Motivation doesn’t often happen by accident. Achieving success requires putting in the hard work to get yourself there, and it’s easier to put in that hard work when you know you can achieve great things and also the process of motivation.
But how do you kick off that motivation? How do you make sure that your drive stays strong?
In this article, we will explore what makes up the process of motivation so that you can learn how to get yourself moving in the right direction towards your goals or how you can keep your employees motivated.
But first thing first, what is motivation?
Definitions of Motivation:
As we all know, motivation is the amount of energy you put into your work. But if you think motivation is a number on a scale, then you may not see it as an important part of the equation.
It’s much more than that. It’s something we can shape and influence in different ways, depending on our motivation and our approach to it.
Motivation is a source of power that helps us get things done. It’s our desire to do something, and it helps us get through any challenges or obstacles in our way. When we want to achieve something, motivation helps us persist until we reach our goal.
Generally speaking, there are two main kinds of motivation:
Intrinsic motivation comes from within — it’s that feeling you have because you find joy in what you’re doing. You might be intrinsically motivated by your curiosity about a subject. For example, you enjoy learning about it so much that you stick with it even when it gets difficult or boring.
While on the other hand, extrinsic motivation is external — it involves doing something because other people expect you to do so. Someone could offer you money for doing a task (which might motivate some people) or give you praise (which can motivate some people).
Self-motivation comes from within while extrinsic motivators come from without – often both play major roles in getting us to complete our work!
These two types of motivation are related to how we set goals for ourselves or how top managerial set long-term goals for a company or firm.
Here are some things that will help increase your motivation:
- The things you care about (and the people you care about)
- The people around you who support your work (and who will also be motivated by it)
- The people who support your work in a subtle way that doesn’t immediately bring their attention towards you (e.g., when they look for examples of what other developers have done), help them to focus on the things that matter instead of those things that don’t
- Opportunities that allow you to collaborate with others in a way that fosters greater motivation (e.g., design reviews)
Motivation plays a key role in the accomplishment of any task. Any task can be completed under any set of conditions but the level of efficiency and output may not be the same if done by a motivated person as compared to an unmotivated worker.
Practically, this condition applies to almost all types of works done by any person, may that be an individual’s personal life or an organization. That’s why all business organizations have to spend a lot to maintain a preset level of motivation for their employees.
Motivation is, in fact, the behavior of an individual. Social scientists have defined motivation in many different ways; the simplest definition of motivation is as follows.
“Motivation is the energy and force which stimulates an individual to act in fulfillment of his desire or motives”
We can also define motivation in the following ways:
- It is a state of mind that enables a person to work towards the element of goals
- It is a driving force that makes a person work with high efficiency and a high level of commitment
History of Motivation
How motivation works have long been a subject of debate among scientists and psychologists. Early work in motivation included pioneers like Abraham Maslow, who theorized that humans are born with a series of needs that must be fulfilled for survival, self-actualization, and growth.
Motivation plays a big role in leadership development as well. It’s clear to see how employee morale is vital to many leaders throughout history.
Motivation can help CEOs achieve their visions while inspiring employees to work hard and achieve company goals.
Poor motivation makes companies more likely to fail when facing adversity or change. Good motivation allows companies to thrive during challenging times. Leading others through these changes relies on understanding your motivations and motivating others so they buy into your vision.
If you can do both, you should have no problem fulfilling your vision or leading people through changes. Motivation is at work every day—it just depends on who motivates you!
The most successful people in the world are driven by a set of values, ideals, and habits that have been internalized over time.
My personal favorite reading on this topic is “A Walk through the Mind” by Henry Ford: The moral code of Henry Ford is as follows:
- Do what you must do.
- If you must do it, do it properly.
- Don’t underrate yourself.
- Work hard and play hard.
- Do not accept criticism without a proper cause.
The Science of Motivation
Let us see what exactly drives us to take action, and how we can use this information to help us understand our goals better.
When you are motivated it seems like your brain is in overdrive. You are constantly busy with thoughts and activities that keep you active and engaged. Your brain is being flooded with lots of new information.
Your mind is constantly processing it all, making connections, and trying to work out what it all means. We call it the “cognitive load” of the day. It’s a bit like working through a list of anagrams in your head, which you can do for hours without noticing how it is affecting your state of mind or mood (or even why).
So when we think about motivation, the first thing we need to understand is those cognitive processes at play. From here we can begin to start thinking about how these processes relate to our own personal motivations (if they really do matter), as well as some common ways that people try to boost their motivation.
In general, this topic has received very little attention from researchers, but there are still quite a few theories around:
Firstly – the idea that motivation changes over time based on life experience (e.g., having children) and physical factors (e.g., illness) – although this may be true for some people at different times in their lives.
Secondly – the idea that motivation is largely determined by internal factors (e.g., self-esteem and confidence), although there are also external influences on our motivation such as financial success.
Thirdly – the idea is that some people have more intrinsic motivation while others have more extrinsic motivation.
