The Effect Of Motivation On Employees Performance

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27th Apr 2017 Management Reference this


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One of human resource management is to get the best from the employees and create an environment where job satisfaction and performance can be improved. Organisations have goals which can only be achieved by trigging the right button and stimulating the team to get the desired result through the process of motivation. This research examines motivation and employees performance and to identify the factors that effects employee motivation and examining the relationship between organisational effectiveness and employee motivation in Syria. The authors identified factors that could guarantee job satisfaction on the part of the employees and also improve job performance. In conclusion, the authors hold the view that if the recommendations in this paper are adopted, they will benefit both the employers and employees immensely in performance improvements.


Motivation factors are known to intensively affect whether or not individuals are satisfied with their jobs. We know of many who proclaim to be very satisfied with their jobs. We always hear about people who are often not satisfied with their jobs and probably affect their performance. There are several factors that have an influence on satisfaction or dissatisfaction with a job. Some of these include the feelings that an employee may have about the job, task significance, job choice, rewards, and pay. Among other factors related to job satisfaction are the type of motivation used, individual performance, and empowerment. Job satisfaction is not only important at a particular level but also for organisations and society as a whole. Perdue, Reardon, & Peterson indicates

On the personal level, the ability to affectively adjust to a work setting, perform at a level appropriate with one’s personal potential, and enjoy work tasks affects psychological adjustment and life satisfaction. At the organisational level, the degree to which individuals are able to find and maintain satisfying work affects the productivity and success of organisations. On a social level job satisfaction may be correlated with the healthy employment of a nation, reinforcing its ability to sustain itself through effective work organisations.

Thus, understanding the determinants is important in particular to psychologists, counselors, and human resource personnel so that they may ensure that individual identify and select appropriate work environments in which to find a base to help in career choice and have high job performance. Jobs are not going away and will always be around. Therefore, it is important that employees see how job satisfaction affects employees on the individual, organisational, and social level, and more importantly, the factors that motivate employees to be satisfied or dissatisfied with their job. Although there are many factors that one may consider when determining if there is or is not job satisfaction, one of the key aspects to job satisfaction is the motivation to be at work and what kinds of factors are behind the motivation type. Motivation is important to understand because it describes the reasons that drive one’s actions (Grant,2008).Understanding motivation is basic to explain both individual and organisation behavior. Motivation refers to the psychological processes that direct, energize, and sustain action, or can also be better understood as one’s inner desire to make an effort (Grant, 2008, p. 48).

Knowing why employees are motivated is important to understand what drives employees to work and high job satisfaction levels. Since job satisfaction is a vital piece of the feelings that employees have in the job environment, the topic of job satisfaction is not only crucial for managers and organisations to understand, but also for individuals in order to grow.

Organisations needs Motivation

Finck. (1998) stated that organisations must recognize that the human factor is becoming more and more important for the organisation to survive, and that business improvement will only be achieved when employees are excited and motivated by their work and as Watson (1994) stated business has come to realize that motivated and satisfied employees can deliver powerfully to the bottom line. Since employee performance is combined function between ability and motivation, one of management’s primary tasks, therefore, is to motivate employees to perform to the best of their performance and ability (Moorhead & Griffin, 1998).

Most of the time the employee knows how to perform his duties correctly, the process is well done, and all resources are available, but for one reason or another, chooses not to do so, which normally means it’s a motivational issue. While many jobs have problems that are inherent to the position, it is the problems that are inherent to the person that normally cause us to lose focus from our main task of getting results. These motivational problems could arrive from family pressures, personality conflicts, a lack of understanding on how the behavior affects other people or process, etc.

When something breaks the psychological contract between the employee and the organisation, hereby the leader must find out what is the exact problem by looking beyond the symptoms, finding a solution, focusing on the problem, and then implementing a plan of action. One of the worst situations that a leader can get into is to get the facts wrong.

Start by collecting and documenting what the employee is not doing or should be doing, such as tasks, special projects, reports, etc. Try to observe the employee performing the task. Also, do not make it a witch hunt, but rather observe and record what the employee is not doing to standards. Check past performance appraisals, previous managers, or other leaders the employee might have worked with. Try to find out if it a pattern or something new.

