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What is motivation?

Motivation is not only an important aspect in workplace management but can also be applied to academics. It may be the only way of making the employees performs to their best of their capability. However, the word motivation may mean different things for different people. Some may consider it as a financial incentive, whereas others may associate it with psychological backing or even a good word from the higher ups. It seems to be very difficult to explain the term motivation because of its abstractiveness and application for use.

According to Vroom, motivation is a process that controls selection of options by individuals performing work. It persuades the individual to select a desired track of actions that benefits not only the individual but also the organization. Zedeek and Blood considered motivation as a influencing variable that enables the individual to act in fulfilling a certain goal (Putti, 1987). The components of motivations include need, drive, incentives and goal-directed behavior. Need is a goal that the individual has to fulfill.

It includes primary needs (such as food, drinks, air, etc) and secondary needs (such as psychological needs, security, socialization, etc). Drive is a force that enables the individual to fulfill a certain need (Putti, 1987). Incentives are utilized that can be used to induce people in completing certain actions. Financial incentives and non-financial incentives can be used to motivate the staff. The financial incentives include wages, bonuses, insurance, pension packages, discounts, stock purchase, paid vacations, rewards, etc.

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The non-financial incentives include personal encouragement, further opportunities and a sense of achievement. Several studies are conduced to determine the type of incentives which are better. However, the type of incentive suited for a particular individual depended on several factors such as needs and socio-economic status (Putti, 1987). The lower staff preferred financial incentives, whereas the higher staff considered respect, and a sense of satisfaction.

A number of theories of motivation have been developed for helping the employers to motivate the employees. The factors that encourage the staff members to perform better work or to continue working is determined. Some of these motivational factors may be traditional, whereas others develop with changes over time. The three theories of motivation which I have considered include classical theory, Maslow’s Hierarchy and Vroom’s Preference-Expectancy theory.

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