Finally – the idea is that people vary in how easy they find it to activate their motivational resources. The last one is particularly interesting because there seems to be plenty of evidence for each of these ideas.
In particular, there are lots of studies showing that certain mental states lead directly or indirectly to increased levels of activation within certain parts of our brain called prefrontal cortexes, which control things like moods, actions, and self-image.
Experimentation with various kinds of incentives helped many organizations improve their process of motivation and increase performance.
Importance of Motivation
To do anything significant in life, you need to have enough motivation to keep moving forward. Without it, you’ll just give up, or fall into a plateau; neither of which lead to success.
Motivation is a critical part of the process of progress. It’s why we set out to make a product in the first place. It’s also why we build the product with great care, and then continue to support it through updates.
Most importantly, motivation helps satisfy the needs of employees and organizations ultimately leading them to success.
Top-level management uses various motivational programs for their employees to keep their employees inspired towards the goals of the company/organization.
Not only does it keep employees motivated, but it also increases their performance level. Moreover, it helps organizations use their resources more productively.
Uses of Motivation
One of its uses is in personal growth. Personal growth occurs when a person improves in at least one of five areas: knowledge, skill, ability, attitude, or self-concept.
Personal development happens when we work to increase any or all of these aspects of our lives. Another use for motivation is learning how to motivate ourselves through being motivated by others. You can learn about goals and achievements from other people’s accomplishments.
When you see that your fellow classmates have managed to accomplish things you’d like to do, then you will become more determined and focused on what it takes to achieve those same goals. Being motivated by others doesn’t happen overnight; but as long as you continue practicing and keeping your eye on your goals, you will be inspired by people around you who are actively working toward theirs as well.
Learning from other people’s successes can help improve your motivation and achievement skills. If you don’t think you can do something, seeing someone else do it can inspire you to try harder.
In some cases, seeing someone succeed may even give you the courage to follow through with something where your own motivation had been lacking before. Once we know what keeps us going forward and moving ahead with confidence, we find that our mental energy level increases and we are much better able to cope with life’s many problems and challenges.
In a nutshell, organizations use motivation techniques to keep their employees happy so they can work for the goals of the organization with full energy by using the available resources more productively.
Impact of Motivation
Motivation is linked to feeling in control of your life. If you feel in control, then it’s easier to resist negative behavior. The same applies to employees in a firm.
A sense of being out of control, on the other hand, is closely tied to anxiety and depression which may disturb the goals and vision of the organization.
When you have a strong motivation, something deep inside of you makes you want to succeed. When people face obstacles, their motivation can be easily rekindled if they believe success is just around the corner.
For many people, starting a company comes with an internal motivation factor: the excitement of creating something new and the satisfaction of realizing a dream. But we all know what happens when that excitement wears off: everyone starts asking themselves why they’re doing this.
They might think it’s just a hobby, even though they know they’ll probably be spending long hours in front of a computer working towards their goal, or they might think it’s business, even though they’ll be spending their evenings and weekends thinking about how to make money.
Either way, feeling motivated isn’t enough. You need to carry that motivation into your work every day in order to make progress towards your goals — and if you don’t do this, your work will suffer from a lack of focus and energy.
So how do you keep motivation flowing? There are three main ways:
- Encourage others who want to get started with you
- Offer an excuse for doing something at the office
- Make changes in your own habits that boost your motivation (the more you do these things, the stronger your motivation will become).
Factors of Motivation
There are a number of factors that affect motivation, but one of them is different in each individual. While some people want to work on a project just for its own sake or because they enjoy it, others want to do well at something so they can prove their abilities.
On the other hand, there are those who are motivated by having tangible goals and rewards to shoot for; they know what needs to be done and how much time and effort it takes to get there.
Another factor of motivation comes from being committed to some type of activity or organization—those who already have an invested interest will usually stick with it longer than those who don’t care.
Although everyone responds differently to motivation, as a general rule if you want someone else to stay interested in doing something, you need to offer both incentives and praise. Rewards may include money, school credit, or personal satisfaction; incentives might include social support from family members or friends.
Praise is sometimes enough reward unto itself. People like hearing that they are doing well at something important to them. Another reason that many students struggle with staying motivated is that they never feel good about themselves unless they are achieving at every turn.
Components of Motivation
Motivation is a difficult subject to write about, but the two most important things you need to know about it is that:
- It takes a lot of work to be motivated. You need to put in long hours of work, especially at the beginning.
- It takes a long time for motivation to wear off. A motivational force tends to last for a short period of time and then becomes ineffective if not constantly renewed (though this can be helped by other factors).
There are two main components of motivation, intrinsic and extrinsic. Intrinsic motivation is internal or self-driven and is when a person acts without expecting to be rewarded, while extrinsic motivation is external or other-driven, where a person expects to be rewarded.
There are also two different kinds of extrinsic motivation: introjected and identified.
Introjected refers to doing something because you want someone else to approve of you, while identified refers to doing something because you want approval from yourself.
