What is motivation

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What is motivation

After making plans and having an appropriate structure to achieve the goals, the manager is required to get his individual which prompts him to action. Every individual has needs and desires which are called motives and which inspire his or her behaviour towards achievement of some objectives. An element which force an individual to put his energy, efforts, knowledge and skills to perform things in a particular way is called motivation. The manager’s role is to influence each individual’s behaviour and action towards achievement of organisational objectives.


“Motivation is a general inspirational process which gets the members of the team to pull their weights effectively, to give their loyalty to the group, to carry outthe tasks properly and play an effective part in the job that
E.F.L. Breach

“Motivation is something that moves the person to action and continues him in the course of action already the group has undertaken”. initiated.” – Robert Dubin

Characteristics of Motivation

1.Motivation is a broad concept and used to explain the inner psychological forces.

2. It indicates the willingness of an individual to put his.efforts in a particular direction to meet his goals.

3. Since it is a psychological process, it can not be directly observed but can only be inferred from behaviour

4. Motives of an individual are influenced by his perceptions, learning, abilities and qualities.

5.Since individuals differ in their motivation, so it is a complex process and can be understood in a syster’s perspective.

6.Motivation differs from ability, morale and job satisfaction.

Types of Motivation

When a manager wants to get more work from his subordinates then he will have to motivate them for improving their performance. They will either be offered incentive for more work, or may be in the space of rewards, better.reports, recognition
etc., or he may instill fear in them or use force for getting desired work. The following are the types of motivation:

1. Positive Motivation- Positive motivation or incentive motivation is based on reward. The workers are offered incentives for achieving the desired goals. The incentives
may be in the shape of more pay, promotion, recognition of work, etc. The employees are offered the incentives and try to improve their performance willingly. According to Peter placement, high standard of performance, information ad Drucker, the real and positive motivators are responsible for equate for self-control and the participation of the worker as a responsible citizen in the plant community.” Positive motivation is achieved by the co-operation of employees and they have a feeling of happiness.

2. Negative Motivation-Negative or fear motivation is based on force or fear. Fear causes employees to act in a certain way. In case, they do not act accordingly then they may be punished with demotions or lay-offs. The fear acts as a push machanism. The employees do not willingly cooperate, rather they want to avoid the punishment. Though employees work upto a level where punishment is avoided but this type of motivation causes anger and frustration.
This type of motivation generally becomes a cause of industrial unrest.

In spite of the drawbacks of negative motivation,this method is commonly used to achieve desired results.There may be hardly any management which has not used negative motivation at one or the other time.

Significance of Motivation

Motivation is an important instrument in the hands of a manager which inspires the work force and creates a confidence in it. Following is the significance of motivation for management –

1. Higher efficiency- A good motivational system releases the immense latent talents and abilities of employees. It converts ability to work into will to work. Motivated
employees make higher contributions towards the realisation of organisational goals. On the other hand, poorly motivated people can nullify the soundest organisation. In fact,motivation is an effective instrument in the hands of management for maximising the efficiency an a effectiveness of
an organisation and for securing the optimum utilisation of resources. It determines the level of employee’s performance.

2. Low absenteeism and turnover- Motivation leads to job satisfaction and high morale due to which labour unrest, labour absenteeism and turnover are reduced. Motivated employees have higher commitment and loyalty to the organisation. They stay longer and are more punctual.All these factors ensure stability in the work force. Thus, a team of motivated employees is the most valuable assest of an organisation. Motivation also promotes self-discipline.

3. Facilitates change-Effective motivation helps to overcome resistance to change and negative attitudes on the part of employees. Motivated employees are receptive to new developments. They learn better and they themselves suggest appropriate changes. Motivation sets the tone of an organisation. The problem of motivation is the key to manage.

4. Human relations- A high level of motivation results in harmonious relations between employer and the employees. Sound industrial relations ensure industrial harmony and peace. Employee morale and discipline are likely to be high. Motivation improves acceptance and complicance
of orders and instructions.

5. Corporate image- A company that provides adequate opportunities to its employees for the satisfaction of physical and psychological needs has a better image in the public. People prefer to join and work in such an enterprise. This helps in recruiting qualified personnel and simplifies the staffing function.

