Equity Theory of Motivation– Keeping Employees Motivated

Adam’s Equity Theory is also known as Adams Equity Theory of Motivation, according to his name to indicate that the theory is about “motivation.” It is a theory that helps to understand the workplace environment and keep their employee motivated.  

In an organization where a lot of people work together, if the managing body of the organization can motivate their employee for there works then will receive the best result. 

The factor that motivates your employees may be external like good Salary, bonus, Reputation, and Recognition, or internal like the employee wants to do their best.

 “Motivation is overrated; Environment often matters more” 

these lines are mentioned in the book “Atomic Habits” written by James Clear. here we maintained these lines in its Article because the main idea behind Adam’s equity theory is to maintain a fair environment between the employee and employer.

Equity Theory of Motivation
Equity Theory of Motivation

What is the Equity theory of motivation?

The Adams Equity Theory, also known as the Equity Theory of Motivation, was developed in 1963 by John Stacey Adams, a workplace and behavioral psychologist. According to Adam’s equity theory, a worker maintains a fair relationship between his inputs and outputs with other co-workers. In other words, a worker deviates from the job and his employer if he feels that his inputs exceed outputs.

Adam’s Equity Theory is based on certain assumptions, which are given below.

“A person who has contributed something as an input to an organization wants some reasonable output.”

“To validate the exchange, A person always compares himself/herself with other co-workers based on his/her inputs and outputs.”

The main idea behind this principle is equality and fairness. According to this theory, if a person finds that his inputs(Contribution) and outputs (rewards) are not fair compared to others, then he will get demotivated. If he finds that his inputs and outputs are fair or good as compared to others, then he will get motivated.

Adam’s equality theory considers the importance of equality, fairness, and comparison. For example, if you are working in an organization and you find that your colleague is getting paid more than you who is doing the same or less work than you and you will get demotivated because of this unfairness.

Equity Theory of Motivation
Equity Theory of Motivation

What is an input?

We can say that the input of an employee to his organization is the action which is performed by him to perform some productive work in the organization.  

Types of input 

There are different types of input 

Hard Work:- The work done by the employee.

Skill:- Skill is the ability to do something well, especially because of training, practice, etc. every skill have its own importance 

Adaptability:-Adaptability is also a skill in which a person can learn new things and be ready the accept the change around them.

Respect his superiors:- A good employee always respects their superiors because they have better skills and great working experience in response that an employee hopes for good supportive behavior.

Equity Theory of Motivation
Equity Theory of Motivation

Supportive behavior with others:- 

Making a supportive environment for your juniors.

Effort:-Effort is the physical or mental strength or energy they put into doing their best

 Any personal sacrifice:- Meaning leave something for work that matters in their personal life like family functions

Flexibility:- That is, they are ready to handle any kind of situation like taking assignments in a short time.

What is an Output?

In simple words, we can say that output is the result of your inputs.

Types of Output

There are two types of Output one is tangible outputs, and the second is intangible outputs.

Tangible Outputs

Salary:-Salary is the amount of money that is given by his employer for his work.

Bonus:-something good that an employee gets in addition to his salary.

Awards:- Winning awards like “Best employee of the month” for their performances. 

Intangible Outputs

Reputation:- People’s opinions about you and your skills. If an employee does his best at his job, obviously he will want the best reputation.

Respect:- respect from juniors.

Trust of your seniors:-Being trusted by superiors regarding work and performance.

Job security:-Job security is an assurance that the employee can continue his work in the near future.

Responsibility:- The employee gets more responsibilities which improve his reputation. 

Promotion:-Get promotion in job

Equity Theory of Motivation
Equity Theory of Motivation

Why is Adam’s theory of motivation required?

Adam’s equity theory helps to understand workplace relationships and the environment, and it tells us how to maintain or create a fair environment in an organization.

How does Adam’s equity theory work?

As we earlier told, the aim of Adam’s equity theory of motivation is how to manage the motivation of employees for his job to get his best. If you are managing an organization, then you always face a challenge that how to keep motivated your employee for his work, and it’s not easy because motivation is an emotion, and we are talking about an organization where 100 -1000 workers done their job under a manager. Here Adam’s equity theory of motivation comes it will help you to understand these things.

Fairness and comparison are these two things that are introduced by Adam’s equity theory of motivation. For a working environment to be considered equitable, it needs to maintain two things.

The first thing is, an employee feels that the output(reward) they received for their input (contribution) is fair.

And the second thing is, they need to feel that the output that they receive is similar or fair to those outcomes received by their peers in the organization.

When a manager is able to manage these things, he is able to maintain a fair environment that motivates his employees and them to do their best in work.

Equity Theory of Motivation
Equity Theory of Motivation

What happens when you can’t create a fair environment?

Adams’ Equity Theory says that people will become demotivated when things are not considered+ fair. Furthermore, people will experience stress as much as will the level of unfairness.

As a manager, if you are unable to maintain a fair environment, then your employee will be demoted, and it is not good for your organization as it will affect the overall production and reputation of your organization.



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