These four types can go in any combination as well. For example, one might do something out of fear because it will make others happy (introjected/identified).
But sometimes action isn’t driven by either intrinsic or extrinsic factors; it’s just impulsive behavior (both internal and external).
As it turns out though, drive plays an important role in both types of motivation — even if they are based on entirely different things! Drives increase our likelihood of trying harder as we try longer.
Research shows that when we get bored with a specific task and can’t find another to replace it, our focus begins to diminish but once we break up tasks into smaller components or shift between them regularly, they’re no longer boring.
This means that whatever your drives are, you need to find ways to keep them alive and at full strength. So rather than just looking at your motives individually then thinking about how best to keep each active separately, look at what motivates you and what breaks down your drive over time — then do something about it!
One good way of looking at these motivational issues is by figuring out who motivates us externally versus internally.
That is, some people care more about rewards outside themselves, while others care more about rewards inside themselves (happiness, spirituality).
There’s nothing right or wrong with either type — it all depends on what works for you and your personality. And luckily enough science has shown that certain careers match better with certain levels of motivation as well!
For instance, jobs higher in responsibility have been found to align better with individuals lower in ego-driven because being high in ego drive makes taking orders difficult — you’re always going to question whether your boss really knows better than you do.
The same holds true for creative work too — individuals with a low level of inner-personal motivations tend to do better in creative professions like art and literature, while those motivated primarily by external rewards tend to thrive much better within scientific fields.
These three basic motivational tendencies form three separate overlapping networks within ourselves – social network, achievement network, and ego network respectively. Which tendency dominates varies among people, but usually, we see various combinations across several areas of life.
However, most successful people are likely to see dominant influence across multiple spheres of life from each network.
Process Of Motivation
It’s a way to explain why you do what you do. It helps people understand and empathize with your goals. While it can be very effective in helping others understand you, it’s also one of those things that will help you get more out of life.
How so? Well, by regularly being honest with yourself about why you are doing what you are doing, you give yourself a chance to reflect on how effectively your motivation is working for or against you.
In other words, getting clear on your motivational process gives you some leverage in determining how successful you are at achieving your goals (or not).
There’s nothing magical about motivation. It comes down to knowing where you are coming from and what drives you. What makes something meaningful enough to pursue? If a particular project doesn’t have meaning for me, then I am less likely to succeed… unless my pursuit isn’t merely self-interested but rather has larger implications – having an impact beyond just myself as an individual but instead positively affecting many people in some way such as helping them achieve their goals or making sure they don’t have negative impacts as well.
This approach was taken by Ben Cohen who famously started Ben & Jerry’s ice cream company based on his passionate conviction that people should know exactly what they were eating when consuming ice cream. Parting ways with traditional practices of keeping ingredients secret until shortly before serving time allowed Ben & Jerry’s customers to know exactly what kind of milk, sweeteners, and fats went into its products.
The process of motivation comprises different steps, within an individual, which are explained hereunder:
- A motive is the actual driving force that enables an individual to perform any task to achieve his goal. This is the starting point of the motivation process.
- The second step in this process is the “Tension” When a need or motive remains unsatisfied or unaccomplished, it results in a stimulus within an individual as to how I can do this.
- Once an individual enters the phase of Tension, it immediately takes him to the third step of the process of motivation, “Search”. The individual instantly starts searching as to how he can complete this task.
- The last step may be termed as “Action”. Action is the logical accomplishment of the first three steps. After going through the phase of Motive, Tension and Search, the ultimate result Action, takes the individual towards successful achievement of Goal that fulfills his motives.
- The final step in the process of motivation is “Feedback”. This is extremely important for the organization to get feedback from the employees in order to formulate and upgrade its line of action to improve the work environment and motivational level of its employees.
For any business, the key to the success is “motivated employees” Hence the management has to formulate certain mechanisms to keep their employees motivated. On the basis of studies on Human Psychology, psychologists have compiled various motivation theories.
These theories tell us how an individual behaves and what motivates him. There are so many different theories of motivation that are available in various studies but here we will discuss some of the most famous Motivation Theories.
Find more details about the process of motivation here.
5 Steps of Motivation Process
In order to get motivated, you need to keep these 5 steps in mind. They are like building blocks for attaining motivation that will push you towards achieving your goal. If you have trouble staying motivated or just want a simple method for getting it done then consider using these five building blocks.
It’s not what you do, it’s how you do it. It’s the way you do things that makes a difference. That’s why understanding the process of motivation in depth is very important.
Before looking into the steps of motivation, you must have enough knowledge about yourself. For example:
- Identify your strengths and weaknesses
- Find out who your strongest supporters are and who your weakest enemies are (in other words find out why it is you don’t succeed so well)
- Analyze the reasons behind these differences (you may have great strengths or weaknesses in certain areas)
- Develop strategies around these differences as means through which you improve yourself (for example reading three books on leadership every week; learning guitar; etc.)
Let us now see the details of each step of the motivation process that we briefly discussed earlier in this article.
