Motivational theories and employee motivation

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One of the basic factors for the collective effectiveness of the employees to work in an organization is the motivation factor. The motivation level and personal needs of employees vary from one individual to the other. But the Morales of all have to be kept high, so it is very important to find out what motivates an employee and depending on the personal needs that can be satisfied by the managements in order to promote motivation.

There are many theories that explain how can the employees be motivated, each theory fitting into a different scenario.


FW Taylor’s theory on motivation states that the employees are motivated by money, the more they are paid the more will they work. The theory also suggests close supervision on the workers to motivate them so they would never get their attention diverted. It says that if the bigger tasks are broken down into smaller ones it would reduce the burden of each employee giving them a confidence that they can complete their tasks. And they would like to work more. Good training of the workers is also an essential factor according to this theory to make the employees do their jobs effectively. This way, they would take more interest when they would know exactly what they are doing. This policy was adopted by many organizations initially. But after the workers were getting demotivated more often due to the boredom caused by performing the same task all the time.


According to Elton mayo’s theory workers are motivated by two way communication. It required the friendly or at least the cooperative level of communication of the upper management with the employees. The more would they communicate, the more will the motivation level rise. Teams formation and grouping by the managements can also make the employees work with an increased the motivation level with the skill of teamwork.


One of the most adopted and finest theories of motivation was the Herzberg theory. It had some very good points that worked for many types of organizations. They are still practiced successfully. It states that the organizations should adopt a democratic approach towards the employees, involving their employees in the decision making process. Active communication between the management and the employees should be built up between authorities and subordinates. Motivation to work also depends on the conditions that an employee get to work in. Safe and good working condition will naturally make him satisfied and happy and he will be motivated to work more. Performing the same tasks repeatedly causes boredom, so the jobs should be made interesting and the tasks should be changed periodically to let them face different challenges. This will rise their interest every time they will get to perform a new task.


Each of these theories work differently in motivating employees. However in the modern era, all these theories are applied in organizations depending on their nature and the quality of their employees of each.



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