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Free «Motivating Employees in the Workplace» Essay Sample

Without any doubt, motivation is a force that directs, maintains, and guides human oriented behaviors. It induces people to act, whether it is eating a sandwich to quench hunger, reading a book to get information or enrolling in college to acquire knowledge. It is obvious that each human’s act is motivated. According to etymology of the word ‘motivation’, it is derived from the Latin word movere, which means to move, to stir or to agitate. It is clearly seen that the root of this word’s meaning was a process of stimulating people to act in order to reach their goals. The performer of motivation is a motivator. It can be anything from money to compulsion.

It is generally true that each area of human life has motivation. First of all, motivation can apply to workplace. For instance, motivation may play a key role in a leadership success. Without any motivation, a person cannot become a leader. There should always be a force or a power that will compel an employee to do his/ her job. Secondly, another place of motivation is education. It is always clear when teachers employ motivational devices in order to improve marks and to provide efficient participation in class.


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It is needless to say that each motivation has requisites. The following points are applied to them: a person has to be motivated in order to motivate; motivation requires a certain purpose; motivation, once established, does not last if not repeated; motivation requires recognition; seeing a progress, motivates us. Furthermore, there are key elements of motivation: intensity, direction and persistence. By the intensity, it is meant a person tries. By the direction, one means the aim and what person wants to reach. At last, by the persistence, it is meant the endurance and a number of efforts of how long a person can maintain his aim.

It is necessary to mention the types of motivation. There are two central types of motivation: interior and exterior. Interior motivation can be amplified when people are forced to do something out of their desire or importance. For example, a person uses a certain napkin in the restaurant not because he/she finds this napkin useful, but because the using of this napkin is a kind of intrinsic behavior. This is not a serious issue, unless the person feels a satisfaction of his/her own needs. The second type of motivation is exterior motivation that arises when external factors compel humans to perform some actions. For example, when an employer promises to give a reward for the accomplished work and an employee is doing his/her best in order to get it, extrinsic motivation is at work. In this example it is clearly seen that there is an external factor that forces an employee to do a job.

Additionally, there are two more types of motivation: introjected and identified motivations that are connected with interior and exterior motivation. Talking about introjected motivation, it is similar to interior motivation, since a person always feels a desire to fulfill his/ her job, avoiding internally recrimination and imposed guilt. For example, an employee should do his/her job in order to get salary and support his/her family. In identified motivation, a person is not sure what to do, however, he/ she knows that something should be done. This type of motivation demonstrates a desire of self-identification. For instance, an employee should perform his/her job, while there is a need to do it (Weiner, 1972).

Moreover, each type of motivation has its own importance. First of all, motivation will improve the level of efficiency of employees. This will lead to growth in productivity and reduction in cost of operation. Secondly, it will help to put employees’ recourses, knowledge and experience into action, since they will get recognition of their work and contentment of their basic needs. Thirdly, the importance of motivation is related to the fact that it leads to stability of organization in work place. Furthermore, motivation is crucial for business, since the more employees are motivated, the more organized the team is. Moreover, the better employees work, the better profit the business gets and the more successful it is in the market. Additionally, if employees are well organized and have a desire to work for a certain employer who perpetually motivates them their business will grow and get a good profit.

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It is generally true that scientists have developed an abundance of different theories to explicate motivation. To the most widespread theories of motivation belong: instinct, incentive, drive, arousal, and humanistic theories of motivation. First of all, the instinct theory of motivation is characterized by certain behavior of people. Humans behave in a peculiar way, since they are evolutionary programmed to do so. American philosopher William James created a list of humans’ instincts that are key points in motivation: modesty, play, shame, anger, fear, and shyness. For example, an employee can be motivated to go to work in order to get money for everyday needs. Secondly, the incentive theory of motivation sets that people are motivated to do things in order to get some bonuses. For instance, employee can be motivated to go to work with the aim to get a good salary.

The third type of motivation is a drive motivation. It can be amplified by satisfaction of everyday needs, such as when a person quenches hunger or thirst. It is observed that people are motivated to do some actions with the aim to reduce the level of inner stress. Fourthly, the supporters of arousal theory of motivation have developed the idea that people take certain actions in order to improve or to worsen their condition. For instance, when a decrease of arousal level is observed, an employee can improve her/his mood by getting additional payment. Finally, the humanistic theory of motivation was investigated by Abraham Maslow’s hierarchy of needs. It is stated in his theory that people are usually motivated to satisfy their innate needs for getting food or home. Then when a person has satisfied his/her needs, the next desire can be self-realization (Graham & Weiner B, 1991).

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Undoubtedly, motivation is one of the greatest challenges in the workplace. It can be explained by the fact that the high level of productivity depends on high level of motivation. It is generally true that lack of motivation in the workplace can be a serious issue. It can be illustrated by the example when the employees do not see value of their work and reason to accomplish their goals. Motivation in the workplace has been studied for many years, starting from the 20th century. The main breakthrough was made in 1966 by an American psychologist Frederick Herzberg. His two factor theory had the following points: there are two main factors in motivation, one of them relates to motivation of employees, the other leads to job dissatisfaction. First of all, by mentioning motivational factors, one should name those that give employees an incentive to work. Secondly, factors that lead to job dissatisfaction need to be mentioned, they usually do not make employees happy. These factors are called “hygiene” factors, since they reduce employee efficiency (Kohn & Shooler, 1983).

Moreover, there are persuasive and cognitive models of motivation. First of all, the persuasive theory of motivation is developed by Albert Bandura. He pointed out that it was vital to observe the behavior of person and his/her process of imitation. It can be amplified by the fact, that a worker who observes that his/her colleague gets praise and recognition from the employer, may decide to imitate such behavior in order to get increase of the salary or a reward. The second theory of motivation is the cognitive theory of motivation that is based on the research made by Jean Piaget. This scientist implied that people are under influence of their environment. According to cognitive theory, the behavior of a person can be determined by four factors: genetics, one’s beliefs about nature of cognitive ability, expectations of self-realization and high self-esteem. In the workplace, the cognitive model can be observed when the employee can subconsciously perceive what kind of job the employer wants (Weiner, 1972).

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Looking to the above mentioned theories there are following types of motivation in the workplace: monetary rewards, fear, challenge, recognition, and growth. Firstly, financial rewards are one of the most effective employee motivators. However, by using this type of motivation, employer must carefully choose the bonus system and apply it, whether it concerns sales or holiday bonuses, according to the Concept marketing Group. Secondly, fear plays a unique role in the working process, since employees will work hard and assiduously being afraid of losing a job. Thirdly, a big variety of opportunities, further education or business challenge helps to increase productivity and develop employees’ general knowledge. Finally, politeness and tolerance, for instance, “thank you”, “good job” or “keep doing” will spark motivation in employees, since they will definitely feel importance of their work and self-realization.

The least, but not last point that is worth mentioning is the concept of managerial motivation. This type of motivation is vital in the business industry. There have been only two scientists that researched this type of motivation: Miner and McClelland. In 1987 McClelland defined managerial motivation as a set of three motives: affiliation, the need for performance, and the need for power. The motivated person will have a low incentive motive, a moderate performance motive and a high power motive. On the contrary, Miner suggested that managerial motivation consisted of six motives: positive attitude to towards leaders, power motive, willingness to do administrative work, a desire for a distinctive group work, competitiveness and assertiveness (Coetzee, Viviers, & Visser, 2006).

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All in all, motivation plays a significant role in running a business. Everyone is motivated, be it by money or other incentives. The vast majority of people give preference to self-recognition and achievement. Motivation plays a crucial role in giving a satisfaction to employees.


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