Step 1 – Identify Your Goal:
What do I mean by identifying your goal? Well, we all know what our goals are, don’t we? Whether it’s something as big as losing weight or finishing school or something small like eating healthier food. No matter how big or small our goals might be we all know them.
There is no need to remind ourselves of our goals constantly so that motivates us because it makes it even harder for us to stay focused. We know what we want and now we just have to make it happen!
Step 2 – Map Out A Plan:
Now that you have decided on a goal you need to figure out a plan on how you will reach that goal within a certain time frame. This step is important because it helps us reach certain milestones before moving on to another one.
It may seem stupidly simple but not many people actually take their time thinking about these important steps and think if they could get themselves motivated in 5 minutes then why should they waste their precious time and precious energy when they can start right away?
But if you really want something or someone, then sometimes waiting a few extra minutes while planning your way there is worth it!
Step 3 – Measure Progress and Celebrate Wins:
Now that you have mapped out the plan it’s time to see how much progress have you made since yesterday? Or since last week or even earlier today!
If we look at what we accomplished so far without any expectations of getting more done it’s easy for us to stay focused instead of getting upset with ourselves for everything we did not achieve yet.
So give yourself permission to celebrate small victories just as much as big ones! It is okay to celebrate both of them! Just because they are different in size doesn’t mean they are any less important than each other! Enjoy your accomplishments no matter how hard you worked for them, relax and enjoy these moments because if you don’t then who will?
You can never know when one day all our hard work will pay off so take a moment to reflect on where you started from and appreciate every accomplishment no matter how little it might seem.
This step is essential because if we do not measure our progress then how can we improve upon it? How can we find out what exactly works and what doesn’t so that way we can constantly be improving ourselves, consciously aware of our actions while continuing to remain motivated towards achieving whatever goal we may have set up for ourselves.
Step 4 – Implement Changes As Needed And Prevent Yourself From Slipping Back Into Bad Habits:
Finally, came to a point where you feel like giving up? But always remember why you were trying in the first place. Sometimes we just get lazy and want everything and anything instantly and that’s okay because it is human nature.
However, if you really need change, Then it’s time to wake up and smell the coffee because no one can do it for you!
If you want something bad enough then, of course, you are going to make time for it in your busy lives but only if YOU make that time!
Step 5: Continue To Look At Yourself In A Positive Light
Remember, it is possible to achieve whatever you put your mind on so get started already! Last but certainly not least, keep remembering that anything is possible. Everything from bad habits or changing how you eat or how you exercise or whatever it may be as long as you believe in yourself then nothing will stop you from achieving any and every goal that comes into your head.
After all who knows what we are capable of when we put our minds to something right?
Types of Motivation
There are two basic types of motivation; internal and external.
External motivators include things like deadlines and money. Internal motivators are personal factors, such as a passion for a subject or career choice, a desire to help others, or even just enjoyment of the work itself.
With external motivation, it’s easy to lose your focus on why you’re doing something. But with internal motivation, you always have that reminder in mind: You do it because you want to do it. This makes work more satisfying in many ways; knowing what motivates you is one of them!
Being motivated by incentives (like bonuses) also often means putting pressure on yourself to perform well. And while performance-based rewards can be effective—particularly when used sparingly. It can become unproductive if they’re taken too far.
Internal and external motivations are further divided into multiple categories positive, negative, financial, non-financial motivations.
1. Positive and Negative Motivation
Positive motivation is when we do something because it makes us feel good and boosts our mood. Negative motivation happens when we want to avoid a feeling or situation that would be unpleasant.
For example, it may be hard to concentrate in class because you feel hungry, or you may push yourself harder in gym class because you don’t want to deal with being teased after class.
We act out of motivation all day long, every day, whether we’re aware of it or not. In fact, psychologists have found that self-motivated people are more likely to achieve personal goals than those who rely on outside sources for inspiration and direction.
Self-motivation can help us succeed professionally as well as personally—in school, work, and sports!
2. Financial and Non-Financial Motivation
Researchers classify motivation as either financial or non-financial. When you start out working, you’re mostly driven by non-financial sources of motivation (or intrinsic motivators, as they’re often called).
In other words, when you begin a new job, for example, your initial reasons for doing it are likely to be about something more than just making money. Maybe you want to learn new skills or make friends with colleagues; maybe there are less tangible benefits like status and self-esteem.
Even if some of these benefits eventually get rewarded in cash, they aren’t what initially drives you—you do it because you want to; because it is an enjoyable activity in itself.
This is why some jobs feel so fulfilling—because we choose them for a reason that has nothing to do with money!
But it also means that not being financially motivated can hurt your chances of success. Sure, you may choose a career for reasons other than money; but if money isn’t at least one driver of your choices, how else will you earn a living?
Having no real passion for our work makes us prone to boredom and procrastination; but beyond all those emotional factors, financially un-motivated people have difficulty saving enough savings to retire comfortably. That’s partly due to their lower incomes but also their lack of enthusiasm.
