Motivation – An Introduction

Motivation is the word derived from the word ’motive’ which means needs, desires, wants or drives within the individuals. It is the process of stimulating people to actions to accomplish the goals. Motivation is the key to organizational effectiveness. The manager in general has to get the work done through others. These ‘others’ are human resources who need to be motivated to attain organizational objectives.

In the work goal context the psychological factors stimulating the people’s behavior can be:

  • desire for money
  • success
  • recognition
  • job-satisfaction
  • team work, etc

One of the most important functions of management is to create willingness amongst the employees to perform in the best of their abilities. Therefore the role of a leader is to arouse interest in performance of employees in their jobs. The process of motivation consists of three stages:-

  1. A felt need or drive
  2. A stimulus in which needs have to be aroused
  3. When needs are satisfied, the satisfaction or accomplishment of goals.

Therefore, we can say that motivation is a psychological phenomenon which means needs and wants of the individuals have to be tackled by framing an incentive plan.

According to George R. Terry, “Motivation is the desire within an individual that stimulates him or her to action.”

In the words of Robert Dubin, it is “the complex of forces starting and keeping a person at work in an organization”. Viteles defines motivation as “an unsatisfied need which creates a state of tension or disequilibrium, causing the individual to move in a goal directed pattern towards restoring a state of equilibrium, by satisfying the need.”

According to Encyclopedia of Management. “Motivation refers to the degree of readiness of an organism to pursue some designated goals and implies the determination of the nature and locus of force inducing a degree of readiness.”

On the basis of above definitions, the following observations can be made regarding motivation:

  1. Motivation is an inner psychological force, which activates and compels the person to behave in a particular manner.
  2. The motivation process is influenced by personality traits, learning abilities, perception and competence of an individual.
  3. A highly motivated employee works more efficiently and his level of production tends to be higher than others.
  4. Motivation originates from the-needs and wants of an individual. It is a tension of lacking something in his mind, which forces him to work more efficiently.
  5. Motivation is also a process of stimulating and channelising the energy of an individual for achieving set goals.
  6. Motivation also plays a crucial role in determining the level of performance. Highly motivated employees get higher satisfaction, which may lead to higher efficiency.
  7. Motivating force an^ its degree, may differ from individual to individual depending on his personality, needs, competence and other factors.
  8. The process of Motivation helps the manager in analysing and understanding human behavior and finding but how an individual can be inspired to produce desirable working behavior.
  9. Motivation may be positive as well as negative. Positive motivation includes incentives, rewards and other benefits while negative motivation implies some punishment, fear, use of force etc.

10. The motivation procedure contributes to and boosts up the morale of the employees. A high degree of motivation may lead to high morale.

Basic Motivational Model

People’s behavior is determined by what motivates them. Their performance is a product of both ability level and motivation. Given below is the basic model of motivation. Although motivation is a necessary contributor for job performance, it is not the only one. Along with ability, motivation is also a combination of level of skill, knowledge about how to complete the task, feelings and emotions, and facilitating and inhibiting conditions not under the individual’s control.

Motivation Model

Performance = function (ability × motivation)

However, what is clearly evident is that if the manager is to improve the work of the organization, attention must be given to the level of motivation of its members. The manager must also encourage staff to direct their efforts (their driving force) towards the successful attainment of the goals and objectives of the organization.

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