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Workplace Motivation – Make Things Happen

Updated: Jun 7, 2019



"You don’t build a business, you build people – and then people build the business”. Zig Ziglar


“Motivate your employees to perform better”. ‘Motivation leads to higher retention”. “Motivated employees are the key to the success of any business”. These are the words that are making its rounds in today’s business parlance. Why not? It’s true, isn’t it?


Companies today, go out of their way to keep their employees motivated for a very simple reason. A motivated employee is a high producer. To keep employees motivated, companies today, offer various incentives and various benefit plans to encourage employees to stay with them.


So, what is motivation? Motivation is an inner force that drives individuals to produce quality results. A motivated workforce can take an organization to new heights. Motivated employees can be an influential factor in motivating other employees. They tend to display high levels of innovation, while producing quality work with greater efficiency.


There is a constant fluctuation in the motivation levels of employees every now and then, and consistently maintaining high level motivation in the workplace can be challenging.


Intrinsic and Extrinsic Motivation Motivation can be intrinsic or extrinsic. Intrinsic motivation refers to motivation that comes from within. Intrinsic motivation is when you do something because you enjoy doing it or rather find it interesting. Intrinsic motivation generally comes from Pride, Satisfaction and Fun at workplace.


Extrinsic motivation refers to motivation that comes from outside sources. Extrinsic motivation generally involves monetary rewards, recognition and prizes.


Salary is often not enough to keep employees working for an organization. It cannot be regarded as the ultimate source of motivation. Various factors are responsible for employee motivation.


Frederick Irving Herzberg, an American psychologist and one of the most influential names in business management who is famous for introducing job enrichment and the Motivator-Hygiene theory has classified these job factors into two categories-


  • Hygiene factors – job factors which are essential for existence of motivation at workplace. These do not lead to positive satisfaction for long-term. But if these factors are absent / if these factors are non-existent at workplace, then they lead to dissatisfaction. Hygiene factors are also called as dis-satisfiers or maintenance factors as they are required to avoid dissatisfaction. Hygiene factors include Salary, Company Policies, Incentives, Physical Working conditions, status, interpersonal relationships, job security

  • Motivational factors– According to Herzberg, the hygiene factors cannot be regarded as motivators. The motivational factors yield positive satisfaction. These factors are inherent to work. These factors motivate the employees for a superior performance. These factors are called satisfiers. These are factors involved in performing the job. Employees find these factors intrinsically rewarding.


Motivational factors include:


  • Recognition

  • Sense of achievement

  • Growth and promotional opportunities

  • Responsibility

  • Meaningfulness of the work

Listed below are few ways one can motivate employees – a mix of both hygiene and motivational factors:


Rewards and Recognition: The employees should be praised and recognized for their accomplishments by the managers. One of the most important factors contributing to employee motivation is how often their hard work is recognized. If an employee consistently delivers exceptional results, it is crucial for organizations to reward his relentless efforts. By recognizing great work the employee will be intrinsically motivated to perform his best in the long run. Presenting high performing employees with spot prizes and ‘Best Employee of the Year’ awards can be a great way of rewarding employees and fuelling their motivation.


Employee Engagement: An engaged employee displays commitment and willingness at all times, beyond their normal job involvements, which leads to greater performance, contributing to overall profitability of the organization.


Organizations are interested in those employees who will walk the extra mile to achieve quality results. Employees are in constant search of interesting work that they find enjoyable and deeply engaging. When organizations are able to provide employees with interesting projects and the employees are experiencing a rewarding work environment, it is termed at employee engagement.


Practice Autonomy: Autonomy at workplace can do wonders. Giving employees the liberty to choose when and how they get their work done, can actually improve their efficiency. Let employees work in their unique styles. You never know, they might surprise you with exceptional results. Autonomy allows employees to be their own self. They work with a free mind and this leads to motivation.


Provide a sense of security: Employees are constantly under pressure to perform better. Targets and deadlines make them insecure about their performance. Managers must put the employees at ease by making them feel secure about their job and performance. When employees experience a sense of security they are relaxed and hence they tend to perform better while staying calm and motivated.


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