Employee Motivation

According to Webster’s New Collegiate Dictionary, a motive is “something (a need or desire) that causes a person to act.” Motivate, in turn, means “to provide with a motive,” and motivation is defined as “the act or process of motivating.” Thus, motivation is the act or process of providing a motive that causes a person to take some action. In most cases motivation comes from some need that leads to behavior that results in some type of reward when the need is fulfilled. This definition raises a couple of basic questions.

The performance that employers look for in individuals rests on ability, motivation, and the support individuals receive; however, motivation is often the missing variable. Motivation is the desire within a person causing that person to act. People usually act for one reason: to reach a goal. Thus, motivation is a goal directed drive, and it seldom occurs in a void. The words need, want, desire, and drive are all similar to motive, from which the word motivation is derived. Understanding motivation is important because performance, reaction to compensation, and other HR concerns are related to motivation.

Motivation Defined
Internal and external factors that stimulate desire and energy in people to be continually interested in and committed to a job, role, or subject, and to exert persistent effort in attaining a goal.

Motivation results from the interactions among conscious and unconscious factors such as the
(1) intensity of desire or need,
(2) incentive or reward value of the goal, and
(3) expectations of the individual and of his or her significant others.

Many contemporary authors have also defined the concept of motivation. Motivation has been defined as: the psychological process that gives behavior purpose and direction (Kreitner, 1995); a predisposition to behave in a purposive manner to achieve specific, unmet needs (Buford, Bedeian, & Lindner, 1995); an internal drive to satisfy an unsatisfied need (Higgins, 1994); and the will to achieve (Bedeian, 1993). For this paper, motivation is operationally defined as the inner force that drives individuals to accomplish personal and organizational goals.

“Psychological forces that determine the direction of a person’s behavior in an organization, a person’s level of effort and a person’s level of persistence.” G. Jones and J. George from the book “Contemporary Management.”

The following are the features of motivation :
=> Motivation is an act of managers
=> Motivation is a continuous process
=> Motivation can be positive or negative
=> Motivation is goal oriented
=> Motivation is complex in nature
=> Motivation is an art
=> Motivation is system-oriented
=> Motivation is different from job satisfaction

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