Contemporary Views on Motivation

Motivation is human psychological characteristic which shows the level of commitment towards a particular goal. Motivation shows that how employee think about his job, if he is motivated than productivity level will be high. Motivation linked with morale as well, if the morale is high it shows employees job satisfaction and they are dedicated and loyal for their works. But if morale is low it results low productivity, absenteeism, and the high staff turnover. In another words performance mainly depend on motivation.

Contemporary Views on Motivation

In this section we will be discuss about five motivation theories which can be a good example for the managers who are struggling with the low motivation of staff and the high staff turnover and these theorize can help to learn how to motivate the staff.

1. Need Theory of Motivation

Concentrates on what people need to live satisfied lives. According to the need theory, a person is motivated when he / she has not yet attained certain levels of satisfaction with his / her life. A satisfied need is not a motivator.

The need theory can be easily explained by referring to Maslow Hierarchy of Needs — Five needs ranging from the most basic physiological needs to the highest needs of self-actualization. According to Maslow, individuals will be motivated to fulfill whichever need is pre-potent for them at the given time. Starting with the physical need which are most basic, each need must be satisfied before the individual desires to satisfy a need at the next higher level — wage, food, shelter. After all needs are met, the need for self-actualization arise.

Read: Abraham Maslow’s Hierarchy of Needs Model

2. Equity Theory of Motivation

Equity theory is based on the assumption that a major factor in job motivation is the individual’s evaluation of the equity or fairness of the reward received.

This theory views of what satisfies and what dissatisfies people. The equity theory concentrates on money as the most significant incentive in the workplace. Workers compare what they are being paid for their efforts with what others in similar scenario. When they feel they have been unfairly paid, tension develops within them which they try to resolve by changing their behavior.

It is suggested that there will be a limit to which an individual will tolerate a series of unfair events which will push the individual over the brink. Strong workers who believe that they have been unfairly treated can be disrupted; weak ones become withdrawn and resentful.

3. Expectancy Theory of Motivation

The expectancy theory says that people choose how to behave among alternative course of action based on their expectations of what there is to gain from each action.

Simply put it, we are motivated by desirable things we expect we can achieve. Motivation is therefore a combination of:

  1. Firstly, valence: the value of the perceived outcome.
  2. Secondly, instrumentality: the belief that if I complete specific actions then I will achieve a certain outcome.
  3. Lastly, expectancy: the belief that I am capable to complete the actions.

Companies should motivate people to do something by showing them something desirable, indicating how straightforward it is to get it, and then supporting their self-belief that they can get there.

Read More: Vroom’s Expectancy Theory of Motivation

4. Reinforcement Theory of Motivation

This theory speaks to how the consequence of past behavior affects future actions in a cyclical learning process.

Reinforcements can be used in a number of different ways:

  1. Firstly, a positive reinforcement strengthens desired behavior by providing a reward. Eg. a worker going an extra mile to serve customers should be rewarded for his or her hard work which might get him or her motivated to work harder and take up more tasks.
  2. Secondly, punishment is an undesired consequence that follows from undesirable behavior. Eg. a worker who is rude to customers might get reprimanded or disciplined or given a warning, so that this behavior might not occur again.

Read More: Skinner’s Reinforcement Theory

5. Goal Setting Theory of Motivation

This theory suggests that the tendency of humans to set and strive for objectives is useful only if the person understands and accepts a particular objective.

Workers will not be motivated if they do not possess and know that they do not possess the skill needed to achieve the goal. Individuals are motivated when they behave in ways that move them to certain clear goals that they can accept and reasonably expect to attain.

When goals are specific and challenging, they function more effectively as motivating factors in both individual and group performances. Motivation and commitment are higher when workers participate in the setting of goals.

Read More: Goal Setting Theory of Motivation

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