Why is it important for managers to learn about motivation ideas?


The key function of professionals is 'getting things done' through employees. The following assignment looks at the role of motivation and why it is essential for managers to understand the various motivational ideas and how the motivational theories could be executed in a specialist context to attain organisation's goals and targets.

Motivation has been thought as: the mental process that gives behaviour goal and direction (Kreitner, 1995); a predisposition to respond in a purposive manner to attain specific, unmet needs (Buford, Bedeian, & Lindner, 1995); an internal drive to gratify an unsatisfied need (Higgins, 1994); and the will to attain (Bedeian, 1993).

Organisations exist to achieve corporate aims and employees working in those organisations aide in attaining those targets by working towards their individual goals and focuses on. In an ideal world, if every person was providing his best performance then organisational goals would be attained sooner too; however in real life it is often false. Organisations lag behind and generally the reason is a demotivated personnel. An understanding of the essential human characteristics is very important to effective employee desire at work and also for effective management and leadership.

In today's business world with swift changes happening all around, it is becoming even more important for managers to inspire their employees and help their staff in optimising their performance. Besides, research and observation proves that encouraged employees are usually more creative and beneficial in the task place.

Several theories of inspiration have been offered between which Maslow's theory expresses the purpose of human life is 'Self-actualisation' and the only path that point out can be obtained is when the essential people needs are met. Thus corresponding to Maslow, individual needs can be displayed by means of a pyramid.

According to Maslow, the essential man needs are:

  • Physiological needs
  • Safety needs
  • Love needs
  • Esteem needs
  • Self-actualisation.

Whilst Herzberg theory claims that in a work place framework there are mainly two factors which determine the inspiration levels of employees. The first group of factors which he referred to as the health factors do not lead to positive drive, however a lack of those hygiene factors could lead to de-motivation. Herzberg's theory is specially useful as it mentioned the value of providing a good working environment and a certain degree highlighted the value of any good working environment in achieving an improved performance from employees. Herzberg's work classified determination into two factors: motivators and hygienes (Herzberg, Mausner, & Snyderman, 1959).

Motivator or intrinsic factors, such as achievement and popularity, produce job satisfaction. Hygiene or extrinsic factors, such as pay and job security, produce job dissatisfaction. McGregor's theory mentioned that personnel would contribute more to the organisation if indeed they were cared for as sensible and valued employees. Likert (1967) recommended that for an organisation to perform better, professionals must choose a participative-group system, whereby, leadership is by the superiors who've complete self-confidence in their workers and motivation will take the form of monetary rewards which is further predicated on goals place by participation.

Various other ideas offered by Vroom, equity theory etc all discuss how employees can be determined and really should be motivated to improve performance. As explained above individual performance used collectively establishes organisational performance and when organisational performance is not up to the mandatory level, the company would not have the ability to sustain itself and may loose out in competition.

Motivation theories offer an insight into why is an employee perform better. It offers managers with an instrument to inspire employees and helps them in focusing on how the staff can be managed better. Hence, it is no real surprise that the region of human reference management and organisational behavior is looking at how important it has become for organisations to focus on retaining 'employees'. Recent books has emphasised the importance of knowledge management. It is a known fact that high labour turnover, costs the business which results in minimizing the level of profits. Income maximisation is the ultimate corporate objective, it would be fair to state that is the sole reason companies exist to maximise profit, generate earnings and whatever can cause increasing earnings levels will be looked after favourably.

Lack of knowledge about motivation theories might lead the professionals to assume that monetary incentives will be the only way of motivating personnel, however, the ideas has helped the managers in knowing that individuals have different needs. It might be that worker A prefers to have significantly more responsibility when compared with employee B. Hence increasing A's responsibility and appreciating A motivates him more than B who be happy with getting a monetary incentive. Similarly, employee C might be considered a single mother who prefer to have significantly more flexibility in the job and would be able to perform better if the task that she is doing enables her to provide for her child and work. The above mentioned examples demonstrate that in a specialist environment for a administrator it is becoming even more important to understand the needs of his 'inner' customers.

A concept which can be borrowed from marketing is if the customers' needs are found the organisation's objectives can be achieved. The debate can be extended in this framework as well where it could be said that when interior customers are placed happy, exterior customers will automatically be happy. The above is an example to describe Vroom's theory, regarding to which rewards and incentives should be predicated on what the worker perceives to make a difference alternatively than what the professionals perceives to make a difference. Thus he directed to explain worker motivation by detailing the link between how specific goals influence specific performance. Thus the knowledge of motivational ideas provides a deeper insight in to the mindset of employees and personnel.

The need for organisational performance can't be highlighted enough. Research and studies are being conducted to understand what can improve the organisational performance and the evident link is specific performance. Performance more generally is thought as a function of potential and determination. However, in order to motivate staff it's important to have a powerful performance management system. To be able to provide rewards to the personnel it is imperative to have appropriate benchmarks to gauge the performance. Literature in this area has highlighted the value of experiencing formal appraisal systems which can either maintain the proper execution of self-evaluation or 360 level appraisal, top-down, bottom level up etc. The aforementioned mechanism enables professionals to scientifically evaluate and then provide appropriate rewards and bonuses to the staff, whether financial or non-monetary in aspect.

In addition to the performance levels, keeping staff by continuously striving to encourage them helps professionals to preserve knowledge that your employees have acquired over the period, it helps the employees to complete duties faster as they are already aware of how 'things are done around here' and moreover it helps the systems to be developed so that work can be carried out quickly. It can help in achieving specialisation and employees acquiring key skills.

Thus the key tools a director must have to inspire his/her staff are:

  • Approval, reward and recognition
  • Trust, respect and high expectations
  • Loyalty
  • Removing organisational obstacles which might stand in the manner individual performance
  • Job enrichment
  • Providing Financial incentives
  • Good communication.

Even though there isn't a perfect formula for motivation in the workplace however, a knowledge of the way the human nature works can help professionals to perform better and keeping the end goal (corporate and business objective) in mind the challenge for every leader and director to reach an equilibrium where organisational and individual performance can be maximised to attain the same goal.


From the preceding paragraphs it could be figured it is critical for professionals' to truly have a thorough understanding of the motivation theories. However, it is simpler said than done. There is no simple answer of how to motivate people, though an understanding of the ideas helps. It allows the professionals in enhancing not only the average person but also the organisational performance. The principal goal of organisations' is to survive, sustain and expand and the objective can be fulfilled when the employees and personnel are happy.

This may be accomplished by understanding the motivation theories and applying them effectively to achieve maximum results for the company. Thus it could be said that effective implementation of the desire theories can help the organisations' to have a competitive advantage and it can provide to be always a source of sustainable competitive edge which would ensure its growth, success and maximised income generation in the long run. Thus, it can be concluded for professionals' to execute proficiently it is very important for them to have knowledge of the motivation theories.



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  • Marchington, M and Armstrong, A. , Human being Resource Management at Work, (2005), Chartered Institute of Personnel Development
  • Mullins, L. J. , Management and Organisational Behaviour, (2004), Feet Prentice Hall
  • Purcell, J and Boxall, P. , Strategy and Human being Reference Management (Management, Work and Organisatons), (2002), Palgrave Macmillan
  • Schwarz, R. M. , The Skilled Facilitator: A Comprehensive Learning resource for Consultants, Facilitators, Managers, Trainers and Coaches, (2002), John Bass and Wiley.


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