Motivation On The Performance Of An Employee Business Essay

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Any organisation to function properly it has always been a very important to effectively manage its employees. Managing its employees properly will result in the growth of the organisation. Every organisation has some set of rules and policies for the betterment of employees. Normally it's a human tendency to look out for benefits in performing any work, so keeping this in mind management of different organisations try to keep their employees happy so that productivity of these employees is high. Motivation is one such act where management tries to bring out the best out of their employees.

Motivation is defined as the psychological feature that arouses an organism to action toward a desired goal; the reason for the action; that which gives purpose and direction to behaviour. Motivation is normally classified into two types which are as follows:

Intrinsic motivation

Extrinsic motivation

Intrinsic motivation is a term to describe a person who actually is interested and enjoys doing a particular task without any external inducements whereas extrinsic motivation is something which describes the state of motivation when a person who is performing a task is not particularly interested in that task but is willing to do it efficiently when he is induced to do it by encouraging him through benefits such as rewards, money or grades. A person competing with others to achieve name and fame can also be termed as extrinsic motivation.

(Nuttin J. (1984). Motivation. In: Raymond P., Lorian Jean E. Motivation, Planning and Action. 4th ed. Northhampton: I.E.A. p12)

(Lepper, M.R., Greene, D. & Nisbett, R.E. (1973) Undermining children's intrinsic interest with extrinsic rewards: A test of the over justification hypothesis. Journal of Personality and Social Psychology, 28(1), pp. 129-137)

Importance of motivation:

Motivation as defined earlier is a psychological feature which enhances the desire of an individual to accomplish that particular task. Motivation has been an important factor in social life but it also holds key in the development and growth of an organisation. There has been an emphasis on the human resource management nowadays when compared to the earlier days. The importance of manpower management is considerably high since it is the most critical resource without which an effective utilization of all the other resources and factors cannot be expected. Thus human resources can be termed as the main stay of any organisation. It can be in other words that the progress of any organisation is mainly dependant on the ability and expertise of both the managerial and lower level employees.

Growth of an organisation with the combination of capital resources along with motivated human resources:

The human resource management is considered one of the most critical aspects of any organisation. So for that reason most organisations meticulously plan the usage of physical and capital resources more effectively. The main objective of any organisation is to make profits and experience growth in a positive direction and this is only possible when a proper manpower management is done. One of the factors that play a critical role in the human resource management is motivation. An organisation where the employees are motivated benefits the organisation in the following way:

Efficiency of employees is increased

For an employee to work efficiently he has to be well supported as an employee does not only depend upon his qualifications and abilities. There is always a gap between the ability of the employee and the performance of the employee in the absence of motivation. Motivating an employee results in the improvement of employee's efficiency which in turn results in the increase of the organisation's productivity thus saving time and money which otherwise have resulted in more time needed to accomplish a task.

Better utilisation of human resources

It has always been a very important for any organisation to efficiently train employees so as to improve the efficiency of the employees so that the employees perform with all their ability but this seldom happens as it is a human tendency to work to their fullest of the ability as they need motivation since motivation as defined above is a psychological feature which enhances the desire of an individual to accomplish a task. Hence when an employee is motivated we get to see that particular employee performing to the best of his ability. Thus motivating employees result in better utilisation of human resources.

A cordial relationship between employees

Motivation also plays an important factor in making the employees feel satisfied. It also builds a cordial, friendly atmosphere in an organisation. And a friendly atmosphere brings stability and will help in providing a smooth and sound place and it will be an organisation where individual interests will coincide with the organizational interests.

Goals of the organisation are achieved

Every organisation has certain set of goals which they look out to achieve and these goals can be achieved when the human resources of that organisation are highly motivated and it results in the best possible utilization of resources as stated above. Goals of the organisation are easily achieved by proper co-ordination and co-operation between the employees and the management and this can be done by the motivation of the employees. As the employees are motivated best possible results or outputs are obtained.

Higher work force retention

When an employee feels good about his organisation stability of workforce is achieved as this will also result in the positive outcome and the organisation's reputation is placed high. The employee is satisfied and does not think of moving out of the organisation and thus the skills of these employees will always be of advantage to employers. This will in turn create a positive image of the organisation and thus will increase the brand value of that organisation which will attract competent and qualified people into its fold. There is a very old saying which states that "Old is gold", this statement is very true in this case as the more the experience of the employee the more he benefits the enterprise and since they do not need or take time to adjust also acts as an icing on the cake.

