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Motivation Techniques at Workplace

In the business environment, motivation can be defined as the internal state that activates behavior and energizes individuals to goal-oriented behavior. It is a composition of design beliefs that directs these needs me to take action. Motivation can include things such as inspiration, encouragement, and support. Motivating factors are the root causes and the stepping stone for the growth and elevation of an individual. The employees of an organization always need the motivation to keep themselves going.

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In accordance to Elliot, motivation is “in its e, and scientific management involves a complete mental revolution on the part of the working man engaged in any particular establishment or industry — a complete mental revolution on the part of these men as to their duties toward their work, toward their fellow men, and their employers.” (Elliot, 539) However, the motivations for each vary from person to person. For some, the salary is enough to keep them motivated, or the respect one may garner from his position. The quality and the efficiency of the work are directly related to the motivation towards their work. According to Slack, “Only about two percent are even willing to be straw bosses, and most of them take that position because it carries with it more pay than working on a machine” (Slack and Lewis, 8). Therefore, it is essential to maintain the focus of the workforce. As a result, specific motivation theories have come up through the ages, which we would discuss to understand better the motivation and motivation techniques that could be implemented at the workplace. This is where motivation management or techniques comes into play. Motivation technique means the act, manner, or practice of controlling, handling something. The person or persons who manage a business establishment, organization, or institution are the core management groups. It is essential to understand the structure, function, and roles of management and its managers in this context. According to Bissell, collaborative adult learning is vital to help institutions design and implement professional development procedures to support the learning and progress of the administrators. She says that the principles and supers of the institutions have realized a need for developing a more comprehensive knowledge base of the curriculum to achieve their goals. Their instructional leadership capabilities need to be developed, and professional learning groups must be encouraged. To improve institutions, the managers have to develop skills for collecting and using data from various sources. This is the fundamental structure of management (Bissell, 167).

Furthermore, if the workers are reluctant and lack enthusiasm for present conditions, it will take away the success achieved by the organization through their formal transactions. One way of overcoming this is that the leaders need to properly hear out and understand the staff members and listen to them. The motivation technique is better since it emphasizes that other than the things that are taught in the initial stages of the working life, there is also the need to understand how sustainability can be managed and form guidelines for the success of its employees and staff members. According to this theory, motivation is better if it is exercised and accepted slowly and gradually. It is also better since it is consistent with the changing ways of our present millennium. This is a better model since, unlike the older models, who believed that if people had to know something, they would be informed about it. According to this model, the people in the organization should be responsible for their needs, and this sense of responsibility can be enumerated as a basic function of management. (Bissell, 122) However, the older models of motivation techniques still hold ground reality and are usable under practical conditions.

Maslow’s Theory of Motivation

Dr. Abraham Maslow, a noted psychologist of this generation, tried to formulate a needs-based hypothesis of human motivation. He did this by studying the psychology of the human rather than that of the animals. From his studies, he came up with the Hierarchy of Needs. We have all come across the saying, “Grass is always greener on the other side.” (Kara, 116) Human beings are motivated by unsatisfied needs. This natural instinct of human beings is the basis of the Hierarchy of Needs. According to this theory, the needs are classified in a hierarchy where the higher needs can be satisfied only after the lower needs are satisfied. Only on the satisfaction of these needs can one act unselfishly and be happy. At the bottom of the need, hierarchy is the Physiological Needs. These needs constitute the basics of existence, namely, Air, Water, Food, and Sleep. The higher needs of the hierarchy are not recognized until these basic needs are satisfied. (Schroeder, 114-117)

Once the physiological needs are satisfied, then one is motivated to satisfy the second need in the hierarchy, that is, Safety. A person always tends to be motivated to make his life secure. These include a secured place to live in, medical insurance in case of accidents and emergencies, a secured job, and financial securities. Maslow’sMaslow’s hypothesis says that a person would not be motivated for higher needs if he is threatened. Thus, security is an important motivation for a person.

The third need on Maslow’s Pyramid is the Social Needs. Human is a social animal, and social interaction is an important part of human life. Friendship, a sense of belonging, love, and being loved are all very important motivations for a human being. Once a person feels secure, he yearns for relationships and interactions. (Schroeder, 114-117)

Higher on the hierarchy of needs is the Esteem Needs. Once a person feels belongs, the sense of importance and self-respect is a motivation one attempts to achieve. These can be attributed to intrinsic and extrinsic motivations. Self-esteem, accomplishment, and self-respect constitute the intrinsic esteem motivations, and reputation and recognition constitute the extrinsic esteem motivations.

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Above the Esteem Needs is a needs layer that constitutes aesthetics and knowledge. Human beings, on satisfying their esteem, yearn to gather experience and practical knowledge. At the peak of Maslow’s pyramid stands the Needs of Self Actualization. The topmost motivation of a being is to realize its own potential as a person. This need is never satisfied as with knowledge and experience once potential always grows to be realized. The motivators for self-actualized people are Truth, Justice, Wisdom, and Meaning. People in this layer of the hierarchy of needs experience complete and profound happiness. These needs, in order of importance, are Self Actualization, Esteem, Belongingness, Safety, and Physiological. (Ratelle, 471) Maslow’sMaslow’s theory of motivation thus concludes that motivation may be rooted in the basic need to minimize agony and maximize comfort, or it may include specific needs such as eating and resting or a desired goal or object. Different individuals have different motives for their work. Even when their goals are the same, their motives vary. Such motivation profiles are classified under various motivational theories, such as “biological, psychosocial, and interactionist.” (Michalak, 26).