3. Extrinsic and Intrinsic Motivation
Experts say motivation is a combination of two types—intrinsic and extrinsic. You’re intrinsically motivated when you’re doing something because you enjoy it or find it interesting (and not just because someone told you to do it).
You’re extrinsically motivated when you do something that feels like a chore, but you do it because there’s some external reward attached. So, for example, if your boss tells you he’ll give you $100 if you come into work on Saturday, that’s extrinsic motivation; on Saturday, your goal is to earn money for nothing.
If you take your child camping because he loves being outdoors and outdoors making him happy, that’s intrinsic motivation; camping becomes its own reward in itself.
When it comes to understanding motivation, then, here’s what experts seem to agree on: It doesn’t matter what inspires you as long as you keep inspired.
Features of Motivation
It is also a desire for a certain outcome that drives human behavior. At its most basic level, motivation is survival; our genes make us want to eat, drink and have sex so we can survive to reproduce.
But it goes deeper than that: we have social motivations, emotional motivations, and goals for self-improvement that all influence what we do. We need the motivation to get out of bed in the morning or finish an important project at work.
Although many motivational books focus on business use case studies, motivation has applications in every part of our lives. You might not think you need the motivation to do your laundry or play Sudoku—but without those small goals, you wouldn’t be able to reach big ones like getting healthy or building a successful career.
Process Of Motivation Theories
In psychology, motivation is a person’s drive or desire to act in a certain way. Several factors can determine what actions an individual will take, including environmental cues and internal feelings. When trying to answer that question of why do people do what they do? you may be interested in some of the various theories on motivation.
For example, Abraham Maslow’s Hierarchy of Needs states that physiological needs must be satisfied before higher-level self-actualization needs can take place (needs for love/belongingness and self-esteem).
Maslow proposed his hierarchy during World War II when he noticed soldiers working hard even when their lives were in danger—they were motivated by basic instincts such as hunger or thirst.
Another theory known as Alderfer’s ERG Theory attempts to describe human motivations based on three categories: existence, relatedness, and growth.
Existence means meeting our most basic survival needs (food, shelter, clothing) while relatedness includes interpersonal relationships where we feel attached to others. Finally, growth takes us out of our comfort zone by challenging us to grow professionally and develop new skills so we can achieve more personally.
These three categories aren’t mutually exclusive and often overlap with one another; all are fundamental parts of being human.
Below we have discussed the most important theories for the Process of Motivation:
1. Behavioral Theory of Motivation
When it comes to motivation, we talk about a number of different theories. One of these is called behavioral theory, and it suggests that motivation is like other behaviors in that it involves antecedents and consequences.
In other words, motivation occurs when you’re exposed to particular triggers that prompt you to engage in particular actions. These actions lead to certain outcomes—whether they’re rewards or punishments—and those consequences are motivating factors themselves because they increase or decrease your likelihood of repeating an action again in the future.
Basically, there are only so many things we can do in our day-to-day lives and if we want to succeed at achieving our goals (or simply want to remain happy), we need some incentive to keep us motivated along the way. This incentive can be anything from knowing you’ll get a paycheck for work done on time or making plans with friends that motivate you to go exercise.
After all, if it weren’t for positive motivators, most people would sit on their couches watching Netflix all day! There are lots of ways that positive incentives motivate us but, without them, people would lack any reason at all to keep going.
Hierarchy Of Needs
Psychology developed a famous hierarchy of needs by Abraham Maslow in 1943. He is a 20th-century American psychologist who suggested that people are motivated to achieve certain needs.
According to him, there are five levels in human motivation (listed from the basic needs to more complex needs).
These are Physiological Needs, Safety Needs, Social Needs, Esteem Needs, and Self-Actualization.
Before an individual can achieve a higher level of motivation he/she must be successful in meeting the lower levels of needs. It means a person will feel safe physically if his physical need is met first. If anyone has to climb up on a ladder then only he will focus on the next step and so on.
For example: if anyone’s physiological needs aren’t met then it won’t possible for someone to start thinking about other needs such as safety, love, etc. So it is necessary that we should try to meet the lower level of our requirements before achieving a higher level.
If you are able to fulfill all three physiological needs then you will enter into the second stage named safety. Here your body feels safe and your attention shifts towards other things like protecting yourself from danger or threat either through fighting or running away from the situation.
According to Abraham Maslow’s theory, we have a strong desire for social acceptance or love. We want people around us to accept us for who we are, not what we do. We search for affection and belongingness if our social need is not met earlier by family members etc., it won’t be possible for someone to feel motivated enough in order to achieve a higher level of needs such as esteem (feeling good about oneself) and self-actualization (fulfilling one’s potential).
It also suggests that achievement of esteem/recognition happens only after fulfilling physical, social, and safety needs in life because esteem cannot be achieved if any of these 3 basic requirements are not fulfilled.
