The word "motivation" has been derived from a Latin word called "Moveve". Its means is "move". It symbolizes the power that makes people to move and to act. Motivation is something that motivates a person into an achievement and carries him in the course of achievement passionately. However good the wealth of an organization may be, these cannot automatically result in the recognition of the aims of the business enterprise. Merely recruitment of the staff and distribution of duties among them in the management process cannot complete by itself. Ultimately the most influential factor is the human factor. Best performance can be had from the staff only by creating in them the necessary urge or desire to do so. Creation of this urge or desire to give better performance is called motivation. This means making the workers to take interest in the work. Managers can buy a man's time, he can buy a man's physical presence but the real difficulty is how to get this enthusiasm, initiative or loyalty to work. From the words of the Robbins, S. P. (2005), motivation is able to generate in men the willingness to use their ability and perform the work.
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In the real world, motivation is the art of creating conditions that allow everyone of us to get the work done at the peak level of efficiency. That is why Gagne, M. & Deci, E. L. (2005) as a way in which urges, drives, desires, aspirations or needs direct control or explains the behavior of human beings. Similarly Robbins, S. P. (2005), motivation is the process of attempting to influence others to your will through the possibility of gain or reward.
Why do we need motivated employees? Firstly, as a company owner, it's not necessarily going to be the case that all of your workers are going to be as motivated as you are. That's only natural. You have far more to gain (and to lose) by owning the company. However, if there is little or no employee motivation, you can never hope to achieve the desired results for your company.
Whilst there will be some workers who are naturally motivated, there will be others who require some kind of stimulus if you're ever going to get them to be as productive as you want them to be. Remember the old adage - "you can lead a horse to water, but you can't make it drink."
Although many theories have been proposed to explain what motivates human behavior, this literature review will focus on how motivation impacts in the work place to accomplish its vision. I have further described in detail the concept of motivation under these subtopics; Motivation in the work place; balancing organizational individual interest, Motivation in the work place; Rationality Vs. emotional dimension, Motivation in the work place as source of sustainable competitive advantage, Motivation in the work place by translating vision and strategy into actionable steps.
Motivation in the Workplace; Factors that need to be managed
Every workplace has varied conditions. All rules will not apply for unrelated settings. The factory will have different issues to consider than a corporate office, or a construction site. All of them have a little bit of different from each other.
The human nature and how we respond to diverse situations in work place depends on:
1. Different types of personalities
This is one of the main problems to think about. We need to consider that each and every person is different from each other. We all have different personalities.We all are not doing the same job in day to day life. It is not possible. It isn't the way we are made. One person may think of as bossy and another may find as being constructive criticism.
One person may think that they are being indolent and another person may think they are being creative. It is that the way each and every person think in a different way. And the management's job is to check whether the job is completed, from beginning to end of the employee.
To work with them properly, they must be able to understand the various differences of the people and the way to deal with them in various situations. They need to be tactful in these situations and make the floor of running smoothly.
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The main factor to motivation is the goals. So if motivation in the workplace is desired, then rewarding people should be a must. If they are doing a great job, they need to be motivated.If they are given bonuses, words of affirmation or promotions, they would be grateful and motivated of the job which they have done well.
3. Working environment
The place of work needs to be an enjoyable and comfortable place for everyone. Usually a person spends 8-10 hours average per day at this place. If it is not enjoyable and comfortable place to be, then workplace would demotivate instead of being motivated.
Employees need to be able to take their own decisions by their own and to think on their own. No one likes to be told what, when and how to do something in every second of the day. They need to know what are the expectations and they should be allowed to do it.
5. Room for error
Many of the times in the workplace management doesn't plan for the errors. So when an error was happen, no one knows what action to be taken to solve the issue. So it is a management's duty to create a plan B just in case to take if something went wrong.
Taking time and patience as the manager or boss makes the work place motivate. With these simple things, they can make the work place more productive.
Motivation in the workplace: balancing organizational and individual interests
Motivation in the workplace needs to be a successful one. Without motivation the end result would be poor and unsuccessful in the workplace. Each and every workplace has different situations. The corporate office will have different things to consider than an industrial unit, or a construction site. They all are having slight differences. The only thing that will remain the same is human nature, and how they behave in different issues and situations.
As we discussed in early paragraphs, we need to understand that there are different people with different attitudes n working patterns. So we need to understand them and motivate them according to their nature.
As we know, conflicts in workplace are a common thing. It can be between employees or between the employer and an employee. What motivates disagreements between employers and employees is the meaning which the company goals are not parallel with the goals of the employee. As far as the organization goals are concerned the employer's attention is what is best for the company and ultimately the success and profitability of the business. Main goal of the employer is effectiveness and efficiency, with other features such as conformity and future impact. Employers usually take ideas, comments and suggestions from top level employees, because they recognize these employees are the key to success of the work place. Employee's interest differs from the company's interests from several ways. While the employee too searches a steady and productive company to work for, they also seek equality, admiration and equality. Employees generally find conflict when the company goals knock over what they feel is the best interests of the employee.
Motivation in the work place; Rationality Vs. emotional dimension
Even though we are rational beings, the emotional dimension rapidly come into view because that initial awareness of affinity of interest rapidly decline specially in the current situation. We are expected to improve our performance, to produce more for less money and using fewer resources.