Herzberg’s Two-Factor Theory

Another famous psychologist, Fredrick Herzberg, proposed another motivation theory based on needs. According to this theory, in a workplace, there are certain factors that cause job satisfaction and another set of factors that causes dissatisfaction. Herzberg’sHerzberg’s hypothesis states that the presence of one set of job motivations such as recognition, work challenge, and responsibility make way for one’s satisfaction one strives to achieve while the factors such as status, salary, job security, and incentives do not motivate the beings if present but de-motivate them if absent (Heizer and Render, 175-177).

Alderfer’s ERG THEORY

Clayton Alderfer, explaining Maslow’s theory, proposed the ERG theory according to which stands for Existence, Relatedness, and Growth. As in Maslow’sMaslow’s theory, Physiological and Security needs are held in the Existence category, love and self-esteem in the Relatedness category, and the Self Actualization in the Growth category (Erel, 320).


Motivation at the workplace is a very important component of the organizational strategy. They require their employee to work at their full potential to their work. It has been found that lack of motivation leads to deterioration in the quality of the work of the employees. Motivation is a powerful mechanism in the workplace as it exerts out the most efficient levels of creation from the employees. Motivational techniques are implemented in the workplace to improve efficiency and increasing self-confidence. One effective way of motivation is by enlightening the workers on the aims and the requirements of the organizations and the strategies adopted to achieve these aims (Schroeder, 114).

The motivation techniques can be classified under negative motivational and positive motivational techniques. Certain leaders in organizations try to extract the efficiency of their employees by using negative strategies like shouting and swearing at them or by threatening them. The fear factor can be effective to a certain extent, but this may lead to unrest among the workers, and hence the productivity would be short-term and not up to its potential. Negative motivational techniques by threatening the employees of their basic needs (from Maslow’s theory) would let the employees be be de-motivated and work just to keep their jobs and not to satisfy their higher needs of satisfaction, which according to Maslow, is directly related to the productivity (Kara, 116-119).

Positive motivational techniques are those which provide the employees the scope to satisfy their higher needs. This has a direct impact on their efficiency and the realization of the targets of the organization. The positive motivational techniques include offering incentives and rewards to the deserving employees on their achievements at their work and on the the realization of the goals set upon. The organization may also put up healthy competitions among the employees by pitting them against each other to get the work done (González-Benito, 87-90).

As every individual is different from the other, their motivation also varies. Thus, it is very important for the leaders and the managers in the enterprise to recognize their employees’ motivations individually and to spur them accordingly. Conducting team meetings and conferences to better understand the whole team and each member individually is an efficient strategy to motivate the team. Questionnaires and feedback forms are also means which can be undertaken to detect every individual’s motivation and help the managers to deal with them according to their needs.

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Some motivation techniques at the workplace include:

  • Training: The workers can be motivated at their work by providing work-specific training so that the employees feel less intimidated by their roles. Training and demonstration of their required tasks lead directly to improved motivation.
  • Setting up targets and incentives: Setting up realistic and fair targets with promised rewards such as salary perks and rewards act as motivational catalysts and lead to a competitive atmosphere at the workplace with a a highly motivated group of employees.
  • Team building activities: Socializing of the team leaders with their team members not only at the the workplace but outside it as well lead to happy, open,, and competitive teams. Team bonding results in increased productivity and morale and a healthier working environment.
  • Setting up team slogans: Putting up motivational team themes and quotes for the team positively empowers a team and spurs them for action. Positive imagery of success through inspirational slogans gives the team a sense of belonging and patriotism towards the team’s success.
  • Enhanced communication: Effectively communicating with the team members by listening to their suggestions, recommendations and assuring them of their positive efforts leads to greater team bonding and also serves to motivate them by placing more importance on them, satisfying their needs of Esteem. (Maya, 260-274)


In conclusion, it should be mentioned that companies should not only provide employees with the factors that cause satisfaction but also provide those factors that eliminate the discontents in order to avoid dissatisfaction. Therefore, there are several alternatives to maintain high performance at work. The task should be challenging for the employees in the order for they could show their full potential. The main objective of the production manager or administration is to identify the needed and most logical technique. These are the successful attributes of motivation techniques at the workplace.

Works Cited

  1. Bissell, B, Resistance Change, Auckland: Ebsco publishing, 2006.
  2. Elliot, Brian. Operations management: an active learning approach. New York: Wiley-Blackwell, 1997.
  3. Erel, E. “Coordination of staffing and pricing decisions in a service firm”. Applied Stochastic Models in Business and Industry 24.4 (2008): 307-323.
  4. González-Benito, J. “A review of determinant factors of motivation proactivity” Business Strategy and the Environment 15.2 (2007): 87-102.
  5. Heizer, Jay, and Barry Render. Operations Management. London: Prentice Hall PTR, 2005.
  6. Kara, Sami. “The role of human factors in flexibility management: A survey”. Human Factors and Ergonomics in Manufacturing 12.1 (2005): 75-119.
  7. Maya, Kaner. Design of service systems using a knowledge-based approach”. Knowledge and Process Management 14.4 (2007): 260-274.
  8. Michalak, James. “Implicit motives and explicit goals: two distinctive modes of motivational functioning and their relations to psychopathology”. Clinical Psychology & Psychotherapy, 13.2 (2006): 81-96.
  9. Ratelle, Charles. “Cognitive adaptation and mental health: A motivational analysis”. European Journal of Social Psychology 34.4 (2004): 459-476.
  10. Schroeder, Roger G. “A resource-based view of manufacturing strategy and the relationship to manufacturing performance”. Strategic Management Journal 23.2 (2002): 105-117.
  11. Slack, Nigel, and Michael Lewis. Operations Management: Critical Perspectives on Business and Management. London: Routledge, 2003.

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