The need for Motivation in the Workplace

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MOTIVATION is making people to work harder. Motivation encourages a person to give their best and increase their performance and help in developing a firm. A positively motivated worker will also help to increase the efficiency of the firm while a negatively motivated worker will reduce the work output of the firm.

Everyone needs some form of motivation. Some managers today do not have knowledge of what motivation does and contributes to their firms. A firm which has 2 workers needs to have their workers motivated as a firm which has 100 workers does too. Therefore it is important to keep everyone motivated.

Most managers like to motivate their staff because their aim is to maximize desired behaviors and minimize undesirable behaviors.

Motivation makes people do things, but they only do it when their individual needs are met or satisfied. Once they are satisfied, then they now have the power to complete their given tasks.

Everyone has his own needs, a person has to have his specific needs to be motivated, a worker might work really hard and increase his output because his needs have been satisfied.

There are various theories on motivation. One example is the Herzberg's Two Factor Theory

It states that:

"Motivation has been studied for many years stretching beyond the 19th century. As a result, a number of theorists have compiled their own conclusions and consequently a wide variety of motivational theory has been produced. Without going into the fine details and depth of all the motivational theory, we will use Fredrick Herzberg's (1966) research to outline the main issues concerning motivation.


In 1966, Herzberg interviewed a number of people in different professions at different levels to find out two things:

Those factors that MOTIVATED them in the workplace

These were identified as factors that gave employees an incentive to work resulting in job satisfaction. They are also referred to as 'motivators'. These motivators increased the job satisfaction of the employee and further increased their efficiency.


These were identified as factors that prevented job dissatisfaction. These did not make the employees happy (or have job satisfaction): it just removed the unhappiness out of working. They are also referred to as 'hygiene' factors. Such hygiene factors, if not satisfied, had an effect of reduced employee efficiency. 

Herzberg believed that all factors fell into one of these categories and therefore had separate consequences. His research concluded that some factors fell into both categories although they held a stronger position in one of them. See the diagram below for examples of the factors that he determined for each category.

By looking at the diagram, it shows that a sense for achievement, recognition of their effort, the nature of the work itself, and the desire for responsibility are all strong factors for motivation. At the bottom of the diagram, the way the business is run, how they are supervised, the work conditions and their pay, are all factors that can lead to job dissatisfaction if not met to the standards of the employee.

The size (or width) of the bars that represent each factor compensate for the level at which it is a concern. For example, from the diagram, the way the business is run is a higher dissatisfaction cause (if it is run badly) then the concern of bad working conditions. You may look at 'pay' and think that this bar should be a lot wider on the job dissatisfaction side, but most people would not take the job in the first place if they considered the pay as 'totally unacceptable'.

Take another example: the employee does not see the lack of personal responsibility as a major job dissatisfaction, but when people do seek responsibility, it is a huge motivational factor for them: hence the long extension of the bar more on the motivation side of the diagram.

You will further notice that those factors encouraging motivation (job satisfaction) have little connection with money and are more associated with personal development and achievement. Hygiene factors concern more the employee's personal attitudes towards the context of their job and involve money in most cases to provide a solution to the issue.

You may also have noticed that two bars on the diagram (achievement and pay) are shaped differently. This is to illustrate that, for Achievement, it is something that is only acquired for a short term and is therefore an ongoing need that is searched for over and over again. In other words: one week you may achieve, say, a good personal sales figure, and the following week your standard drops to a disappointing level in which you seek to achieve this figure yet again. The Pay factor (salary) also has a similar concern: you may increase an employee's salary that removes job dissatisfaction at first, but in time (can be as low as days) the employee will increase their personal spending to what they are earning and will eventually, again, become dissatisfied. In such a case, it may be for your benefit that you offer an additional incentive to keep the employee further satisfied to prevent this on-going cycle from occurring."

BizHelp24. (19/10/2005). Motivation in the Workplace. Available: Last accessed 7 march 2010

People work for different reasons. Many people work because the need the money to buy food and items they need to survive However some people volunteer to work and they do not have money in their minds.

If a business has high productivity, it is usually a result of a workforce that is motivated to work efficiently.

Motivation in Business

In the workplace, motivation is one of the most important things that contribute. It can be the difference between a successful and failed business.