Once you know the problem, and then work with the employee to solve it. Most employees want to do a good job. It is in your best interest to work with the employee as long as the business needs are met and it is within the bounds of the organisation to do so.

But what is this driving force and what is it that people really want from work? What are people’s needs and expectations and how do they influence behavior and performance at work? Motivation is a complex subject, it is a very personal thing, and it is influenced by many variables. Farren reminds us of the 12 human needs that have been around since the beginning of recorded history: family, health and well-being, work/career, economic, learning, home/shelter, social relationships, spirituality, community, leisure, mobility, and environment/safety. Work and private life in the new millennium will continue to revolve around the 12 human needs.

Background of the study

The common factor between all organisations is that they are contains individuals who are there for various reasons. Each individual has various backgrounds, beliefs, and attitudes. The two types of motivation that explain why employees work are identified in this study as intrinsic and extrinsic motivation. This study sought to find if there is a relationship between motivational factors and job satisfaction.

Research Questions

The research questions investigated in this study were as follows:

1. Will employee’s level of job satisfaction be higher when motivated extrinsically by rewards and pay?

2. What role does job choice play with intrinsic and extrinsic motivation?

3. Does task significance relate to the level of job satisfaction that one has with their job?

Motivation & Employee Performance

Owen E. Richason IV, Demand Media stated employee motivation and performance are key factors in moving a small business forward. Owners, managers and supervisors know positive motivation leads to better performance and higher productivity but may rely on the wrong tools.

Benefits as motivators can boost job performance. Pay raises, bonuses, stock options and profit sharing are examples of positive motivators. These motivators reward employees for not only doing their job, but doing it well and with enthusiasm. However, these motivators are to retain normal levels or morale but do not necessarily increase overall motivation levels. Management Help includes money as a myth of motivating small business employees as things like money, a nice office and job security can help people from becoming less motivated, but they usually don’t help people to become more motivated.

How to Monitor Employee Motivation, Satisfaction & Performance?

Ruth Mayhew claims that monitoring the activities of your employees are a simple task, however, measuring and monitoring subjective matters, including motivation, job satisfaction and performance, take a great degree of skill, innovation and expertise from your human resources department. There are several methods to consider for each measurement, and in many instances trial and error may be the only road to perfecting a system that works well for your organisation.

Step 1

Track motivation of your employees through observation of how enthusiastic they are about arriving at the job site, interacting with colleagues and engaging in activities to which they are assigned. In Measuring Employee Motivation It seems as though a growing number of senior executives are drawing a link between employee motivation and business success. As a result they are keen to know how motivated staffs are, and what causes any lack of motivation

Step 2

Calculate responses from employee opinion survey results to determine the level of job satisfaction among your work force. Your human resources leader can construct survey methodology that elicits information from each employee about the sense of job satisfaction, which is usually connected to employees’ feelings about job security.

Step 3

Conduct annual performance appraisals to measure employee performance. Your human resources leader develops a performance management program that is best suited to your company business, industry, number of employees and type of work environment.

Will Employee Motivation Impact Organisation & Performance?

Victoria Duff stated Seventy-five percent of employee recruiting involves replacing employees who have left their places of employment, according to a 1997 study by the University of Wisconsin. Dr. Jac Fitz-enz, acknowledged as the originator of human capital strategic analysis, estimates that the average company loses $1 million for every 10 managerial and professional employees that leave the organisation. Unmotivated or disengaged employees are the most likely to voluntarily leave a company.

Extrinsic motivation

Extrinsic motivation may be assumed to be short term, as it is primarily concerned with rewards, recognition, and job security. Income plays a role towards an employee’s satisfaction with their job. The income that one makes results in an employee being able to provide for their family, and live life in the best possible way. For many individuals, it is of high importance in relation to job satisfaction and may even determine job satisfaction.