In my experience the commonest leadership style in many corporate is essentially transactional in nature that is, based on "getting the job done", short-term and hard data focused, and supports the structures and systems that maximize efficiency and guarantee short-term profits. This approach clearly works but it is short-term in focus.
The direct effect of this is that the transactional focus on motivation in the workplace in change management contexts is nearly always on getting the quickest return, and in change management terms by fixing the most obvious and glaring problems.
An alternative to the typical transactional leadership prevalent in many corporate today is transformational leadership - a concept first brought to prominence by James Macgregor Burns in his book Leadership  - and one that is deeply resonant with the practice of inspirational motivation in the workplace. Transformational leadership is all about values and meaning, and a purpose that transcends short-term goals and focuses on higher order needs.
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The transformational leadership concept is supported by post Malawian motivation research notably Herzberg, ERG theory and subsequent research and theories which highlight that for all our rationality we are primarily emotional creatures driven by growth needs for achievement, recognition, personal development and personal growth.
Another perspective taken from the field of quantum physics has shown that the universe is a single gigantic field of energy, and that this energy field is an undivided whole in a constant state of dynamic flux.
From this has emerged the understanding that everything is interconnected as part of that whole and every manifestation of "slowed down energy" that appears in the physical world as a "tangible something" remains at a sub atomic level simply as energy. Thus we as human beings can be regarded as energy beings. We are quite literally energy beings functioning in an environment that is an energy field. So motivation in the workplace - or anywhere else for that matter - is ultimately all to do with energy.
If the object of motivation is the activation of goal-oriented behaviour then it follows that people are motivated when they are inspired. For people to be inspired means - literally means to have life and energy breathed into them. So, in practical terms, motivation in the workplace means energising, enthusing or inspiring people.
Motivation in the work place as source of sustainable competitive advantage
Human beings love competition. Contests are agreat way to motivate your staff. If u offer a competition with rewards, your employees will be motivated to win. It elevates interests and makes things way more interesting and fun for people. If you are reluctant to offer in fear of pitting people against each other,then offer a competition in which the employee completes against their own performance.
Competition is healthy and is a useful tool that can elevate sales, increase productivity and defenetely raise moral. By offering opportunities to compete, employer creates a situation that keeps people on their toes. If you are looking for good ways to motivate your staff, start with your own good attitude, offer constructive feedback and offer some good healthy competition. This will soon culminate a more motivated work force.
In this scenario, top management consideration is very essential especially when it harnesses the emotional, aspirational and transcendent needs of the individual to generate genuine organisational sustainable competitive advantage.
In his book Peak Performance: Aligning the Hearts and Minds of Your Employees Jon Katzenbach examined the leaders of some of America's most successful corporations and found distinct patterns to their employee motivation techniques and the means by which they engaged their employees to capitalise on emotional energy and consistently achieve higher levels of performance than their competition.
All of these enterprises confirm that performance of the workforce is the distinctive competitive advantage of their business.
Katzenbach captures the essence of what it takes in terms of employee motivation in the workplace to achieve peak performance and describes the differences in core values and management styles that deliver this.
The first step was to identify the source of competitive advantage by finding the critical segment of employees whose collective performance formed the core of the organisational competitive advantage.
Katzenbach identifies some compelling commonalities shared by leaders in these companies as they harnessed emotional energy as a source of competitive advantage:
He further goes in to detail about harnessing emotional energy as a source of competitive advantage which can be done in three steps:
1. Believe strongly in each employee
2.Engage your employees emotionally as well as rationally
3.Pursue enterprise performance and worker fulfilment with equal rigor
He found that they all developed a straightforward "workforce value proposition" that makes clear exactly what is expected of employees and exactly what they can expect in return from their employers.
Motivation in the work place by translating vision and strategy into actionable steps
Although people will hear what you say when you outline your vision and strategy, and will probably agree with you, at the individual level, most of them are not able to translate all that into productive purposeful action.
This is not because they are stupid, and does not necessarily mean that they are resistant to it but it does often mean that the jump from vision and strategy to practical implementation is too big - without practical support.
So this means that managing change in the workplace requires hands-on detailed management [micro management on occasions] in the specifics of how to do it, and especially during the early stages.
As change leader - it really is your responsibility to make no assumptions, and to "grind out" and communicate those actionable steps.
So often, this just doesn't happen. Leaders don't lead and managers don't manage. It is assumed that: "they've been told what to do and they'll go away and do it". Wrong! It is assumed that there isn't time and it isn't necessary to take the time to do this. Wrong again!
It is up to you to define and communicate those actionable steps, and to manage your people through the process of implementing and integrating those steps as the new modus operandi.
Translating vision and strategy into actionable steps means:
The literature of research [into motivation in the workplace] has, from Maslow onwards, highlighted the complexity and multi-faceted nature of human needs.
On the one hand we are rational beings focused on meeting what may be regarded as our survival needs - very loosely expressed in terms of pay and rations - and are prepared to enter into a Faustian pact with our employers on the basis of an initially perceived mutuality of interest.
But, on the other hand, the emotional dimension rapidly emerges as that initial perception of mutuality of interest rapidly dwindles as - especially in the current climate - we are expected to improve our performance, to produce more for no more [maybe less] money and often with fewer resources.
Taking all the factors into consideration, motivtion will help to lead employees through change, putting it altogether and managing the whole messy business.