Factors affecting Motivation of Employees

Factors affecting Motivation of Employees

In the present day competitive environment, every organization is to strive on a continuous basis for success. Managements of successful organizations are aware that employees play a very important role towards the success of the organization and hence they always work for employees to be satisfied and motivated. Motivated employees are those employees who make a conscious decision to try considerably for the achievement of something they appreciate. Time, energy, and investments made on in employee-related policies always bring high returns to the organization and hence are always justified.

In the present day environment, the organizational management is to be aware that for the organization to succeed, skilled and motivated employees are essential. Today, human and not financial capital is the starting point and the foundation of a successful organizational strategy. In other words, success of the organization is no longer dependent on the financial capital or the technology employed but it is more and more dependent on the know-how, expertise and attitude of its employees. All these three attributes of the employees can be developed and nurtured in an organization.

Management of every organization is to be concerned with the achievement and the sustainment of the high level of performance. This can be achieved only by giving close attention to the employees’ motivation. Individual employees have different values and what motivates one employee does not necessarily mean that it also motivates another employee. It is a well-known fact that the employees are normally influenced by their individual motivational factors which motivate them to perform their work effectively and efficiently. Some of the employees are motivated by recognition while some others are motivated by rewards. Some employees are satisfied by formal recognition or status, while the other employees need a monetary reward for satisfaction. There also can be some employees who are just content knowing that they have stability in their role and have the ability to pursue their interests. Organizational management is required to know the needs of the employees. It is to understand the requirements of the employees for spurring them to performance.

Employees are motivated to achieve outcomes that they desire, and management is to determine what outcomes employees perceive as desirable and provide them. Outcomes can be intrinsic or extrinsic, depending on the needs of the employees and the employees’ expectations of what is due to them. Organizational management is to clearly communicate desired behaviour and its outcome to the employees. Employees are required to know what level of efforts the organization expects from them in order to receive a desired reward.

The concept of motivation can be broad. There are three major components of motivation which are (i) direction, (ii) intensity, and (iii) and persistency (Fig 1). Direction is a goal which forces the employees to perform an act to achieve the targets. The targets are chosen consciously or unconsciously by the employees. There are factors which influence the employees in selecting the targets. These factors can be both internal and external factors. Employees select their targets which they consider best among potential alternatives. The intensity is the level of determination or efforts put by the employees in the process of achieving the targets. This means how hard the employees have tried, and how much energy, time, or any other mental or physical things they have been spent during the process of achievement of the targets. Persistence is the ability of the employees to maintain the motivation through times even though there is existence of obstacles.

Fig 1 Three major components of motivation

The word ‘motivation’ originates from a Latin word ‘movere’. The meaning of the word ‘movere’ is to move. Thus, it creates a reflection of something going up, keeping the people working and helping them to achieve their goal and objectives. The term motivation refers to the factors which activate, direct, and sustain the directed behaviour of the people. Motivation is something which motivates. It is an act or a process which gives people a reason to do something in a particular way, or an explanation for the repeated behaviours, needs, and desires. Motivation is considered to be the process of arousing and sustaining goal-oriented behaviour.

Motivation consists of the process of inspiring people to achieve their goals. It consists of a set of energetic forces which originate both within as well as beyond an individual’s being, to initiate work-related behaviour and to determine its form, direction, intensity, and duration. Getting people to do their best at work is one of hardest challenges for the management. The importance of employees’ satisfaction and motivation gains more and more importance with passing time in the organizations. Generally it is considered that there are four drivers which underline. These drivers are (i) acquire, (ii) bond, (iii) comprehend, and (iv) defend.

It is not an exaggeration to say motivation is the core to being successful. Motivated employees are likely to put willingly the additional efforts needed for doing their tasks and a good result is expected out of these additional efforts. When the targets are achieved, it drives a feeling of being satisfied and enjoyment for the employees and creates a positive working attitude in the workplace.