Extrinsic motivation research results are mixed, since extrinsic motivation has been found to increase as well as decrease job satisfaction. Nickerson et al (as cited in Vansteenkiste et al.) found the negative impact of aspiring to achieve financial success on life and job satisfaction was diminished for people earning a high income. The effects were not found for satisfaction in other life domains, such as friendship and family life

(2007, p. 255). A study conducted by Malka and Chatman (as cited in Vansteenkiste et al., 2007) found that extrinsically orientated individuals were more satisfied with their jobs and life if they earned high income, but not if the income level was low. The above research implies that some employees may be focused solely on income and rewards when determining job satisfaction. If extrinsic motivation is found to increase job satisfaction, then hiring personnel and the organisation where one is employed should have concerns about this long term, as it may result in job dissatisfaction and result in employees seeking employment elsewhere to meet extrinsic factors. Extrinsic motivation is not enough to keep one at their best. When one is extrinsically motivated, they are focused on the rewards rather than the work itself, and work only well enough to get the rewards (Thomas, 2000, p. 131). If this is the case, employees, supervisors, and organisations need to ask themselves what will happen when the rewards are taken away and how this could potentially affect individual performance long term.

At lower occupational levels, extrinsic job components (pay and job security) were more valued (Centers & Bugental, 1966). However, the study examined blue collar and white-collar jobs and found that a person, regardless of the sexual orientation, was more likely to select a job or stay with a particular job because of the intrinsic considerations rather than because of pay or financial security (Centers and Bugental, 1966). At lower occupation levels, job motivators are centered in factors that are external to the work itself. In choosing and staying with a job, a person in a lower-level occupation is more influenced by financial and social considerations (Centers and Bugental, 1966). The importance of this study is that it demonstrated that there may not be different job motivations between occupation levels, and both levels of occupation were motivated by financial rewards.

In contrast, a large study comprised of four individualistic countries and four collectivistic countries found that an extrinsic work value orientation did not interact with income in the prediction of job satisfaction, life satisfaction, or life happiness (Vansteenkiste et al., 2007). The above findings fit with the self-determination theory that the pursuits of extrinsic values, when attained, are less likely to yield job satisfaction and happiness, because extrinsic value pursuit is usually inconsistent with basic need satisfaction (Vansteenkiste et al., 2007). Although employees need financial stability in order to meet basic need satisfaction, there are other factors that are missing from the basic need satisfaction that are important and needed as well, possibly even more than external rewards (Vansteenkiste et al., 2007).

When money and rewards are used to motivate employees at work, it may lead to several outcomes depending on the individual. A pay raise for good work may be a statement that is made by the company and management in hopes that the employee will continue the good work (Timmreck, 2001). However, if the raise does not come along when expected, the employee may be dissatisfied and feel as if they are not recognized.

Thus, pay raises done in the name of motivation are more maintenance in the function than motivational (Timmreck, 2001, p. 45). This suggests that if pay raises are given to motivate employees, long term this may not work as a motivational technique because it is more for maintenance. This could also have a snowball effect depending on why the employee is motivated to be at work and satisfied with their job (Timmreck, 2001). If the sole motivation is for the rewards and the pay, then it may be that one is solely motivated by this factor and is only concerned about rewards and pay.

The Matheny (2008) study investigated job satisfaction of physician executives.

Results from the Matheny survey suggested that personal growth and development, life/work balance, effective communications, and personal relationships are the true keys to improving satisfaction for themselves and other physician executives.

The greater emphasis on personal and lifestyle issues over financial issues compares with similar trends noted among younger physicians in medical practices today. Medical managers have traditionally built reputations and resumes with hard successes, but they will need to address the increasingly importance of the soft issues to succeed in the future. (Matheny, 2008, p. 15)

However, in a study of junior military officers, Yang, Miao, Zhu, Sun, Liu, &Wu found that after a pay increase, the overall job satisfaction of the junior military officers was markedly improved. The improvement was reflected in all facets of job satisfaction, and not only with salaries and benefits (2008, p. 1337). Even though intrinsic motivation may have been the driving factor for the junior military officers, when a pay raise was given, job satisfaction was increased. Although this finding may seem crucial to supporting extrinsic motivation as a determinant of job satisfaction, most employees regardless of how they are motivated may have short term increased job satisfaction due to an increase in pay.

