It is generally accepted that motivated employees are vital for any organization’s success. A lack of motivation can lead to decreased productivity, absenteeism, and high staff turnover. To ensure that your employees are motivated, it is important to understand what motivates them and how to motivate people.
There are several different theories of motivation that psychologists and business theorists have proposed. The following are some of the most popular:
- Maslow’s Hierarchy of Needs
This theory, proposed by Abraham Maslow, suggests that people are motivated to fulfill certain needs. These needs are arranged in a hierarchy, with the most basic needs at the bottom and the more complex ones at the top. The theory states that people must fulfill their lower-level needs before they can move on to motivating themselves to satisfy higher-level needs.
- Herzberg’s Two-Factor Theory
Herzberg’s two-factor theory, also known as the motivation-hygiene theory, suggests that certain factors motivate employees, and others act as de-motivators. The motivating factors include recognition, responsibility, and career development opportunities. On the other hand, hygiene factors prevent dissatisfaction, including salary, working conditions, and company policies.
- Vroom’s Expectancy Theory
Vroom’s expectancy theory is involved where people are motivated to perform if they believe their efforts will lead to good results. The theory states that three components need to be taken into account when considering motivation: valence (how much the person values the reward), expectancy (how likely the person believes they are to achieve the desired outcome), and instrumentality (how much the person believes that achieving the goal will lead to the desired reward).
- McClelland’s Theory of Needs
McClelland’s theory of needs is involved people are motivated by three different types of needs: achievement, affiliation, and power. People with a high need for achievement prefer challenging tasks and have the opportunity to receive feedback so they can see how well they are doing. Those with a high need for bonding prefer tasks involving working with others and being part of a team. And those with a high need for capability prefer tasks that allow them to influence and control others.
- Equity Theory
The equity theory suggests that people are motivated to maintain a fair balance between the inputs they put into a situation and the outcomes they receive from it. If they feel that they are putting in more than they are getting out, they will be motivated to either increase their inputs or decrease their outputs.
- Goal-Setting Theory
The goal-setting theory suggests that people are motivated to achieve specific goals. This theory has three components: clarity, challenge and commitment. Clarity means that the goals should be clear and specific. Challenge means that the goals should be achievable but challenging so that people are motivated to stretch themselves. And commitment means that people need to be committed to achieving the goal.
Those are some of the most popular theories of motivation. How to motivate people is important to know to create a productive workforce.
The key to motivating your employees is to understand what motivates them. Different people are motivated by different things, so it’s important to take the time to find out what makes your employees tick. Once you know what motivates them, you can put in place systems and processes which will help to motivate them and get the best out of them.