An introduction to the concept of motivation


The process of making someone to work without using any force is referred as motivation. Motivation makes people active for doing some work. It creates an extra energy in the body of human to perform the particular work to achieve the objectives and goals of the company. An internal drive of an individual to fulfil an unsatisfied need is motivation. In other words, it can be defined operationally as the inner power that makes an individual to complete the personal and organisational objectives. Each employee should be motivated in order to make them use their full potential and abilities. But the degree and factors of the motivation may differ from one individual to other individual. Some may be motivated with the fulfilment of some factors but other may be motivated with other factors of motivation.

Motivation in Organisation:

One of the major factors called employee motivation determines the failure and success of an organisation. The level of commitment, energy, and creativity which the employee uses at their jobs is referred as employee motivation. Motivated workers are always wanted in the rapidly changing business organisations. These employees help organisations to compete and survive in this competitive market. Motivated employees are more productive than other employees in the organisation. In order to run the business organisation smoothly, the managers must know the motivating factors of other employees. The motivating factors of the employee may get changed from time to time. The organisation, therefore always tries to invest something to motivate their employees. Motivating factors may differ from employee to employee.

Three Basic Characteristics of Motivating:

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According to Turner and Lawrence, the three basic characteristics of motivating the employee are listed below:

An employee must realize himself responsible for completing a meaningful part of the job. An employee should have connection and ownership of the job he or she completes. While in group, an individual can be made awareness by a successful effort so that he or she will feel that their contributions played a vital role for completing the group work.

There must be an intrinsic meaning of the outcomes provided by it to the employee. But the effective work which does not lead an employee to feel that their contributions matter will not be maintained. The results of their work should have value to them and to other employees of the organisation.

It must provide the facility of giving feedback to the job accomplishments of an employee. An employee's work performance must be analysed so that the there is chance to improve motivation of an employee.

Motivation Theories:

Lots of theories of motivation have been introduced that describes the motivation, their factors and other factors of satisfaction and dissatisfaction. The two motivation theories among others are Maslow's of hierarchy theory, and Herzberg's two factor theory.

Maslow's of hierarchy theory:

One of the well-known theories of motivation based on hierarchical order of needs is Maslow's of hierarchy theory. This law is related with the needs of an employee that are in hierarchical order. Basically, there are five needs of an individual which are physiological needs, safety & security needs, social needs, self-esteem needs and self actualizing needs. And these needs are listed from low level to top level in hierarchical model. Physiological needs are related to the basic needs for physical survival like food, shelter and cloth. Safety and security need is related with the job like job security, physical safety etc. Social need is concerned with the love and affection of the group. Self-esteem need is concerned with the respect and recognition in the mass. Self-actualisation need is related with the trainings for the personal development of an employee. These needs must be fulfilled from the low level to the top level. Without satisfying the low level need, it will difficult to move to the next upper level need.

Herzberg's two factor theory:

This theory is also known as Herzberg's motivation-hygiene theory. This theory contains two factors such as motivator and hygiene.

Motivators factor give job satisfaction to the employee. If this factor is present, the employee will be motivated. But if this factor is absent, it doesn't mean it will create dissatisfaction to the employee. This factor is indicated by elements like recognition, achievement, opportunities and responsibilities which help to improve the motivation level of an employee.

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Hygiene factor give job dissatisfaction to the employee. If this factor is present, the employee will be dissatisfied. But if this factor is absent, it doesn't mean it will satisfy the employee or motivate the employee. This factor is indicated by elements like salary pay, job security, company policy, working conditions etc.

Motivation Methods:

There are different methods of motivating employees. Employees of the same department of the same organisation may have different motivators. Some of the motivation methods are listed below:

Empowerment: It gives employees more responsibilities and decision-making power in the organisation. This helps to increase the self respect of the employee.

Creativity and Innovation: Creative ideas of employees are widely accepted in the organisation.

Learning: This makes employee more capable and skilled for the organisation. This is the tools and opportunities to accomplish the work more effectively and efficiently.

Quality of life: The quality of life depends on the number of hours provided by the organisation. If the working hours are flexible, the employee feels it can fulfil the demands of their life.

Monetary incentive: Monetary and other rewards are given to employees for generating cost-savings or process-improving ideas, to boost productivity and reduce absenteeism.

Other incentives: From research, it has been found that the most effective motivators of employees are nonmonetary. Money is insufficient motivators.Besides; the nonmonetary systems have proved to be positive motivators for the team spirit and individual performance. These may include recognition, responsibility, achievement etc.

Role of High pay and Working conditions on Motivation:

These both high pay and working conditions is included in the hygiene factor of the Herzberg's two factor theory. On the basis of this theory, these two elements only reduce the job dissatisfaction. If they are present on high, they may reduce the job dissatisfaction. If they are absent, they may increase the job dissatisfaction. But they never increase the level of motivation, nor do they motivate the employee. Thus, they are not motivating factors. So, the presence of high pay and good working conditions only not motivate the employee for giving high performance. There are other factors as included by Maslow's of hierarchy theory and Herzberg's two factor theory which must be fulfilled for the employee motivation for their high performance.


Thus, the high pay and good working conditions is not only the reasons of employee motivation for high performance. There are other factors that should be satisfied for the high performance of employee.