“Hierarchy of Needs” theory tells us that the needs are not constant and it keeps on increasing from the lowest to the highest. When the lowest level need is accomplished, it jumps up to the next level and so on. Here is a brief description of this theory
- Survival – basic needs such as food, shelter, and water
- Protection – from threats, dangers, and deprivations
- Love & Belongingness – friendship, affiliation, love, and so on
- Self Esteem – respect, recognition, etc.
- Personal Development – self-actualization, which is perhaps the highest level of needs for an individual
Using this hierarchy, the manager will be able to identify the level of needs of an employee, thus working to fulfill their needs to derive the best out of them.
In a nutshell, the hierarchy of needs helps us achieve the “Happiness Triple” that is:
- Increased productivity (there is a link between motivation and productivity)
- More satisfaction with your work
- Greater sense of control over your life (in the context of work)
Productivity is achieved by making decisions about what to do, how to do it, and when to do it. Satisfaction with your work is directly correlated with productivity. And as far as control goes, there’s nothing more important than that.
If you want to know why people are happy at work (and not at home or elsewhere), ask them about their motivation for their job. It’s very easy to care about something that you think will give you great results in the future, but it isn’t nearly so easy to care about something that will make you feel happy at work when it comes time to leave on your day off tomorrow morning.
2. Two Factor Theory
Organizational behavior has always been a growing science. Some of its core theories, such as Maslow’s Hierarchy of Needs, have been around for more than 50 years. More recent studies in motivation have expanded on these foundational ideas to create theories and models like McClelland’s Two-Factor Theory.
In addition to studying personality and learning motivation, McClelland introduced his Two-Factor Theory of achievement-motivation in 1961.
At its core, Two-Factor Theory argues that achievement is based on both need satisfaction and ability perceptions. When these two factors combine in ideal proportions, an individual will be highly motivated to achieve success—regardless of where they are along Maslow’s continuum or how much training they’ve received.
This theory posits that there are two things that we all want: to feel good about ourselves and to do things that we enjoy. These things can be separated into two separate factors: the first is self-esteem and the second is enjoyment.
It’s not enough to get rid of the second factor and replace it with the first, though, because this will only make us feel bad about ourselves and then we won’t be motivated at all.
So what can you do to get yourself motivated? Well, the first thing is to know that you have a choice between being motivated or not–either way, you need to find a way of making sure that your motivation stays strong.
You can do this by focusing on your goals (whether they’re specific or general), by getting more involved with activities that are intrinsically rewarding (like watching TV), or by spending time exercising your brain. The bottom line is, knowing what motivates you will make sure that you stay motivated for long-term goals.
Two-Factor Theory Applications at Work
1. Define Your Abilities
Psychologists usually look at abilities and needs separately, but they can often overlap in their definitions. If you understand your abilities, then it should be easy to define your needs. If you know what tasks and projects match up best with your current level of skill set and experience, then you won’t get overloaded with tasks beyond those limits.
Defining your limitations is just as important as defining your capabilities because meeting all expectations within a short time frame leaves little room for personal growth or future opportunities within an organization (Latham & Locke 2006).
2. Identify Your Need Satisfaction Factors
What kind of environment do you thrive in? Do you feel most comfortable working independently or as part of a team?
If you can answer these questions, then you can find your satisfaction need as well.
3. Assess Your Manager’s Perceptions
Are people more likely to recognize a job well done when it contributes directly to company goals or when it advances a colleague’s professional development? As difficult as being honest about yourself maybe, understanding whether other people share your perception regarding these issues could help resolve any miscommunication down the road (Worthley et al., 2007).
4. Find Opportunities For Growth
One of the main points of the Two-Factor Theory is that it allows individuals to prioritize and choose according to their individual preferences. So while you might know exactly what skills you’re looking to improve, keep in mind your company culture, financial state, and leadership style before making any decisions.
Just as having too many responsibilities and not enough resources can lead to high-stress levels, having too few responsibilities and too much slack time also leads to disengagement.
Finding a balance between these two extremes will ensure optimal productivity from employees who are consistently challenged by their positions and provided with an opportunity for growth.
Hertzberg has categorized the needs into two broad-based classes, hygiene, and motivating factors. Hygiene factors make sure that the employee should not be dissatisfied whereas the motivation factors deal with the ways to ensure employee’s satisfaction and motivation for high performance. Here we discuss both sets of factors as under.
Hygiene factors (Job Dissatisfaction)
- Policies and administration
- Interpersonal relations
- Work Environment
- Rewards and pay structure
- Employee’s status
Motivating Factors (Job Satisfaction)
- Work itself
3. McClelland’s Theory Of Needs
According to McClelland’s three-factor theory of motivation, a job satisfies one or more of three needs achievement, affiliation, and power.
Our need for achievement is satisfied when we are working toward an objective that requires us to reach our highest level of competence in order to be successful.
In these situations, we feel a sense of pride in our work that exceeds any monetary compensation or other tangible rewards. Our need for affiliation is fulfilled when we are surrounded by others who treat us with warmth and kindness. We enjoy contributing to a team effort and feel energized when our work helps other people do their jobs better.
