Motivation in the Workplace

Topics: Motivation, Maslow's hierarchy of needs, Employment Pages: 6 (2126 words) Published: September 5, 2011
Motivation in the Workplace
Nhu-Khanh Nguyen
Organizational Devlopment & Culture
November 10, 2010

In today’s competitive marketplace, understanding what stems employee motivation and ways to improve organizational performance is critical. To ensure success, employers continuously strive to look for ways to maintain employees’ motivation and engagement towards the job. This is easier said than done. Individuals are motivated differently as they all come from different backgrounds. It is challenging for organizations to know exactly what the motivators are, and how to meet the needs of employees. Organizations rely heavily on motivation theories to distinguish what the motivation factors are for the employees. Together, findings and research suggests that companies will succeed if they possess happy, motivated, and engaged employees. Motivation in the Workplace

“To succeed… You need to find something to hold on to, something to motivate you, something to inspire you (Dorsett as cited in Patel, 2009)”. In today’s competitive marketplace, motivation is the key for talent retention and job performance. In order to succeed, regardless what the economic environment is, the goal for organizations is to develop an environment that is engaging and motivating, where employees would want to stay (“Motivation in Today’s Workplace: The Link to Performance,” 2010). McShane & Von Glinow (2010) defines “motivation as the forces within a person that affect the direction, intensity, and persistence of voluntary behavior” (p. 132). The responsibility of motivation in an organization is threefold. It relies on the senior leadership, the direct manger, and the employee. Numerous factors are involved, including trust, engagement, values, job satisfaction, achievement, acknowledgement, and rewards. It truly is a 50-50 relationship between the employee and the employer to enhance the power of engagement in the workplace (“Motivation in Today’s Workplace: The Link to Performance,” 2010). Employees are motivated differently. It is important that organizations know what is important to their employees and emphasize these factors. Besides monetary gain, work provides people with fulfillment from various levels. Performing quality work can be aspiring and ultimately have a positive impact on the quality of life. People’s point of view may change throughout time and there may be changes in their home life and responsibilities. It is important for companies to continue to re-evaluate the drivers of motivation for their employees.Employee motivation and performance relies heavily on how they are treated by the employers. Organizations must develop ways to treat their employees so that they are motivated and satisfied. Employee must behave in ways to help their organization become effective and high-performing. In order to provide people with meaningful work and rewards, organizations need to be successful. For an organization to be successful, it needs high-performance individuals. To create a more engaged and motivated workforce, employers need to understand the motivational forces within people (“Motivation in Today’s Workplace: The Link to Performance,” 2010). Employee engagement is one of the highest elements that influence motivation. Employee engagement is defined as “the employee’s emotional and cognitive motivation, self-efficacy to perform the job, perceived clarity of the organization’s vision and his or her specific role in that vision, and belief that he or she has the resources to get the job done” (McShane & Von Glinow, 2010, p. 132). It is measured by the extent of how committed employees are to their job, how hard they will work, and how long they will stay. People join organizations for different reasons. It may be due to job security, benefits, or compensation (“Motivation in Today’s Workplace: The Link to Performance,” 2010). Individuals may join a workplace for a...

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McShane, S. L., & Von Glinow, M. A. (2010). Foundations of Employee Motivation. In Organization Behavior (5th ed., pp. 132-156). New York, NY: McGraw-Hill/Irwin.
Motivation in Today’s Workplace: The Link to Performance. (2010, July). HRMagazine, 55(7), 1-9. Retrieved from Business and Company Resource Center database.
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Patel, N. (2009, December 7). 101 Motivational Business Quotes [Fact Sheet]. Retrieved from
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