Motivation has two sources. The first one is external which is outside the person control. The other one is the internal force. The internal factor consists of mostly a person's thought.

Here are some factors that can be helpful:


Inspiration is needed to stay motivated. If your work is boring then your work motivation will be low. On the other hand, a worker who is inspired might like his work and he will make sure how works hard to contribute to his business.

Setting goals

Business owners have to set goals. If they don't set goals then the business has no level to reach and that can be bad for the business. Even the workers will be unsure about the business because they won't understand where the business is heading to.


A business needs to be organized to control itself very well. A business which is not organized will suffer because many things will be hard for them. For example, workers turning up to work late can have a negative impact on the level of output.

Maslow's Theory

"We each have a hierarchy of needs that ranges from "lower" to "higher." As lower needs are fulfilled there is a tendency for other, higher needs to emerge."

Maslow's theory states that a person does not feel a feel he needs another thing until his current needs have been fulfilled.

Maslow's basic needs:






Social Needs



Need of friends

Need to give and receive love

Maslow's Hierarchy of Needs

Maslow's hierarchy of needs seems to indicate that higher level needs cannot be satisfied until lower needs are satisfied. This may be true. However, it is very likely that people move up and down Maslow's scale during their life. Just because you are safe today, does not mean that you will be safe tomorrow.

Vroom's Expectancy Theory

Expectancy is the belief that increased effort will lead to increased performance i.e. if I work harder then this will be better. This is affected by such things as:

Having the right resources available (e.g. raw materials, time)

Having the right skills to do the job

Having the necessary support to get the job done (e.g. supervisor support, or correct information on the job

What are Incentives? Incentives are things offered to you to help in the decision making process. Incentives are offered to encourage you to act. Some incentives make people better off and reward them for their actions. Other incentives leave people worse off and penalize them for their actions.

Incentive is any factor(financial or non-financial) that

attracts a employees attention and stimulates him to work.

Incentives is nothing but a financial type of motivation

offered by the organization to the employee if he/she

achieved the target in time.

motivation is recognizing the inner needs, urges & beliefs

of people and fulfilling those needs in order to satisfy the

person........ it motivates the person to perform better......

there are some very famous theories of motivation like

maslow's need hierarchy, mcgregor theory, X & Y theory

etc......... Maslow's need hierarchy is the most famous

one..... i just give you a brief about that:

Every person has five types of needs......

physiological needs

psychological needs(safety needs)

social needs

esteem needs(achieving status in society)

self recognition needs(A sense of achievement)

one has to identify these needs of people, and by fulfilling

them...... motivation comes...

Incentives are rewards relating to certain goals. Perks are benefits on top of basic salary. Incentives and perks can be financial or non-financial. You can also have individual and group or team incentives.

This guide will help employers understand the benefits of offering incentives and perks whilst outlining the different options available. It will also look at how you can decide what to offer and how to monitor the effectiveness of any selected scheme.

Practical advice for business


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Implement staff incentive schemes

The benefits of staff incentive schemes

Incentives - such as performance-related bonuses - can help boost staff performance. The rewards usually relate to the achievement of certain goals, either personal, team or organisational, or a combination of all of these.

Perks are benefits given in addition to salary as a means of increasing satisfaction at work.

Pay is often the most important staff motivator and incentives and perks must not be seen as a substitute for a good pay scheme. However, they are not always expensive for business and some are tax free. See the information on incentive schemes for individuals on the Acas website - Opens in a new window.

Benefits to the business

An effective system of incentives could help:

persuade staff to join your business

retain existing staff

increase staff motivation, morale and loyalty

boost productivity

link individual and business performance

focus employees on achieving targets

build teamwork

Some incentives and perks may benefit your business indirectly, eg free health assessments may reduce absences.

Benefits to staff

Perks and incentives can form an attractive element of an employment package by:

enhancing the quality of working life

rewarding staff efforts

adding value to the employment contract

What makes effective schemes?

Perks and incentives must be affordable, transparent and appropriate to your business and the jobs they link to. It is worth introducing them after consulting with staff or unions.

You should look at whether other incentives will increase staff motivation. For example, in a sales environment an employer may wish to offer extra pay or benefits when targets are achieved.

Perks and incentives work best alongside good pay schemes and working conditions. They can be most successful when implemented with other good management practices, such as performance management, appraisals and appropriate communication and training programmes.