivated, it assumes that motivation is a function of three components:
  1. The reward must be valued by the person (valence);
  2. The person must believe that higher performance will result in greater rewards (instrumentality); and
  3. That additional effort will lead to higher performance (expectancy).
For example, if an employee perceives that high performance might not be achieved even after hours of effort due to lack of skills or self-efficacy, even if he or she desires promotion, the person might not feel motivated enough to achieve the goal. Therefore, providing appropriate training, clarifying expectations, and providing guidance are important to strengthen this effort-performance link. Another example might be that if an individual believes that rewards might be given to people with higher seniority regardless of their performance, getting the reward might be perceived as unlikely for junior staff, thus undermining the person’s motivation to perform. Finally, if an employee can per­form well but does not value the reward provided, e.g., a gift certificate to a restaurant that the person does not care for, the person is likely to be less motivated.

Goal-setting theory: This is another process theory and suggests the idea that setting goals can be a cause of high performance. Locke argued that a person’s conscious intentions (goals) are the primary determinants of task-related motivation. Therefore manag­ers should –
  1. i.        Set specific goals;
  2. ii.      Make goals sufficiently difficult (but not too difficult);
  3. iii.    Involve employees in goal setting to ensure commitment;
  4. iv.     Provide feedback; and
  5. v.       Link goal accomplishment with rewards that are valued by the employee.
This theory can be applied in various library tasks. For example, instead of asking employees to do their best in enhancing information fluency, the goal might be “implementing information fluency programs in at least 10 courses next semester.” To gain goal commitment, it will be important for managers to provide clear direction and guidance to employees in addition to building their self-efficacy.

Organizational justice theories: They suggest that people’s perception of fairness within the organization regarding how and what decisions are made about the distribution of outcomes affects motivation. Justice theories are important given the current economy where many organizations have been forced to lay off people. Questions such as “Are we restructuring our organization in a fair manner?” and “Were the layoffs perceived as fair by employees?” are important for managers. The outcomes of justice perceptions can have an economic impact on the organization such as absenteeism, withdrawal, theft, sabotage, or even lawsuits against employers.

Justice theories consider both procedural justice and distributive justice. Distributive justice theory is also referred to as equity theory and suggests that people compare the ratio of their inputs (effort) and outcomes (rewards) to the input-outcome ratios of other comparable individuals.

Equity Theory: The research on equity theory is also more defini­tive on the reactions of people who perceive that they are under-rewarded. If an individual views a relation­ship as unequal, an attempt will be made to restore equality either by trying to gain greater rewards or by putting forth less effort. For example, if an employee feels that everyone gets promoted at the same rate regardless of their amount of inputs, he or she who feels under-rewarded might reduce the amount of the effort. At the same time, the employee will not think it is unfair if another employee who contributes more to the organization receives more reward.
Process Theories verify the way people think about work and goals which motivate them to work to their maximum potential. Needs are one of those factors that come close to develop certain types of work behaviour. One important aspect of process theory is expectancy which relates to in a particular behaviour pattern. Another factor in process theory is valence. Valence is the strength of an employee’s desire for a particular outcome.

3.3 Job Characteristics Theory: How can we make jobs interesting?

Job design and job enrichment also affect human mo­tivation and it will be helpful to know the characteris­tics that make jobs interesting. The job characteristics model developed by Hackman and Oldham identified five core job dimensions that should be enriched when jobs are re-designed:
  1. Skill variety - the degree to which a job re­quires a variety of activities that draw on different skills and talents of the employee.
  2. Task identity - the degree to which the job requires completion of a task, from beginning to end.
  3. Task significance - the degree to which the job has a significant impact on the lives of other people.
  4. Autonomy - the degree to which the job pro­vides substantial freedom, independence, and discretion to the individual in scheduling work and determining the procedures to be used.
  5. Feedback - the degree to which workers are provided with direct and clear information about their performance.

As the core dimensions are enhanced, the job char­acteristics model posits that they influence three critical psychological states:
a)      experienced meaningfulness of work, which is increased by skill variety, task identity, and task significance;
b)      experienced responsibility for work outcomes, which is enhanced by autonomy; and
c)      knowledge of results, which is provided by effective feedback mechanisms.