Finally, many people experience a deep satisfaction from making important decisions about how something should be done, especially if it involves leading or supervising others.
So, according to this theory, every individual has three motivating factors or drivers, irrespective of age and gender. It further says, that one of these three drivers will dominate in an individual depending on the life experience. These three drivers are explained as under:
- Achievement: A need by an individual to demonstrate his own accomplishment. Influenced by this factor, a person likes to have a challenging task where he can demonstrate his own skills to accomplish the task
- Affiliation: Love, belongingness, and social acceptance. Under this factor, a person is motivated by way of being liked, loved, and accepted by people.
- Power: A commanding position, where an individual is motivated through the status of being a leader and controlling his own as well as other’s work
4. Theory of Expectancy
This theory suggests that when you want to get something done, motivation is generated by first building up your expectations of success. If you think it’s going to be hard, and you’re not sure if it will work out in your favor, then you won’t have much motivation to actually try.
Thus, building up positive expectations can help motivate people who have tried their hand at something new before but failed because they didn’t believe they would succeed. Think about setting realistic goals for yourself so that you know what your end goal is and how many steps are needed to achieve it.
Formulated by Victor Vroom, this theory states that a person will be motivated if the following two conditions are met:
- He has a belief that his efforts will result in success
- His work will be rewarded accordingly
5. X & Y Theories
There are two major schools of thought when it comes to motivation. One is called X and one is called Y, which you might guess based on what each letter means in math.
In X theory, people are motivated by external factors such as money or status; according to Y theory, people are motivated by internal factors like personal growth or pride. Like other approaches to human behavior, both theories have their strengths and weaknesses.
Businesses can increase profits through incentivizing performance with extra pay or promotion—but also face challenges if top executives leave their positions or employees become dissatisfied with their salaries.
Management has developed tools for trying to bridge both theories—for example, gamification uses some elements of X-style rewards while also including Y-style intrinsic incentives.
Douglas McGregor came up with two distinct theories of human behavior, negatively named as X and positively named as Y theory.
- Theory X deals with the inherent traditional behavior of the workforce, being lazy, self-centered, and ambitionless.
- Theory Y explains the inherent behavior of a worker being always motivated and accepting responsibilities.
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Models of Motivation
According to psychologists, there are two main models of motivation: process models and outcome models.
Process motivation focuses on intrinsic factors that stimulate a person’s ability to achieve things in particular situations. Outcome motivation focuses on extrinsic factors like rewards that motivate a person’s behavior toward desired goals or objectives.
There is some overlap between these two motivators because they both focus on needs and expectations. But generally speaking, it is important for any individual to understand their own motivations first before analyzing others’ motivations.
When people understand their personal motivations, they can make more effective decisions about what motivates them. Understanding your own motives will help you reach new heights while understanding others’ motives will improve your communication skills with others – not just during work projects but also outside of work as well.
How to Motivate Employees in an Organization
Following are some of the tips to keep your employees motivated.
- Build Trust and Respect with Your Employees: A great place to start is by demonstrating that you understand what motivates them, and you’re willing to listen. It takes time to build trust and respect, but it’s critical to motivate your team.
- Trust your employees and let them do their jobs: Encourage independence. Most of us will do more for someone we respect than for someone who undermines our efforts. No matter how strong your leadership abilities are, you’ll get better results if you empower your team to make decisions.
So take a step back and give people space to come up with ideas, bring issues to your attention, or simply handle their responsibilities without direct supervision or oversight.
Don’t confuse trust with control; don’t force everyone to play by one set of rules and allow no deviation. Instead, decide on priorities and let employees determine how best to meet those goals so long as they follow through on what they promise and demonstrate they understand what is expected of them every step of the way.
- Pay attention to verbal and non-verbal messages: As a leader, you can send your employees a message without saying a word. While some leaders claim they don’t need to be liked or respected by their team in order to be effective, you won’t get very far if people aren’t willing to listen or follow.
A great way to know how much people respect you is to ask them, but pay attention as well – both to what they say and how they say it. Are they enthusiastic about their tasks or do they seem downbeat and apathetic?
When speaking with employees individually, note how they respond when asked questions; look for signs of engagement or avoidance. Do they make eye contact? (More than just once or twice…) Do they offer feedback (even if critical)? Or are they more likely to nod along in agreement without adding anything of value to your discussion? Also, pay attention to body language.
- Know your employees’ expectations and goals: When assigning tasks, take into account what you know about an employee’s motivations. For example, ask yourself how he/she would respond to a task that isn’t challenging enough and one that is too much.
- Encourage Participation in Decision-Making: Some leaders make every decision themselves; others involve staff members in every process, soliciting input on matters large and small. There’s no one right answer for your business or team.
It’s a matter of comfort and style, and it also reflects how you want employees to perceive you as a leader. You may feel that some decisions are best left to top-level management while other issues may benefit from a more democratic approach.
