Motivation of Employees

Topics: Motivation, Employment, Maslow's hierarchy of needs Pages: 5 (1628 words) Published: April 28, 2013
“Organisational behaviour is the study of what people think, feel and do in and around organisations. It looks at employee behaviour, decisions, perceptions and emotional responses”. (McShane, 2013, pg. 4). Motivation is what drives people to succeed and reach their goals and plays an important role in enhancing an organisation’s development. An employee’s motivation can play a big part in organisational behaviour, as it is a fundamental part of how the employee performs in their role and how they assist the organisation in attaining their goals. This essay will look at what motivation is, some of the theories regarding motivation, the factors that play a role in motivating employees, the need of motivation, why motivation is important to organisations, and, why employees are or are not motivated in the workplace. McShane, Olekalns and Travaglione, refer to motivation as “the forces within a person that affect the direction, intensity and persistence of voluntary behaviour. Motivated employees are willing to exert a particular level of effort (intensity), for a certain amount of time (persistence), towards a particular goal (direction). Motivation is one of the four essential drivers of individual behaviour and performance”. (McShane, 2013, pg. 138). In other words, motivation is in the form of things that stimulates us, and further enhances our knowledge. People do things, not because they have to, but because they’re somewhat interested in the activity or the task that they have to do, and people often learn from these activities, get the results that they want, thus, making them strive to continue working. However, motivation can be seen as:

* Intrinsic – the business dictionary defines intrinsic motivation as “stimulate that drives an individual to adopt or change a behaviour for his or her own internal satisfaction or fulfilment. Intrinsic motivation is usually self-applied, and springs from a direct relationship between the individual and the situation” ( In other words, the individual is motivated to do the task for the fun of it of because it challenges them and not because they have to or are going to be rewarded for it. * Extrinsic – As defined by the business dictionary, extrinsic motivation is “Drive to action that (as opposed to intrinsic motivation) springs from outside influences instead of from one’s own feelings” ( This definition simply means that an individual is simply doing an action because they have to do it, and not because they willingly want to. Maslow’s Needs Hierarchy Theory is a theory based on five classes being: physiological, safety, belongingness, esteem and self-actualisation, and worked in the way where individuals were motivated to accomplish a higher need as soon as the lower needs had been accomplished. They need the drive to acquire which is to seek, the drive to bond which is to form relationships, the drive to comprehend and satisfy their curiosity, the drive to defend which means protecting themselves. This theory is known as the Four-Drive theory. Another important theory is the Expectancy Theory of Motivation. E-to-P “this is the individual’s perception that his or effort will result in a particular level of performance…P-to-O expectancy – is the perceived probability that a specific behaviour level will lead to a particular outcome…an outcome valence represents a person’s anticipated satisfaction with the outcome” (McShane, 2013, pg.145-146). Let’s look at Case Study 1 – Not As Easy As 1, 2, 3. This is a good example of this. The employee George, thought that by working longer hours and putting in the extra effort he’d get recognised for his ideas, and hopefully get a good review. “The challenge facing organisational leaders is that most employees aren’t very engaged… This leads to the question – what are the drivers of employee engagement?” (McShane, 2013, pg. 138). Not all employees are...

References: * Jameson, C. & Jameson, J. 2008, "Motivation in the workplace - cultivating your team", Dental Economics, vol. 98, no. 1, pp. 64-65.
* McShane, Olekalns, Travaglione, 2013, Organisational Behaviour – Emerging Knowledge. Global Insights, McGraw Hill Australia Pty. Ltd, North Ryde.
* Simon, S.S. 2011, "The Essentials of Employee Engagement in Organizations", Journal of Contemporary Research in Management, vol. 6, no. 1, pp. 63-72.
* Definition of extrinsic motivation from the business dictionary Retrieved April 16, 2013 from
* Definition of intrinsic motivation from the business dictionary Retrieved April 16, 2013 from
* Motivation in the Workplace, 2010, Retrieved April 14, 2013 from
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