Types of Motivation in The Workplace - A Beginner's Guide

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Even if your employees are highly skilled, it’s doubtful that they will reach their full potential if they lack motivation. Alternatively, when people are motivated, work seems to become easier. People who are motivated are upbeat, enthusiastic about all they are doing, and aware that they are devoting their time to something genuinely valuable. In summary, motivated individuals work hard and enjoy their jobs.

All good executives aim to have this mindset permeate their businesses. As a leader and manager, you must maintain a sense of inspiration and motivation within your team. Without a doubt, it’s not as easy as it sounds.

We’ll go through the main concepts, tactics, and resources that can be employed to keep your employees motivated in their work in this article.

The Two Categories of Motivation

Intrinsic and extrinsic motivation are the two main categories of motivation. Extrinsic motivation refers to the utilization of outside forces to influence your team’s behavior. Extrinsic motivators include pay increases, vacation time, the possibility of losing one’s job, and bonus checks. Some are beneficial, some are not so much.

Internal drives are intrinsic motivation. It involves a personal motivation to succeed, to create excellent work, or to collaborate with coworkers you trust and like. People that are intrinsically motivated find considerable enjoyment and happiness in their work.

Since each team member is unique, they probably each have distinct motivators. Therefore, to properly motivate your team, it’s critical to get to understand them, learn what drives them, and establish a healthy balance of extrinsic and internal motivators.


Benefits of Motivation in an Organisation

An individual’s interest in their profession is something you cannot directly manage. Of course, each person is ultimately responsible for their own motivation, but you may support the dynamic by fostering an environment that increases an employee’s intrinsic motivation. Rewards can benefit teams, individuals, and even entire organizations.

Motivated individuals have a good outlook on work and can be very flexible, especially as it pertains to change. They enhance performance and profitability while lowering absenteeism rates and boosting an organization’s positive reputation. As opposed to unmotivated persons, they work harder and with a stronger sense of urgency to accomplish their goals.

Proper Motivation Strategies That Can Work For Your Team

The following techniques and tactics can be used by managers to foster a positive work environment for their teams.


Step 1: Examine your presumptions

You may be oblivious to it, but the way you view your employees has a big impact on the way you manage them.

Do you believe, for instance, that people in your team need constant monitoring because they find work unpleasant? Or do you think they enjoy their work and will likely have more flexibility and responsibility in the future?

The theories of team motivation, Theory X and Theory Y, are built on these two tenets.

Managers in the theory X spectrum are authoritarian and believe that they must continually supervise employees. They think they need to drive individuals externally to achieve achievements since their team members are averse to accountability.

Managers that subscribe to Theory Y think that their staff members desire more authority and should participate in decision-making. They believe that everybody has something worthwhile to contribute.

In other words, how you act toward your team members depends on your perceptions of their drive. Therefore, it’s crucial to consider thoughtfully how you see your employees and to investigate what you think drives them. (Considering it from your perspective can be helpful. Which management method would you like your leader to use to manage you, Theory X or Theory Y? And for how long would you continue to serve under a manager using Theory X or Y?)


Step 2: Create Satisfaction and Eliminate Dissatisfaction

According to psychologist Fredrick Herzberg, you can inspire your team by removing factors that contribute to job discontent and then establishing favorable work environments.

He emphasized in his Hygiene-Motivation Theory that common sources of unhappiness include obnoxious corporate policies, overbearing management, and uncertain employment. Employees aren’t likely to be content at your organization if you don’t handle these problems, and you’ll have a hard time, if not an impossible one, trying to motivate them.

After removing the causes of job unhappiness, you may focus on addressing the issue of contentment. Clear chances for progress or promotion, a greater sense of responsibility, development programs, and continual training, or simply the perception that one is working to further a cause are all means by which job satisfaction can be achieved.


Step 3: Personalize Your Motivational Approach

Keep in mind that each person in your unit has distinct circumstances, histories, and experiences. Therefore, each individual may be motivated by various factors and have varying degrees of self-motivational skills. Every team member will feel more driven if you try to understand them.