In an organizational aspect, motivation has been considered as the sum of the processes which influence the arousal, direction, and maintenance of employees’ behaviours relevant to the work settings. Employees’ motivation at work is considered as an essential needed drive since it generates effort and action towards work-related activities, for example, employees’ willingness to spend the energy to achieve a common goal or objective. When the employees are motivated, they show enthusiasm and keenness towards the work and a strong determination to implement and accomplish the work tasks.

Within the workplace, motivation is considered as the variables, which drives employees to (i) want to act, and (ii) choose to act for succeeding in the workplace. Further, motivation is considered as the energy which encourages work-related behaviour and influences employees’ work style, direction, intensity, and duration.

Motivation has a big impact on the employees’ performance. What motivate the employees varies with time and is dependent on the circumstances and personality of individual employees. It is a complex subject of human behaviour. It is a function of many complex attitudes such as employees’ personal feelings and biases, their values, economic and cultural environment, job security, realization of job expectations, emotional stability, and the flow of communication between management and the employees etc.

There are several techniques used for the motivation of the employees. The impact of these motivational systems on individual and group behaviour of the employees is highly influenced by the workplace environment as well as the general environment of the organization. The challenge for the management is to recognize and understand these. Also, since the employees’ motivation has a high impact on the employees’ performance, there is a need to blend the appropriate motivational tools with effective management and leadership to achieve the desired organizational goal. It is normally seen that successful organizations are those who have strategic plans and appropriate methods to motivate their employees with the right kinds of motivation.

Types of motivation

There are two types of motivation at work, which stem from internal (intrinsic) and external (extrinsic) forces (Fig 2). Intrinsic motivation is based on nature of a person and is related to the factors which are satisfiers. These satisfier factors include employee achievement, the nature of work, recognition, and the level of responsibility. On the other hand, extrinsic motivation is related to the factors which are dis-satisfiers. The dis-satisfier factors include rules and regulations of the organization, hierarchy in the organization, workplace environment, salary, and others. These are important factors for influencing the job satisfaction and are key factors to measure development in order to evaluate the job satisfaction.

Fig 2 Types of Motivation

Intrinsic motivation comes from the employees’ self-desire to seek out new things and to challenge their self. It is the eagerness to learn, to gain knowledge and to explore self-values and capabilities. When the employees have intrinsic motivation, it means they do the job with interest and enjoyment. Such employees have the tendency to be engaged in their jobs, do their work with passion and willingness, striving for the best results and self-reward as well as continuously improving their skills and abilities. On the contrary, extrinsic motivation refers to the performance of activities to achieve the desired outcomes. Extrinsic motivation can arise from both internal and external factors. However, most of the time, it comes from the impact of external factors rather than internal ones. Hence, the main question for the management is to find answer to the question that from where to get the extrinsic motivation and how the employees can sustain their motivation. There are several factors through which extrinsic motivation can be enhanced.

Extrinsic motivation cannot be satisfied by the work itself. In other words, the job which an employee does is just a tool to satisfy his needs through the salary paid for the job in question. The extrinsic motivation requires an instrumentality between the activity and some separable consequences such as tangible or verbal rewards and that satisfaction comes not from the activity itself but rather from the extrinsic consequences to which the activity leads. Individual employee attitude towards the job is determined by the perceived values and benefits which are attached to the action. As such, rewards are useful instruments which encourage employees to perform as desired. Rewards can be the form of monetary or non-monetary incentives. In general, rewards influence employees’ motivation and spur their performance.

Further both the intrinsic and extrinsic forces are essential for the production since they encourage the employees to perform tasks. Intrinsic motivation is a very personal form of motivation and revolves around completing a task for the sake of the task. In this case, the employees complete the task well in time since it is satisfying to them, not because of a reward which can be earned. Extrinsic motivation comes from outside sources, which include appreciation from the management, monetary rewards, and other external factors. Management can impact the extrinsic motivation and is to recognize the important role they play in the motivation of the employees. Management is required to know and work for satisfying the extrinsic motivation factors. Management has very little influence over intrinsic motivation factors.