(H. Juneja. (2009). Importance of Motivation. Available: Last accessed 5th Dec 2010)

Different theories suggested for motivating Employees:

There are different ways of motivating employees and different theories have been proposed. Some of these theories are listed below.

Taylor's Theory of Scientific Management

Mayo's Human Relation School of thought

Maslow's Theory of Motivation - Hierarchy of Needs

Herzberg's two-factor theory of motivation

1. Taylor's Theory of Scientific Management

His Theory of scientific management stated the following:

Management needs to keep an eye on their employees as it is a general phenomenon that workers do not naturally enjoy work and so need close supervision and control.

Work has to be divided according to their ability by giving them short term goals.

Suitable training has to be given to the employees in order for them to work as efficiently as possible.

Employees have to be paid accordingly i.e. according to the number of items they produce in a set period.

This will result in the higher productivity of each employee.

2. Mayo's Human Relation School of thought

Mayo concluded that workers are best motivated in the following ways:

If the employee and the management have better understanding and good communication with each other the efficiency of an employee was seen to have improved.

If an employee is teamed up with its colleagues of similar work and greater manager involvement always enhances their productivity.

3. Maslow's Theory of Motivation - Hierarchy of Needs

Maslow's theory states that an employee has some basic needs which had to be fulfilled then the employee thinks about other needs. He stated that each and every employee have their own set of needs but after a careful study he came up with a generalised structure which better explains the needs of an employee. He has put forward a theory consisting of five levels of human needs which employees need to have fulfilled at work. These needs are structured into a hierarchy and only once a lower level of need has been fully met, then only will an employee would be motivated by the opportunity of having the next need up in the hierarchy satisfied.

Hierarchy theory diagram:

An organisation can only succeed when the mangers realise the individual requirements of each employee as each employee have their own set of needs and they vary from each other. Hence managers should recognise that employees are not motivated in the same way and so does not progress to the next level of hierarchy at the same pace.

(Helen Lingard, Stephen M. Rowlinson (2005). Occupational health and safety in construction project management. New York: Spon Press. P426-428)

Herzberg's two-factor theory of motivation

Herzberg in his theory of motivation wants the organisation to take a democratic approach that motivates employees and this can be done by improving the nature and content of the actual job through certain methods. Some of the methods are listed below.

Job enlargement- Employees must be given jobs which are interesting and creates a level of confidence in the employee. These tasks assigned to employees must be of great variety but not necessarily challenging.

Job enrichment - An employee who is given a challenging job which can be termed as complex and these tasks must be interrelated surrounding a complete unit of work and thus gives a sense of great achievement to the employees.

(Shannon Riley (2005). Herzberg's two-factor theory of motivation applied to the motivational techniques within financial institutions. Michigan: Eastern Michigan University. P39-44)

Common practices for motivating Employees:

It has always been of a very great importance for the organisations to motivate their employees. Different authors suggested different methods and theories which are quite useful and also guide the management to decide what has to be done in order to motivate an employee. Each and every employee has certain things or priorities which if addressed will do a great help to the organisation as that particular employee gets motivated by that particular thing. Certainly there are quite a few factors which are similar and are part of a greater requirement to all the employees which the management has to take into consideration.

The management nowadays rewards employees who achieve their targets thus motivating them. Providing them incentives, bonus, salary appraisal are some factors which do motivate the employees. Granting special benefits, time-off, day-off, elevating to higher positions also act as motivating factors.

(Roger Monk. (1996). The motivation of managers for training. Management Development Review. 9 (3), p10)

Relationship between motivation and performance:

Motivating an employee is a very important feature in an organisation. Investing in an employee's development plays a vital role in the company's performance and it does brings out a positive outcome in that particular organisation where an Human resources are properly managed in different ways which also includes motivation. If we speak in simple terms, an employee tends to work harder when he/she is offered organisational inducements in terms of developmental opportunities which also lead to the motivation of the employee.

Lee and Bruvold (2003) developed a method which measures relationship between motivation and performance of the employee. Their researched on 400 nurses of two different countries and found that employee development resulted in the organisation's development and performance. Thus employee development over here induced the employee to perform better thus resulting in the speedy achievements of organisational goals. Grant (2008) has done study and presented a report where he stated that intrinsic motivation strengthens the relationship between pro-social motivation and employee performance.

