Motivating Staff Using Motivation Theories Commerce Essay


The most important reason for choosing this topic is that staff members are the key to the success for any organization be it small scale or an MNC and motivation affects employee performance that ultimately affects the departmental, divisional and organizational objectives. I firmly believe that only satisfied employees lead to satisfied and happy customers leads to organizational growth and profit.[1]

Another reason is that any manager cannot motivate anyone, managers can only create an atmosphere that inspires and promotes the employees self-motivation. Motivation is getting staff to do what you want them to do because they want to do it. The challenge is to give them a reason to want to do it because doing it will satisfy a need they have. You have to tune in to their needs, motives and reasons, not yours.[2]

Library research

I found two journals which could be related to this topic:

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Meeting Employee Requirements

"Maslow's Hierarchy of needs is still a reliable guide to motivating Staffs"[3]

A motivation study on the effectiveness of intrinsic and extrinsic factors. [4]

Summary of the journals:

Meeting Employee Requirements

"Maslow's Hierarchy of needs is still a reliable guide to motivating Staffs"

The article deals with the ways of increasing employee motivation using Maslow's theory of motivation. Maslow's hierarchy of needs is one of the fundamental theories of personal motivation. It has become clear now that monetary benefits are not only motivator. Infact it is one of the basic needs and after it is satisfied firms have to satisfy other need to motivate the employee further. The theory identifies the five basic human needs presented in hierarchical order from the most basic to the most advanced, as physiological, safety, social/love/belonging, esteem and self-actualization. An important point to note here is that once a need has been satisfied significantly, it ceases to be a motivator.

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The following paragraph deals with various motivators that firms can adopt to satisfy the Maslow's five basic needs.

Physiological Needs:-

It is defined as the need for food, air, water and shelter. Monetary compensation in form of wages and salaries, bonuses, stock options are some of the items to satisfy this need. As per the article, the wages and salary account for 80% of what company spend on employee compensation. However, now a day apart from above many companies have been providing their employees with a whole bunch of services earlier unheard of like free food, regular break times, car washes, laundry, on-site gyms, etc. Moreover to provide greater balance between work and personal lives firms have developed greater levels of flexibility, offering programs like telecommuting, flexible workweeks and hours, and the ability to work from home a few days a week.

Safety Needs:-

It is defined as the need to be safe from physical and mental harm. Employers are now not only providing health insurance to its employee but also to its immediate family member providing him a sense of security. The companies have also improved their retirement plans so as to provide employee with a long term sense of security. Moreover firms have now started looking after the mental health of employee also and provide counseling services for the same.

Social/Love/Belonging Needs:-

This includes the need for affection and belonging. As per Maslow, employees who have a sense of attachment to the firm and its co-workers and are liked are more likely to stay loyal to the firm. This makes it imperative for companies to ensure that good synergy exists between employees which will help to increase the productivity. Some of the steps highlighted in the article towards this can be company luncheon, banquets, clubs, mentoring etc.

Esteem Needs:-

It is the need of an individual to be recognized, loved and be respected which in turn leads to increase in self-confidence and provides motivation to excel further. As per the article many individuals remain in a particular firm to satisfy their esteem needs through a sense of accomplishments. This needs also leads to development of ambition in individual and this has to be carefully handled by all firms. Some of the commonly adopted strategies as mentioned include recognition by peers, prizes and rewards, expense paid holiday trip etc.

Self- Actualization need:-

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It is the need to become the most capable person one can become. Only few aspire for it but if aspired firms have to satisfy this need also, as at this stage the employee has the highest efficiency. Some of the common ways include tuition reimbursement programs, training programs for new set of skills, paid sabbatical, humanitarian works etc.

To sum it up firms can use this theory to develop benefit packages that are meaningful to and in sync with employee's dreams and aspirations, thus increasing motivation, productivity and overall income. The main idea of Maslow's research is that employee motivation requires more than a good wage or salary. Not all people are at the same level of the needs hierarchy; therefore, they are not motivated by the same types of incentives. By providing incentives in a thoughtful manner, firms will be able to use their resources in the most effective manner possible while attracting and retaining quality employees.



The article deals with finding the effectiveness of intrinsic and extrinsic factors on employee motivation, finding out which is more effective and compares them according to the demographic characteristics of employees.


It has been established by various studies that motivation plays a key role in successful running an organization. Motivation is basically the art of encouraging people to do the task and get desired performance. The article mentions some of the theories about motivation which can be summed up as below:-

Maslow's Theory of motivation:-

Maslow classified five types of needs in order from most basic to most advanced need namely physiological, safety, social, esteem and self-realization needs. As per him whenever one inferior need is satisfied next level steps in and the process continues. So as an employer one needs to identify the needs of its employee carefully.

McClelland theory:-

As per him human motivation is guided by 3 motives: affiliation, power and achievement. According to him individual behaviour is based on any one or combinations of those needs which corresponds to the social, esteem and self-actualization needs of Maslow's theory.

Fredrick Herzberg's Theory:-

Also known as Two Factors theory according to this motivation of employee is influenced by 2 factors motivators and hygiene factors. While motivators encourage employees to work efficiently, hygiene factors discourage him to work. Firms should carefully analyse their actions to identify possible motivators and hygiene factors.

Expectancy Theory:-

Initially developed by Vroom and further explained by Porter and Lawler, this theory establishes that an employee is highly motivated to work when rewards are clear to them and rewards are as per their expectancy.

Operant Conditioning:-

Proposed by B F Skinner it activities with positive reinforcement are repeated while those negative reinforcement are prevented.

Goal Setting Theory

It states that if employee is clear about objectives to be achieved then his level of motivation and performance is higher.

Equity Theory

The theory says that people are highly motivated to see to it that others treat them equally with whom they compare themselves.

Self-Determination Theory

According to this different types of motivations are guided different motives and actions. One way to distinct is intrinsic motivation and extrinsic motivation which is the theme of this study. Intrinsic motivation refers to doing something because you love to do it and extrinsic motivation refers to doing something because it helps you to achieve an expected outcome.

Analysis of Study

The study involved a sample of 41 employees of a delivery company located in turkey using descriptive survey design. The study was aimed at understanding these 3 questions

1). What degree motivation factors affect on employee motivation?

2). What factor is more effective on employee motivation?

3). The dependence of factors on demographic factors.

A modified questionnaire was designed to study this, using five-point Likert Scale which ranks your responses from highly motivates to never motivates.

As per the result it became clear that although both intrinsic and extrinsic factors are effective, the effect of intrinsic factors on employee motivation is more than extrinsic factor, while demographic factors had no effect whatsoever.

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