Motivation is the force that obliges a person to action and success. It influences ability to perform a task and general behaviour. Each form of motivation influences behaviour and general output in its own unique way. Motivation can take various forms. They include fear, incentive, achievement, power, recognition, among others (Ramlall, 2004). All these forms of motivation are aimed at giving an employee positive energy to augment their performance in the organization. No specific type of motivation works for all employees. People’s personalities vary, so does the form of motivation that is sufficient for inspiring their conduct.
Importance of employee motivation
The performance of the employees within an organization directly affects the success of the body. Enhanced employee performance, therefore, helps any company to increase profits and be consistent with meeting its set goals. Consistent productivity levels and good work habits by an employee, for example, set the standard for other employees (Ramlall, 2004). When more employees are producing more efficiently, organizations realize more profit. In a body where employees deal directly with customers, their actions affect the general organization performance, which could be dependent on acts such as the kind of impression they make to the customers, and the quality of service offered. As they deal with customers, the employees are the face of the company and will either make or break its reputation. It is also through enhancement of performance that human resource can be fully utilized. This is done by nurturing and building willingness in them to work (Ramlall, 2004). Motivation gives employees satisfaction. It, therefore, creates a friendly relationship among the organization members or at the workplace. It leads to active cooperation and increased productivity. Lastly, employee performance determines the stability of an organization. Stability is important because it decides the reputation the company will have.
Forms of motivation influence on performance
The various forms of motivation influence employee performance in their unique ways. Fear motivation involves consequences. It entails punishment or adverse effects by penalizing employees when they fail to achieve set goals. For fear of retribution, employees enhance their performance. Incentive motivation involves giving rewards, both monetary and non-monetary. Most employees are propelled by the knowledge that a reward awaits them after accomplishing a given task. An excellent example of an incentive is bonuses (Ramlall, 2004). Achievement motivation is another form of motivation. It is characterized by the urge to improve one’s skills further after making a worthwhile achievement. Power motivation takes the form of the desire to control our affairs or the desire to control others around us. Some employees are motivated when they have such power, and would, therefore, enhance their performance at work. Recognition of a job well-done is also a great way to inspire employees to work harder.
The concept of motivation
Motivation is a word that comes from the word ‘motive’. The word is explained to mean moving into action. Therefore, motives can be said to be forces which makes people to behave in a certain manner, to fulfil a particular human need. Motivation is vital in an organization because behind every action by any individual, there is a motive. An organization management must, therefore, set the employees working by providing them with a motive. They need to have a force pushing them to work in a manner commensurate with the organization’s agenda. It is the psychological technique that carries out policies through other people’s efforts (Ramlall, 2004). Motivation is need-based. It is only given when required to achieve a certain goal. It is applied according to the prevailing conditions. It may be either positive or negative. The Positive motivation promotes and encourages performance. On the other hand, negative motivation threatens progress and can derail a whole organization by inputting negative energy. Motivation is also continuous because human needs never seize, and change significantly. This is also important for the realization of continuous output. It is personal and specific to an individual since it is a psychological phenomenon. People respond to motivation in different ways. Two people might not be motivated in the same manner. Different people have different psychological wants and derive satisfaction differently. To maximize performance, an organization’s management, therefore, needs to learn how to motivate the different types of employees they have using the various forms of motivation that there are.
Herzberg and Maslow
Herzberg’s theory of motivation and Maslow’s hierarchy of needs are behavioural theories developed by Frederick Herzberg and Abraham Maslow respectively. Herzberg is a psychologist, developed a theory that advocates for job factors that enhances employee’s motivation. Maslow who is a behavioural scientist developed an argument that entails ranking of human needs as well as satisfaction of human needs and how individuals pursue these various needs. A two-dimensional paradigm was developed by Herzberg of factors that affects the attitudes of people towards work. He argued that factors like supervision, working conditions, company policy, and salary are not motivators but hygiene factors (Jean-Baptiste, 2010). The theory argued that, lack of these hygiene factors can cause dissatisfaction of human need, but having them cannot create or promote satisfaction either. An employee would, therefore, feel dissatisfaction if hygiene factors are absent, but would not derive satisfaction from their presence. He concluded that what motivates a person were the elements and factors that enriched a person’s job. He found particularly five factors which strongly determined satisfaction: recognition, achievement, responsibility, advancement, and the work itself. These were associated with long-term effects as opposed to hygiene factors that were related to short-term changes only, in performance and attitudes towards work, after which things would go back to ‘normal.’ Maslow postulated that there is a general pattern in which people recognize their needs and satisfaction in the same manner (Jean-Baptiste, 2010). He explained that one couldn’t recognize the next need which is higher in the sequence until his current recognized need was completely satisfied. The concept he referred to as prepotency. The hierarchy of needs by Maslow is often illustrated and explained as a pyramid with the basic and the survival need at the bottom and at the narrow top there is self-actualization need. According to Maslow, an organization needs to prioritize employees’ needs, putting the most critical first. This determines the type of extrinsic motivation given at a particular time. The employee also needs to satisfy the most urgent intrinsic need before proceeding to other needs. (Jean-Baptiste, 2010)
Intrinsic and extrinsic motivation
Motivation can either be intrinsic or extrinsic. Intrinsic motivation means that an individual’s motivation comes from within. An employee, for example, would have the desire to do a certain task because he expects its results to be as per his belief, or satisfies an inward desire (Tribolet, 2013). It could come in the form of the desire to make social contact, the urge to know, the desire to be accepted, the need for honour, the desire to be orderly, and the drive to be independent. Extrinsic motivation on the other hand means that one’s motivation comes from outside, whereby the desire or the will to perform a particular task is controlled by an outside source or factor. Even if the stimuli come from an outer source, completing the work would still be a reward to that person. It is external. The most well-known extrinsic motivation to employees is monetary motivation. Other examples include bonuses, an employee of the year award, and organized activities.
The relationship between intrinsic and extrinsic motivation
Intrinsic and extrinsic motivation influence behaviour in different ways which results to different outcomes. Intrinsic motivation is internally influence and is also inspired by experiences that relates with individual drives. These various experiences are therefore enjoyable, such that employees work for excitement and personal satisfaction (Tribolet, 2013). It enhances both performance and productivity. On the other hand, extrinsic motivation is external to the individual and usually influenced and inspired by the organization and working environment. This makes it focus on the usefulness of the activity instead of the activity itself. This, however, does not make extrinsic motivation less critical. For external work motivators, however, clarity about resulting outcomes and behavioural expectations must be there. Extrinsic motivation is associated with improved performance. Intrinsic motivation is, however, a better performance differentiator. There is a motivation gap: intrinsic motivation is consistently higher than extrinsic motivation. Employees come to work ready to satisfy internal needs, but organizations are not giving the additional inducements needed to push that energy to a higher level. There is a significant opportunity for organizations to improve their ability to motivate behaviour among their employees.(Tribolet, 2013)
Jean-Baptiste, P., 2010. Herzberg, Bandura, and Maslow : analysis of their view on cognitive development and employee motivation. 1st ed. Baltimore, [Maryland]: PublishAmerica.
Tribolet, W. C., 2013. The relationship between intrinsic and extrinsic motivation and organizational commitment : a study in a European environment. 2nd ed. Ann Arbor, MI: ProQuest LLC.
Ramlall, S. (2004). A review of employee motivation theories and their implications for
employee retention within organizations. Journal of American Academy of Business, 5(1/2), 52-63.