Employee Motivation Factors
The term motivation comes from a Latin word ‘movere’ which means move. Employee motivation is a widely debated topic recently especially in context of the COVID-19 and the new normal. In layman’s terms motivation is what moves us all from boredom to interest. It is paramount to discuss that what industry experts and academia believe employee motivation is and why it is relevant to the modern workplace.
Few of the definitions of motivation:
- The inner state of an individual that causes them to behave/react in a way that warrants the accomplishment of some goal.
- The forces and sum of all efforts acting on within a individual that causes that individual to behave in a certain gaol directed manner.
- Some define it as forces that stimulates enthusiasm and makes an individual to pursuit a precise course of action.
- An internal drive to satisfy an unsatisfied need.
- Inner will to achieve more.
- The basic needs model of motivation also sometimes referred as content theory of motivation focus on the factors that motivates individuals as primary need and secondary needs.
- Internal factors autonomy, mastery and purpose.
For the purpose of this article and setting agenda, we will discuss motivation as the inner force that drives employees (individuals) to accomplish personal and organisational goals. And focus on the secondary gaols like desire of power, sense of achievement, and relationships. Most of the behaviour triggered at workplace is due to the secondary needs that a line manager deals with. External factors like money, reward and fear of punishment are outdated like 360-degree reviews, the carrot and stick approach has been replaced with skills development, empowering independence, supporting creativeness and a sense of mission.
Motivation and job satisfaction
It can not be refuted that motivated employees yield much stronger business performance and overall productivity. Management control also can not be overlooked, usually people at organisation where management exerts excessive control have lower morale and employees feel more pressure and often gets frustrated.
Money does it all, however not always. You will be shocked that non-money motivators like appreciation from immediate managers, attention from leadership and chance to lead, are more effective that cash rewards. Employee should feel that they are valued which can help organisations gain employee buy-in and employee motivation.
A lot has changed at work because of the COVID-19, one thing that has not changed is the need of motivated employees as they are more productive and help organisations survive and navigate during difficult times. A line manager has various responsibilities. However, the one which is often neglected is motivation employees. Motivation employees is not simple but possible. Management should also keep in mind that the factors that influence employee motivation often shifts, younger workforce is different to the traditional workforce. Remote teams can be tricky and challenging to motivate. Managers should focus that how can work be a motivator instead of trying old fashioned motivation exercises.
Is motivation personal and can be dictated?
No motivation is indeed a personal thing and it differs from person to person. Employee motivation can not be dictated by others. However, a variety of factors like best practices, HR policies and compensation factors may help. Line managers should identify what motivates people at both team level and individual level, and ensure those motivators are part of the leadership approach. Higher compensation approach often does not address the underlying issue.
Employee motivation and job performance
Command and control approach to organise, routinise and regulate does not help with the kinds of performance modern workplace requires. Covid-19 has been an eye opener and there is an immediate need for transformation. Organisations need to adopt new trends to solve employee motivation problems as this may have a big impact of individual’s job performance. ERG model (existence, resistance, and growth) can be a handy motivational concept that can be instrumental in achieving job performance.
Employee motivation should be an important responsibility for managers in the new-normal. Higher management should adopt motivational processes and new performance prerequisites to achieve motivated employee. Workers frequently walk out with negative sentiments by reason of their interplays with their line managers.