Hackman and Oldham through their extensive research, tested the job characteristics model and developed the Motivating Potential Score (MPS), a measure of the degree to which the above conditions are met. They found out that the jobs that are high in the five core dimensions lead to critical psychological states as hypothesized, and resulted in high motivation, high performance, high job satisfaction, low absenteeism, and low turnover.
Motivating Potential Score:
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From the above formula, it is clear that a near-zero score of a job on either autonomy or feedback will result in the overall MPS to the near-zero. It implies that if an employee does not have much autonomy or feedback, the person’s motivation will be very low. Therefore, it is important to provide employees with sufficient freedom and independence and establish appropriate feedback channels so that the employee will hear directly from the users of his or her service. For example, providing credits to individuals rather than to the department when preparing pathfinders, instruction handouts, or other documents will provide opportunities for those employees involved to receive direct feedback from library users and establish cli­ent relationships with them. In addition, open lines of communication between employees and managers need to be incorporated into the workplace culture. The more people know how well they are doing, the better equipped they are to take appropriate corrective action.
In terms of increasing autonomy, the first step will be to hire people who can do their jobs properly without close supervision. Second, the individuals will need to be trained to do their jobs effectively. Finally, it should be clear that high-quality performance is expected. Loading jobs vertically by giving employees greater responsibility for their jobs and allowing them to make their own decisions, instead of micro-man­aging, increase the level of autonomy and sense of accountability that results in higher motivation. At the same time, employees should not be given a great deal of autonomy in any organizations where marginal work tends to be accepted without question. Autonomy will work only when everyone involved buys into the importance of performing at a high level. One approach in increasing autonomy might be to ask employees what goals they want to accomplish and what resources or support is needed as self-setting goals are naturally self-committed.

It is important to note that the job characteristics model recognizes the limitation that not everyone wants and benefits from enriched jobs and that people with a high need for personal growth benefit the most. In that sense, it will be essential for managers to hire people who are interested in growing professionally in the work instead of people who are attracted to the work because of work conditions or benefits.

3.4 Environmentally-based Reinforcement Theories: How can we reinforce and maintain motivation?

Let’s now think about some of the ways in which motivation can be sustained. If we are rewarded for behaving in a certain way, we begin to make the con­nection between the behavior and the reward and continue to engage in the behavior. As B.F. Skinner’s operant conditioning theory explains, behaviors with positive consequences are strengthened and acquired, and behaviors with negative consequences are elimi­nated. The positive consequences, such as recognition and reward, need to be tied directly to desired behaviors and be given immediately and continuously so that the connection between the behavior and reinforcer is established. For example, staff recognition needs to be provided with an explanation of desirable behavior. It should also be repeated if the staff continues to improve the work instead of choosing different employees to be rewarded when in fact the same employee performed the best. Additionally, rewards need to be distributed consistently so that recognition of good work will become part of the organizational culture.

It is also important to know what you are reward­ing. For example, if you reward someone because she or he answered the largest number of reference questions, the employee and possibly others might try to enhance the number of reference questions instead of focusing on the quality of the service and other ways that refer­ence service can be improved. As social learning theory suggests, people acquire new behaviors by observing the rewards and punishments given to others. If you want to increase teamwork but continue distributing rewards according to individual performance only, your desired outcome, i.e., teamwork will not be reinforced. In addition, if an individual performs fine in one area but not so in another, the explanation for the reward needs to be very clear so that the desirable behavior is strengthened while the undesirable behavior is not.

When providing rewards, it will be helpful to know the difference between extrinsic and intrinsic rewards. Extrinsic rewards are contrived and some of them incur direct cost. They include such things as promotion, monetary reward, gifts, and bonuses. In­trinsic rewards involve no direct cost, and the examples include compliments, public recognition, opportunities, and a smile. Thus, intrinsic rewards are closely related to the work itself and are motivators in the context of Herzberg’s motivator. Therefore, intrinsic motivation is synonymous with a desire to work hard solely for the pleasure of task accomplishment. On the other hand, extrinsic motivation encourages us to complete the task to receive the reward. In other words, rewards motivate people to get rewards. Luthans and Stajkovic’s research implies that the feedback and social reinforcers, such as recognition and attention, may have as strong an impact on performance as pay. Their research also indicates that extrinsic rewards can undermine an individual’s intrinsic motivation. However, this is not to suggest that extrinsic incentives are unimportant. Good pay, benefits, and good working condition are often significant factors to attract and retain best people and cannot be ignored.