Advantages of Motivation
Goals, dreams, and ambitions all give our lives a sense of purpose, but they can also be fleeting. However, when you’re motivated to accomplish something — whether it’s learning a new skill or doing more at work — you’ll be much more likely to make it happen.
Achieving goals that you have set for yourself will not only boost your self-esteem but will help you build confidence in your ability to finish tasks on time and achieve certain milestones.
In addition, motivation also provides you with opportunities to get involved with projects or ideas that you wouldn’t necessarily pursue otherwise. When people are happy and fulfilled in their professional roles, they are generally more productive. This is true whether your goal is long-term (such as being promoted) or short-term (such as finishing a project).
Here are some of the most important advantages of motivation below:
- Encourages Better Performance.
- Helps you accomplish more in less time.
- Improves Self-Esteem and Confidence.
- Builds your personality and helps you be more productive at work.
- Makes you feel happier about yourself and what you are doing with your life (especially when it comes to achieving long-term goals).
- You will also learn how to get other people motivated as well, which can lead to forming great relationships with friends and colleagues.
- Creates a sense of accomplishment, which in turn fuels further motivation.
- Motivation is one of those skills that take a while to build up, but once you have it established in your life it’s something that won’t leave you (no matter what happens).
- Finally and most importantly when it comes to goals, motivation works because it forces us into action. Ultimately, even if your goal is not achieved you will have gained something in return for trying and that is much better than doing nothing at all.
Pitfalls of Motivation
The first thing to mention is that motivation, while necessary, is not a sufficient condition for action. What do I mean by that? Well, imagine you have all of your ducks in a row and are fully motivated to take a step forward towards achieving your goal. Now picture taking no action; what happened to that motivation? Therein lies an important fact: motivation comes and goes like the wind, but without any preparation and without taking action based on it, it’s as good as useless.
Therefore, avoid making excuses about being motivated when they inevitably pop up in future situations. Instead, look at ways you can prepare yourself so that you can be ready when opportunities arise. But there are a few things that can hurt your motivation.
Here are some of the factors that hinder your motivation:
- Forgetting Why You Started in The First Place: The most common factor that leads a business or startup to failure is forgetting about why you started a new business? It’s very easy to say screw it! when things get hectic.
- Forgoing Focus for Multi-tasking: In our daily lives, we are always multi-tasking—sometimes that’s a good thing and sometimes it’s not. It’s bad when it comes to new ventures because you can’t just turn on your business sense and marketing muscles at will. If you try, they won’t be operating at full capacity when you need them most.
You have to give these things energy, attention, and time. Be proactive in creating time to work on a project instead of always looking for free time. Even if you spend less than an hour each day working on something related to your project, over time those hours add up significantly more than if you were using free minutes here and there.
- Not Telling People What You Are Doing: To tell or not to tell—that is always one of your biggest struggles. And you never know when your friends and family are going to start asking about your new venture. Many people like to keep their own business dealings private and rightly so because they don’t want criticism, they don’t want unsolicited advice, etc.
But if you don’t tell people what you are doing and get that support, then there will be times when you will struggle with motivation. If there is a small portion of support around you that knows what you are up to, then it helps tremendously during dry spells. Tell those close to you before others find out on their own.
- Lacking Guiding Principles & Relinquishing Control: It doesn’t matter how much work experience or formal education you may have; when you are creating new projects, you need some set guiding principles from which you operate mentally even though sometimes those decisions may change over time as you businesses grow and learnings occur along the way.
Many people think that motivation is only a personality trait, but it can be learned. In fact, some of history’s most successful people have mastered certain strategies to stay motivated. If you know how to become motivated and maintain your motivation, you can accomplish any goal you set for yourself and achieve almost anything.
But most important you will have to be very careful in your process of motivation. As it can either take you to your goals or failure. You must question at every step of the motivation process to see whether you are using your resources in the right direction.
Frequently Asked Questions
Q) What is the Process Of Motivation?
A) Process of motivation is the process that progresses through a series of steps to motivate people so they can do a specific job more productively.
Q) What are the steps of the process of motivation?
A) The steps involved in the process of motivation are:
- Identify unaccomplished needs and motives
- The search for actions to satisfy the needs
Q) What are the types of motivation?
A) Generally, there are two main types of motivation that are:
- Intrinsic – this type of motivation comes from within or internal rewards for a person
- Extrinsic – this type of motivation comes from external factors like money, rewards. It can also come because of fear like avoiding punishment, etc.
Q) What are the factors of motivation?
A) The most common factors of motivation are:
- Leadership Style
- Meaningful Goals
- Positive & Productive Culture of Organization
- Improvement and Advancement Opportunities
- Financial Benefits
- Open and Friendly Communication Channels
Hello everyone! This is Richard Daniels, a full-time passionate researcher & blogger. He holds a Ph.D. degree in Economics. He loves to write about economics, e-commerce, and business-related topics for students to assist them in their studies. That's the sole purpose of Business Study Notes.
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