In brief, motivation is the key to management to inspire people to work in a desired direction. If the employees are motivated poorly, they can nullify the efforts of even a sound organisation. That’s why Rensis Likert says “Motivation is the core of management”

What motivates an individual?

Man does not live by bread alone. Man is a social animal and wants recognition and status in society through his work. The position an individual in organisation, the
number of people who work for him, the monetary and nonmonetary benefits he enjoys are all important motivational factors Money is the most commonly used motivating factor. Management generally makes use of financial incentives like wages and salaries, bonus,commission, retirement
benefits etc. to motivate the workers. Money is a real motivating factor when the physiological and security needs of
the employees are not satisfied properly. If the economic background of an individual is poor, the motivational value of money will be greater.

Money is recognised as the basis of status, respect and power. Money is also an important means of achieving minimum standard of living’ although this ‘minimum’ is not yet defined.

No doubt, money is an important motivating factor but it is not the only factor. Money satisfies physiological and safety needs but it does not give job-satisfaction. In order to motivate employees, it is equally essential to satisfy their ego, social and self-actualisation needs., It can not be done with money alone.

The environment in which a person works also has tremendous motivational force. A pleasant, noise-free room with comfortable temperature and proper facilities of telecommunication, transport, canteen and secretarial assistance is always conducive to work.

Different individuals are motivated by different factors. This is because each individual in the organisation comes from a different socio-economic, cultural, religious,educational and family background and each of these factors play a role in motivating an individual.

In most western countries, a great emphasis is laid on leisure and individuals may be motivated to take up that job which affords better opportunities for leisure. Relationships developed at work with the boss, colleagues and subordinates have an important motivating influence. The more friendly and supportive are these relationships, the greater will be their positive motivational value. On the other hand, tension and unhappiness in relations are serious and enough reasons for people to leave jobs even it may be very comfortable and attractive in all other respects.

Role of Non-Financial Incentives in Motivation

No doubt,money plays a pivotal role in motivating an individual’s performance. It has the ability to satisfy several types of needs and wants of people, food, clothing and shelter, the psychologically needs for security, safety, prestige and esteem. In business organisation, it is safe to pesume that all employees perceive money as a reward, in accordance with their own position. Thus, money is a great unify-
ing force up to a certain level. This means that money is everything to some extent. Beyond that, money is not everything. In other words, money is necessary but not sufficient as a motivator of employee performance.Money plays an important role in attracting competent people and inducing people to work better. It is surprising that people can be attracted into organisations by offering good salary than to retain them and to make them perform well. In this connection, Herzberg, in this theory of motivation, regards monetary incentive as a ‘hygiene factor’ it means money can reduce dissatisfaction but does not induce satisfaction. It is maintenance factor and not a motivating factor.

Financial incentives do not work forever to motivate the people at work. As a matter of fact, when the physiological and security needs are fulfilled with the help of money, it
ceases to be the motivating force; it becomes the maintenance factor as said by Herzberg. Therefore, the employees do not always run after money. They have other needs also.
They want status and recognition in the society, they want to live their lives. In order to motivate the employees having these needs, management can take the help of following non-financial incentives:

1. Competition-Competition is a kind of non-financial incentive. If there is a healthy competition among the individual employees or groups of employees, it will lead them to achieve their personal or group goals in a better way.

2. Group Incentives-Group incentives are more powerful to motivate the employees than the individual incentives.

3. Praise- Praise satisfies one’s ego needs. Sometimes, praise is more effective than any other incentive. It has been seen that in industry, at home or elsewhere, people respond better to praise. However, this incentive should be used with greater degree of care because praising an incompetent employee would create resentment among competent employees. Of course, occasionally, a pat on the back of an incompetent employee may act as an incentive to him for improvement.

4. Knowledge of the Results- Knowledge of the results leads to employees satisfaction. A worker likes to know the result of his performance. A worker gets satisfaction when his superior appreciates the work he has done. In modern industry, the production workers have no contact with the consumers. However, they can be motivated to a greater extent if they told the rating of their performance.

5. Worker’s participation- Employees’ participation in management provides an important incentive to the em-
ployees. It gives them psychological satisfaction that their voice is being heard because workers’ participation in management provides for two-way communication.

6. Suggestion System-Suggestion system is an incentive which satisfies many needs of the employees.


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