4 Leadership and Motivation

“Leadership and motivation are like brother and sister”, says John Adair. It is difficult to think of a leader who does not motivate others. When managing a team of people, the leadership style should be adapted to meet each person's needs. In general there are four types of approaches:
  • Directing;
  • Coaching;
  • Supporting; and
  • Delegating.
Depending on the level of employee's competence and commitment, the right choice has to be made. When a directly reporting subordinate is learning new skills, be directive. Define tasks clearly and check progress to make sure he's not faltering. Periodic coaching can be used when an employee is learning new skills but needs the freedom to make mistakes and learn from them. Supporting and encouraging highly competent employees who lack confidence, is also one of the leadership desirables. Tasks should be delegated to employees who are both highly motivated and experienced.
In all cases, a good leader’s responsibility is to strike a perfect balance between hand-holding and empowering. However, as John Adair writes, from the Fifty-Fifty Rule it follows that the extent to which anyone else can be motivated is limited, for 50 percent of the cards are, so to speak, in their hands. A leader is a key factor in the environment but his power is limited. Adair sums up the principles or rules of motivation under eight headings, what a manager/leader can do to motivate his team. How a leader applies them will clearly depend upon the situation. But they stand as pillars of encouragement, both inviting the manager to take up the responsibility as a leader for inspiring others and pointing the manager/leader in the right direction. They are:
  1. Be motivated yourself;
  2. Select people who are highly motivated;
  3. Treat each person as an individual;
  4. Set realistic and challenging targets;
  5. Remember that progress motivates;
  6. Create a motivating environment;
  7. Provide fair rewards; and
  8. Give recognition.
Sometimes the leader also has to assess if it is worthwhile to practise participative management style and keep the working teams small in order to have accountability for the responsibility and job allocated to the team members.

Also, the leader has to keep in mind that people’s behaviour changes if they stressed. Personal problems are sometimes hard to leave at home; a person may be ill; or the service may be going through a period of change. This is likely to be witnessed by immediate work colleagues and then seniors, but it is a managerial responsibility to enquire into unusual behaviour patterns. Among the signs are: volatility, defensiveness, withdrawing, impulsiveness, approval dependence, and eccentricity.
Flexibility is the key word in a good motivation system. No two people are alike, and human behaviour is too complex for anyone to achieve long-term success as a team manager if he relies on rules, formulas or a single system for handling every person and problem. In essence, good supervision requires situational thinking. If managers treat staff members as they wish to be treated, there will be very few motivation problems in the team. A highly motivated staff member provides quality service, makes positive contributions to a planning and decision making and accepts change and delegation more readily. The ability to motivate colleagues is an attribute required as team manager.

5 Application of Motivational Theories in Libraries and Motivating Library Employees

Need theories can be used to satisfy employees’ physical and psychological needs and hopefully to mo­tivate them by enhancing their sense of self-esteem and self-actualization. Refer to Table No. 1 for various practical aspects and application of Maslow’s hierarchy of needs in libraries.
Table No. 1. Maslow’s Hierarchy of Needs and Application in Libraries
Examples in the Academic Library Workplace
  • Clean Air
  • Enough work space
  • Ergonomically-designed workstations
  • Appropriate lighting
  • Appropriate temperature
  • Convenient and reasonable foodservice and essential facilities
  • Ambient workplace settings
  • Safe workplace
  • Stable wages and salaries
  • Job security
  • Health insurance
  • Retirement benefits
Social Affiliation
  • Employee social activities
  • Teamwork
  • Friendship
  • Sense of belonging
  • Affection
  • Recognition
  • Awards
  • Prestige
  • Career advancement
  • Autonomy
  • Well-being of others
  • Accepting self
  • Meaningful work
  • Sense of job fulfillment
Hygiene-Motivator theory makes us realize that job conditions such as pay and benefits alone might not motivate people. Therefore, it will be important for managers to provide motivators such as growth opportunities, sense of responsibility and accomplishment, and recognition as well as providing good working conditions.

Expectancy theory suggests that managers need to provide rewards that are valued by their employees and that the employees need to feel they can achieve their goals and high-performance will result in the reward. Goals need to be specific, sufficiently difficult, accepted by the employee, and self-set if possible so that the employee becomes naturally committed. In addition, process and reward distribution needs to be fair to enhance trust, job performance, and motivation.

We also learned that characteristics of jobs affect human motivation. Jobs with a variety of activities, task identity, task significance, autonomy, and feedback mechanisms tend to increase motivation. Autonomy does not mean that employees can do whatever they want; instead, it involves hiring the right people, pro­viding training, explaining that high-performance is expected, enriching jobs, providing respect and inde­pendence, and rewarding appropriately. Direct feedback channels should be established between service users and the employees who contributed to the work as well as between the employees and their supervisors. Providing appropriate credits to work is important so that “thank you” notes and other feedback arrive to the people who were involved.

