In the business world, attracting and keeping top talent is not only difficult, but crucial for the success of the company. Many models and theories exist for attracting and retaining talent and Vroom’s Model of Expectancy Theory is no exception. Part of retaining talent and getting the most out of employees relies on management’s ability to properly motivate and reward employees. The purpose of this paper is to review Vroom’s Model of Expectancy Theory, and how the theory relates to keeping employees happy (Lee, 2007).
Vroom’s Model of Expectancy Theory is based on three parts, Expectancy, Instrumentality, and Valence. Expectancy is where the employee believes that what is put into the job will make the job better. “Expectancy can be defined as a momentary belief followed by a particular outcome (Lee, 2007).” If the employee has the desire, goal, and proper working conditions, such as the tools necessary to perform the job, support from management, as well as proper resources and skills, the employee will work to make the job better by performing higher (Lee, 2007).
Instrumentality is where the employee believes that what he or she puts into the job, that this is what the employee will receive back. If an employee is looking to move up within the company, he or she will work harder to attain this goal if the path to this goal is good. If the employee sees that there is no chance of promotion, he or she will not work as hard, and may be unhappy enough to leave. This part of the theory is where the employee feels he or she will be rewarded for doing a good job (Lee, 2007).
Valence is the importance of the reward to the employee. If an employee is seeking a raise, public acknowledgement of a good job may not be enough to keep this employee happy. If an employee is looking for status, such as a promotion or job title upgrade, a raise may not make this employee happy. It depends on the employee what importance he or she may place on the reward (Lee, 2007).
Measuring the Theory
There is some speculation if this model can be measured. According to Van Eerde and Thierry, 2006, who quote Vroom, 1964, “The only concept in the model that has been directly linked with potentially observable events is the concept of force [where] behavior on the part of a person is assumed to be the result of a field of forces each of which has direction and magnitude”.
Measuring this model can be based on management’s understanding of the needs of its employees. If management knows what rewards the employees are looking for, measuring the employee’s performance to attain that goal would be easy. The manager could measure the employee’s performance in a performance evaluation, and this can help the employee work towards the reward he or she is seeking (Van Eerde and Thierry, 2006).
By having a clear understanding of Valence, management can retain its top talent. By ensuring that the needs of the employees are met, management will know how to entice the employee into becoming and staying a high performer. This is not all bad, since the employee will benefit from the reward. If the rewards offered are what the employees are looking for, management can keep and attract top talent (Van Eerde and Thierry, 2006).
To summarize, the purpose of this paper is to research Vroom’s Model of Expectancy Theory, and to see how this theory could correlate to keeping and attracting top talent. If management is aware of the expectations and desires of the employees, this will help any company to get the highest caliber of employee, and to get the most performance from the employee. By researching and knowing what the employees want, pay, promotion, status, benefits, management can keep the company moving forward for years to come by taking care of the needs and wants of its staff (Van Eerde and Thierry, 2006).
- Lee, S. (2007). Vroom’s expectancy theory and the public library customer motivation model.
- Library Review, 56(9), 788-796. doi:http://dx.doi.org/10.1108/00242530710831239
- Van Eerde, W., & Thierry, H. (1996). Vroom’s expectancy models and work-related criteria: A meta-analysis. Journal of Applied Psychology, 81(5), 575-586. doi:http://dx.doi.org/10.1037/0021-9010.81.5.575