Intrinsic motivation

Intrinsic motivation has to do with the psychological rewards you get from your work. When you are intrinsically motivated, you genuinely care about the work, you look for better ways to do it, and you are energized and fulfilled by doing it well (Thomas, 2000, p. 132). This suggests that intrinsic motivation is more related to long-term satisfaction that one has with themselves and their job.

Self-Determination Theory (SDT) considers the three needs that were described in the theory section (p. 13) to be conditions that are essential to an entity’s growth. This conceptualization implies that when the needs are satisfied, one benefits psychologically. When they are not satisfied, negative psychological consequences will follow Vansteenkiste et al., 2007, p. 254).

Baard et al ( as cited in Vansteenkiste et al., 2007) found that basic need satisfaction at work predicted positive outcomes, such as job commitment, job attitude, self-esteem, and general good health. Self-Determination Theory is a theoretical framework that emphasizes the importance of psychological need satisfaction for wellbeing and optimal performance (Vansteenkiste et al, 2007). This may explain why person-environment-fit relates to employee attitudes and behaviors. Applying SDT to the desire for a higher salary, there is not a need because it is a learned motive that is neither essential nor universal (Vansteenkiste et al., 2007). The satisfaction of the desire of a higher salary does not necessarily lead to desirable outcomes. In this case, extrinsic rewards may undermine intrinsic enjoyment (Vansteenkiste et al., 2007). The arguments bases on SDT are consistent with research indicating that the satisfaction of desire can lead to positive or negative outcomes (Greguras & Diefendorff, 2009). Arnold et al., as cited in Perrachione, Rosser, & Petersen (2008) found that, personal satisfaction, along with professional responsibility, is an important indicator of a persons’ psychological well-being, as well as a predictor of work performance and commitment. These findings are key to understanding the importance of intrinsically motivated people having better overall health and well-being and wanting to make a contribution to others.

Ewen et al (1966) conducted a study of 793 male employees from various jobs.

The study found that intrinsic factors are more strongly related to overall satisfaction.

Overall dissatisfaction was related to pay, an extrinsic factor. The importance of this study is that it implies that the functioning and level of the extrinsic variable may depend on the level of satisfaction with the intrinsic variables (Ewen, et al., 1966). This implies that employees’ level of job satisfaction with intrinsic variables may relate to job satisfaction or dissatisfaction, depending on if there is a high or low level of one’s relation to intrinsic factors compared to extrinsic factors.

Kasser and Ryan’s (as cited in Vansteenkiste et al., 2007) conceptualization of intrinsic and extrinsic work values were considered for their research. Intrinsic work value orientation in the Vansteenkiste (2007) study reflected the employees’ natural desire to actualize, develop and grow at the workplace, and to build successful and meaningful relationships with colleagues, as well as to help people in need.

It has been found that, people who endorse extrinsic life values are less likely to connect with others in a close, authentic and interpersonally trusting way. An explanation for this is that extrinsically oriented individuals tend to objectify others and tend to use other people as instruments to attain their materialistic values (Vansteenkiste et al., 2007, p. 255). In contrast, since intrinsically oriented individuals feel concerned about other individuals, they may be able to relate to others in a more truthful way, which in return allows for a deeper experience of connectedness (Vansteenkiste et al., 2007).

Case Study

Target organisation overview

Al Baraka Bank s.a. was formally incorporated in December 2009 and started commercial operations in 2010. Al Baraka Syria operates with a network of 9 branches and a capital 5,000,000,000 SYP divided to 10,000,000 stocks.

Out of 300 employees in the bank a 50 employee have been chosen to be the sample, and they work at different departments in the bank (branches, head office ….etc.).

Design of the study

The research strategy chosen for this study was a collection of data through two objective questionnaires. The questionnaires that were used were The Minnesota Satisfaction Questionnaire short form to measure motivation type, and the Job Diagnostic Survey which was used to measure task significance and work environment.

Analysis and Discussion

The results showed the follow table:















Conclusion and Recommendations

From the above analysis this is concluded that motivation affected their performance in a way or another.

And based on this conclusion the recommendations will be as the follow:

Motivation is a basic and important factor in employee work process hereby the manager or the team leader should encourage the employees and apply motivational techniques to motivate them and perform right.

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