Rewarding excellent work is essential to reinforce and maintain employee motivation. Intrinsic rewards such as compliments, public recognition, professional and opportunities are motivators according to the content theory and can be as effective as extrinsic rewards such as monetary reward and gifts, which might motivate employees to win the reward rather than to focus on the work itself. Nevertheless, extrinsic rewards encourage risk taking and for people to do ex­traordinary things and cannot be ignored. At the same time, it will be important for managers to be mindful of those employees who get disappointed when their effort does not lead to rewards. Distributing rewards consistently instead of providing them only when accomplishment is visible will help strengthen trust within the organization.
Although most theories were tested in corporate settings, it appears they are also applicable in academic or non-profit workplaces. Peter Drucker wrote that “Non-profits need management precisely because they don’t have a bottom line” and argued that non-profit organizations often end up becoming pioneers in the most crucial area—the motivation and productivity of knowledge workers—as non-profits start with the mis­sion, which business will have to learn from them. It seems that the key for the successful management is to clarify the mission of the organization, hire people who have the right skills and agree with the mission, set goals, provide development opportunities, explain accountability, build trust through fair process, give autonomy and feedback, and provide appropriate re­wards. Service excellence can be achieved even in times of budget constraints.
Libraries are non-profitable, labour intensive service organizations where people are served by the people. One of the prevalent challenges that libraries are facing is how to motivate library staff to get competitive advantage. The paraprofessional staff are the chief agents in customer service and frequently act as the interface with the customer. Consequently, their motivation is crucial in determining the quality of this interface. The performance of paraprofessional staff determines to a large extent the quality of the customer satisfaction and has a significant impact on the contribution that libraries can make to their communities.
Finally, based on extensive research literature contributed by many researchers in the field of library and information services, the chief motivators in a service oriented set up like libraries have emerged as the following:
  • Opportunity to learn new skills and groom;
  • Opportunity for career development; and
  • Having authority and responsibility in the positions they hold.
By implementing the above, library leaders can have a motivated work force who can contribute a lot to their libraries and their organizations.

6 Motivating Library Users

Much has been discussed about motivating the library employees. Not much is covered in the library literature about motivating the users in this overtly digital dominated era. What could motivate the users to visit the libraries for fulfilling their information needs has become an insurmountable challenge.

Customer Service: As non-profit making and customer-serving units, the first and foremost factor that comes into account is the quality of customer service provided by the libraries to their patrons. Evolving technology and trends toward user self-service activities have changed the library patron’s experience. But most librarians are quick to point out that, despite these changes, libraries (and their users) still require front-line human interaction provided by circulation, or access services, employees. Front-line employees are the library’s foremost representatives. Whether librarians, paraprofessionals, temporary employees or security guards, these workers are usually the first faces patrons see on entering the library and the last they see on leaving. Because of the visibility of these front line employees, it is crucial that these public ambassadors are motivated. Their treatment of users determines whether the atmosphere of the library is warm and friendly, or distant and aloof. Moreover, access services employees e.g., user services librarian, technical services librarian or reference services librarian, provide services daily to users of varying ages, intellectual abilities, cultural backgrounds, ethnicities and economic status. Thus, every effort should be made to ensure that staff remains motivated in order to handle the challenges of such a dynamic and at oftentimes stressful environment.

Latest Technology: Users are attracted to libraries when the libraries are armed with the most update technological services. It becomes imperative for libraries to provide access to digital technologies, gadgets, and collections with relevant tools at their disposal.

Facilities and Ambience: Provision of essential facilities and ambient atmosphere to read in solitude as well as to conduct group study or discussion will add value to library from a user point of view. Library directors or leaders can take care of such factors by involving themselves with builders and interior designers in their building related work.

Collection relevancy and currency: It is a fundamental duty of a librarian to have a properly framed collection development policy in implementation in order to ensure that the collection of library remains relevant and current to the areas of interest to the users and the organization at large. The librarian can develop and implement a policy and update the same from time to time depending upon the changes in the organizational mission and user requirements.

Balanced approach: Today’s users are tech-savvy and smart. They require peaceful reading spaces as well as group work spaces in library. They are trained for self-service activities and also expect warm and receptive human-mediated front-line assistance from library. Libraries, be it academic, research or public, in general witness a wide variety of visitors including the students, working class like faculties, researchers, and much learned folk too. Each one’s requirement and information seeking behaviour is different than the other. Hence, it becomes all the more important for a librarian to strike a proper balance between imposing library rules and regulations, and allowing flexibility in services.

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