(Kuvaas, Bard - Dysvik, Anders. (2009). Perceived investment in employee development, intrinsic motivation and work performance. Human Resource Management Journal. 19 (3), 217)

Different practices undertaken to motivate Employees:

It has been noted that employee satisfaction has directly improved the performance of the employee. According to Harbison F.H, human being constitutes the ultimate basis of a country's wealth. Many sources indicate that certain jobs and goal setting can enhance performance. One such factor can be termed as job design. A well defined job design would enhance motivation, satisfaction and performance of the employee. A job design has various dimensions such as job enrichment, job engineering and quality of work life.

Nowadays rewards, recognition, stability, cultural background has become very important in the organisational environment and this can be attributed due to several reasons. Employees worldwide are asked to do more and the organisations want this to be done autonomously. This can only happen if the employee is induced to work by providing him various benefits which are otherwise not part of their pay cheque. Cultural background as stated earlier is also very important as are the moral values.

It has been noted that there are differences in the competitiveness, money and work of the employees of different regions or nationalities. A study was done on 12,000 persons of different countries and of same age by Richard Lynn in the year 1991 and it was observed that Europeans had lower scores on competitiveness, money beliefs and saving attitudes whereas the Americans scored higher in work ethics, mastering, savings and conformity. The Asians and the Far-east on the other hand considered competitiveness and money beliefs as far more rewarding and thus were important motivating factors. The results of the study also showed that competitiveness is a powerful stimulant for motivating employees all over the world. By looking into different factors we can conclude that work ethic, achievement motivation, mastery, competitiveness, achievement through conformity, money beliefs, incentives, elevating to higher positions are all important factors of motivation.

(Pooja Garg, Renu Rastogi. (2006). New model of job design: motivating employees' performance. Journal of Management Development. 25 (6), p572-587)

(Joni Romero, Brian H. Kleiner. (2000). Global trends in motivating employees. Management Research News. 23 (7), p14-16)

De-motivational factors:

De- motivation can be defined as a phenomenon where a person's experiences a reduced driving force for thinking, feeling or acting. It can also be referred as an engagement in counter-productive behaviour. For example workers who are inadequately motivated tend to make only a minimal effort thereby reducing the overall productivity of the organisation (Ng et al. 2004) or create problematic practises in the organisation (Wunderer & Kupers 2003). The different factors that are causes of de-motivation are listed below:

If an employee is underpaid than what he expects to get for his skills and ability, he feels let down and essentially gets de-motivated.

Work place surroundings such as equipment, artefacts, design of floors and rooms ill-equipped.

Emotional bonding, coldness, pseudo-harmony characterised by lack of trust.

Employees like to work an efficient and fair administration and the absence of it demoralises an employee.

Lack of understanding between the management and the employees.

An employee also tends to become lax when there is incompetent supervision.

Boredom or stress caused by under or over work load.

Lack of good inter-personal relationship between co-employees.

(Kupers W. (2003). Embodied and emotional dimensions of demotivation in organisations. International Journal of Organisational Behaviour. 14 (1), p41-53)


Based on the study undertaken over here, a few of trends mentioned below had to be followed to make an organisation successful and thus creating a win-win situation for the employees as well.

Organisations should encourage their employees to participate in training and development programmes.

Evaluation of the training program at the end of employee training

Suitable tasks had to be assigned to each employee.

Proper understanding between the management and the employees is very important.

Well rewarded and suitable promotion policy has to be followed.

A good workplace is of utmost importance

(Aderinto Adeyemo (2000): "Interstate Mobility of Higher Level Manpower", The Nigerian Journal of Development Studies, Vol. 1 of April, pages 23 - 36)


A proper study is done to determine the importance of motivation and its overall effect on the growth and development of the organisation. Different theories of motivation have been discussed. The practical implementation of these theories and their implications on an organisation and its work force had also been studied. It has been understood that there exists a relationship between motivation of work force and the progress of any organisation. An organisation as such is mainly dependant on its manpower so it is very important to take care of employees and keep them happy. Thus we can say that motivated work force definitely plays a huge role in the development of an organisation.