Factors affecting employees’ motivation 

The objective of motivating employees is to establish the forces which drive the employees for making their work a satisfying venture. There are several factors which influence the employees to behave in a certain way. There have been interesting claims and counterclaims about job motivation trend in organization over the years since several factors have been found as having direct relationship with employees’ job motivation. These factors can be grouped into two major categories. These two broad categories are (i) motivating factors (satisfiers), and (ii) environmental factors (dis-satisfiers) (Fig 3).

The motivating factors are of intrinsic nature while the environmental factors are of extrinsic nature. Examples of motivating factors are recognition, achievement, advancement, growth, responsibility and job challenge. Examples of environmental factors are working conditions, organizational policies and administrative practices, salary and benefits, supervision, status, job security, coworker and personal life. All these factors are related to one another.

Fig 3 Factors affecting employees motivation

Further, the factors involved in producing motivation are distinct and different from factors which lead to job demotivation and the factors which produce motivation are concerned primarily with the actual job content (or work process factor).The reason for demotivation (or work process factors) deal primarily with the factors relating to the context in which the job is done, that is the job environment. Both sets of factors are closely interrelated and can make employees unhappy if they are poorly managed.

The motivating factors have big impact on the employees’ performance since these factors motivate employees to excel at their tasks. On the other hand, the environmental factors typically ensure that employees remain happy and satisfied. Thus, it can be inferred that the factors which influence job satisfaction (i.e. motivation factors) are different from those factors which lead to dissatisfaction among employees.

It is to be understood that the employees have different requirements which need to be fulfilled to keep them satisfied. The environmental factors need to be initially met by financial gains out of the job before motivating factors can be used to stimulate the job and to achieve the resultant feeling of motivation. The implication is that the ability of the management to meet the physiological and psychological needs of the employee has an effect on the overall level of satisfaction or dissatisfaction. The motivating factors cannot be used to motivate the employees to performance until the environment factors have been fulfilled.

Hence, it is essential for the organizational management to identify both the motivating and the environmental factors. The motivation factors can be improved upon and the environmental factors can be discouraged in order to maximize the employees’ satisfaction.

Further, there exists a link between employees’ performance and the rewards which they receive. Within the context of the reward system, since there are intrinsic and extrinsic motivation factors, therefore reward system is require to be based on rewards and incentives which cater to both the intrinsic and extrinsic needs for the motivation of the employees. It is to be ensured that the reward system distinguishes satisfiers and dis-satisfiers and cater them both to maximize job satisfaction amongst the employees.

There is another aspect with regards to employees’ motivation. Some organizational management believes that it is also possible to improve the employees’ job performance by using threat, punishment, or similar stimuli. However, these factors have a short time influence and overall have negative impact on employees’ satisfaction.  Normally successful management uses the motivation and environmental factors in formulating reward system and to make sure that reward system distinguishes satisfiers and dis-satisfiers and cater them both to maximize job satisfaction among employees.

A study made regarding motivational factors identifies six key motivational factors. These are (i) achievement, (ii) proper recognition and rewards, (iii) interesting work, (iv) involvement in decision making, (v) professional advancement, and (vi) adequate training and development. In this study the usual motivational factors of ‘growth’, ‘responsibility’ and ‘advancement’ have been combined as a single factor ‘professional advancement’. The study also identifies eleven key environmental factors. These identified eleven identified environmental factors are (i) work condition, (ii) administration policies, (iii) work relationship, (iv) effective communication at the workplace, (v) lack of appreciation, (vi) comparison of benefits received by the colleagues, (vii) housekeeping and cleanliness leading to poor productivity of the workforce, (viii) availability of materials such as raw materials, spares, consumables, and lubricants etc. for maintaining of production and for effective maintenance, (ix) climate and weather conditions, (x) frequent change in product mix during production leading to lower productivity, and (xi) leadership styles of the management and organizational strategies. In these eleven environmental factors effective communication plays a very significant role.

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