What is Motivation?

What is Motivation?


  • appreciate importance of motivation
  • distinguish between different types of motivation
  • understand Maslow's motivation theory
  • use tips for motivation

What is Motivation?

Behavior is basically goal oriented. Our behavior is generally motivated by a desire to attain goals.
The basic element of behavior is motive which can be desires, needs, wants, aims and goals within an individual. 

Motivation has been derived from the word 'motive'. Motive is an internal factor that integrates an individual's behaviour and it is necessary to study the needs, emotions etc., in order to encourage him/her to work willingly. So motivation is a process to get the needs of people realized with a view to induce him/her to do work.

According to Dubin, "Motivation is the complex of forces starting and keeping a person at work in an organisation." (complex means integration) 

Dwight D. Eisenhower states "Motivation is getting people to do what you need them to do because they want to do it." 
"Take risk in your life". If you win, you can lead; if you lose you can Guide!  (Swami Vivekananda)

Importance of motivation

Probably no concept of behavioural science receives as much attention of academics, researches and practicing managers as motivation. The purpose of motivation is to create conditions in which people are willing to work in most cohesive manner to achieve organisational goals. Following behavioural traits such as. zeal, initiative, interest, enthusiasm, loyalty, discipline, pride and confidence plays an important role in accomplishment of goals. 

The increased attention towards motivation is justified by the following reasons: 

Put human resources into action: 

Every organisation requires physical, financial and human resources to accomplish the goals. It is from motivation that the human resources can be utilized by making full use of it. This can be done by building willingness in employees for work. This will be help the enterprise in securing best possible utilization of resources. 

Improve level of efficiency of an employees

Improve level of efficiency of a subordinate of an employees does not only depend upon his/her qualifications and abilities. For getting best of his/her work performance, the gap between ability and willingness has to be filled, which helps in improving the Leads to achievement of organizational goals: Goals of an organisation can be achieved if co-ordination and co-operation takes place simultaneously which can be effectively done through motivation.

Develop employee's satisfaction: 

Motivation- It is an important factor which brings employees satisfaction. This can be done by keeping in mind and framing an incentive plan to the benefit of the employees.

Leads to stability of work force:

Stability of workforce is very important from the point of view of reputation and goodwill of an organisation. The employees can remain loyal for the enterprise only when they have a feeling of participation in the management. The efficiency and skills of employees will always be of advantage for employer as well as employees. This will lead to a good public image in the market which will attract competent and qualified people into an enterprise. 

Increase performance: 

A motivated individual or employee will try to be efficient and improve their skill and knowledge which in turn will help him/her to do his/her job in better way. This increases his/her performance which results in increased production and productivity.

Enhances individual quality: 

An individual, who is physically, mentally and technically fit to work, may not perform as per his/her quality. Motivation creates a sense of desire on the part of an individual to give better performance, thus a motivated employee or an individual generally is more quality oriented.

Generates high efficiency: 

Highly motivated individuals or employees put their maximum efforts to produce more and more and thus their efficiency increases.

"If I have the belief that I can do it, I shall surely acquire the capacity to do it even if I may not have it at the beginning."  (Mahatma Gandhi)

Types of motivation

It's important to understand that every individual is different in nature and perception and thus need to understand the different types of motivation. This enables to better categorize workforce and apply the appropriate type of motivation. Each member in workforce is different and each member's will have varied motivational needs.

There are two types of motivation, Extrinsic and Intrinsic. Some individuals respond best to intrinsic motivation which means "motivation from within" and will meet any obligation of an area of their passion while others will respond better to extrinsic motivation which would be a reward upon completion of that task.

Intrinsic motivation

intrinsic motivation means that the individual's motivational stimuli are coming from within self. The individual has the desire to perform a specific task, because its results are in accordance with his belief system or fulfills a desire. Our deep-rooted desires have the highest motivational power. Below are some examples of desires:
  • Acceptance: We all need to feel that we, as well as our decisions, are accepted by our co-workers.
  • Curiosity: We all have the desire to be in the know.
  • Honor: We all need to be respected and recognized.
  • Independence: We all need to .feel we are unique.
  • Power: We all have the desire to influence people.

Extrinsic motivation

Extrinsic motivation means that the individual's motivational stimuli are coming from outside. In other words, our desires to perform a task are controlled by an outside source. Note that even though the stimuli are coming from outside, the result of performing the task will still be rewarding from the task. Extrinsic motivation is external in nature. The most well-known and the most debated motivation is money.

Below are some other examples:
  • Best performer
  • Benefit package
  • Bonuses
  • Organized activities such as workshops, training programs, etc.

"To succeed in your mission, you must have single minded devotion to your goal."Dr. A. P. J. Abdul Kalam

Maslow's motivation theory

Abraham Maslow one of the philosophers, states that an individual's needs for motivation .can be arranged in hierarchical manner. In view of this he believed that once one level of need is satisfied for a person, it no longer motivates him further. So it is necessary for him to activate the next higher level of need to be achieved further. Maslow has identified five such levels, which are explained as follows:

Levels of Needs
Motivation and Behaviour
Level 1 (BODY)
Physical Safety and Security
Need to stay alive! Biological and cultural imperatives to live. Includes having enough healthy food, water, and air for survive.
Level 1 (BODY)
Survival Skills
Sleep, eat, and take care of your bodily needs, provide for clothing, comfort, shelter, be free from pain.
Level 2 (FAMILY and WORK)
Social Safety and Security
Need to be safe from psychological and physical harm in the present and future, and trust in a predictable future.
Level 2 (FAMILY and WORK)
Survival Skills
Work, saves for future, improves skills and talents, be responsible and want an organized predictable world.
Communication and Response Need to be loved and to love. Includes the desire for affection and belonging.
Validation Join and be active in groups and clubs, be able to talk to others, contribute to society, marry and have a family.
Self-Respect and Acceptance Need for reputation, prestige, and recognition from others. Contains the desire to feel important, significant and strong.
Brainpower Display talents and skills, have self-   confidence, appreciate attention and recognition from others.
Fulfillment of Goals and Dreams Need for self-fulfillment. Desire to realize full Potential and become the best.
Creativity Be a self-starter, have enthusiasm, be creative, be dedicated, enjoy challenges, love to potential and become the best. accomplish results!

"The more you are motivated by love, the more fearless you are and youraction will be. Dalai Lama

Tips for self motivation

In order to get self-motivated for individual benefit and also for the benefit of organisation following tips will be useful.

  • Think, meditate and find out whether you really need to achieve your desire, and whether it is worth the time and effort.
  • Make your goal very clear. Write it down, it will help.
  • Visualize your goal as already accomplished, and close your mind for contrary thoughts.
  • Read article or books about the subject of your goal.
  • Read about people who have achieved success.
  • Think often about the profit you will gain by achieving your goal.
  • Think and Visualize about how you would feel after achieving your goal.

Repeat positive affirmations such as: "l have the inner and desire strength for achieve my goal". Repeat this affirmation often, with strong and Repeat this affirmation often, with faith and strong feelings. feelings. Start with doing something small concerning your goal. Success in small matters leads to greater success.
What is Motivation? What is Motivation? Reviewed by Naukari Click on June 05, 2019 Rating: 5

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