Victor Vroom’s Expectancy Theory
Victor Vroom’s Expectancy theory holds that employees perform to the level that they believe maximize their overall best interests. The prospects of desirable rewards that satisfy needs and a strong desire to satisfy needs motivate employees to perform to their potential.
The Expectancy Theory holds motivation as a function of Expectancy, Instrumentality, and Valence.
Expectancy refers to the expectations and confidence of employees regarding their ability to perform a task, and depends on factors such as basic skills required for the task, support expected from superiors and subordinates, availability of required tools and equipment, and the like.
Instrumentality refers to the perception of whether accomplishment of the task leads to the desired results. This depends on factors such as rules of performance and reward, transparency and trust in the process, and the like.
Valence refers to the emotional orientations of people regarding the outcomes or rewards, or the level of satisfaction they expect to get from the rewards. A reward motivates only if employees have a positive valence, or a preference to have the specified reward to not having it. For instance, some employees may prefer having time off, whereas other employees might not have the need for time off and might prefer money or achievement.
Organizations looking to motivating employees in the workplace need to ensure that all the three factors: Expectancy, Instrumentality, and Valence remain positive or high. Even achieving two out of these three factors does not motivate the employee.