You can customize your motivation approach using a variety of tools and techniques. However, not all of them are entirely compatible with the others. Ensure to select the model or theory that best matches your circumstances, keeping in mind that every person and circumstance is unique.

Let’s explore these in more detail:

  • According to Sirota’s Three-Factor Theory, three key elements exist that excite your workforce. These are Accomplishment, Equity/Fairness, and Camaraderie. By including all of these elements in their work, you can make sure your team members stay inspired and upbeat.
  • The Human Motivation Theory of McClelland is slightly different. According to McClelland, every one of us has a dominant driver among the three needs of affiliation, power, and achievement. Your efforts should be successful if you base your leadership approach and motivators on a team member’s dominating driver.
  • Five wants are listed in Maslow’s Hierarchy of Needs, ranging from the most complex to the most basic. These include physical needs, security, love and belonging, self-actualization (feeling like you’re doing what you’re supposed to be doing), and self-worth. Maslow’s Hierarchy is typically depicted as a pyramid; the fundamental needs are at the base since they must be met before any of the more sophisticated demands can be addressed. This strategy suggests that you may inspire your team by addressing each level.
  • Amabile and Kramer’s Progress Theory emphasizes how making progress and obtaining little “wins” may be inspiring. It offers six things you can give: money, support, autonomy, time, autonomy in decision-making, and the capacity to learn from mistakes.
  • Expectancy Theory can also be used to establish a powerful, inspiring workplace where great performance is expected. It makes the connection between work and results clear and can be used to customize motivational incentives to suit people’s tastes.
  • The Pygmalion Effect states that your expectations might influence how well your employees work or perform. For instance, when you have doubts about someone’s ability to achieve goals, you risk undermining their confidence and making them feel unimportant. The Pygmalion Effect is beneficial because it supports the notion that setting and communicating significant expectations for people might motivate them to dole out better work quality.

Without a doubt, money matters, and structuring your employees’ extrinsic rewards with the aid of Strategic Compensation Understanding can be a great help. Realizing the distinctions between them and their inherent advantages can aid you in organizing financial compensation in a way that enables better motivation, whether you want to reward employees with increases in performance, base, or group performance pay.

Step 4: Infuse transformational leadership

While motivation is important in the workplace, it can only go so far before the essence of proper leadership has to take over. After using the motivational strategies we’ve covered above, you’ll need to go on to become an inspirational, transformative leader.

By using this leadership approach, you may inspire, lift your employees to better heights, and assist them in accomplishing exceptional feats. Transformational leaders inspire feelings of loyalty and trust in their team members by having high expectations of them.

You must develop a compelling, motivating vision of an impactful future, inspire others to believe in it, oversee its implementation, and keep on forging trustworthy bonds with your employees or team members if you want to stand guard as a transformational leader. Make time for yourself to work on your leadership abilities and personal growth so you can be an even better motivating example for your team.


Your objective as a leader is to maintain the motivation and enthusiasm of your employees for their tasks. Striking a decent balance between extrinsic (such as wage increases and alterations to their working conditions) and intrinsic (like giving employees things they appreciate) motivators is vital.

Examine your own presumptions about your employees first. It’s crucial to keep in mind that if you adopt a participative management style where they’re made responsible for many things and can call the shots on certain decisions, they will probably react more favorably.

After removing any factors contributing to your employees’ dissatisfaction, apply Herzberg’s motivators and hygiene factors to introduce satisfaction-enhancing components. Because everyone is unique, customize your motivational strategy for each individual in your team. There are numerous tactics and resources at your disposal, but the better you know and comprehend each person, the more successful dividends the work you’ve put in will be.

Finally, keep in mind how crucial leadership is in inspiring your employees to go above and beyond what is expected of them. As you take the necessary measures to develop into a global leader, you may support, inspire, and acknowledge people while fostering trust and loyalty. Furthermore, you can motivate them to accomplish exceptional feats.

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