Why is Motivation Important in the Workplace? Motivation drives teams to perform to their highest levels and motivates employees to seek higher performance. However, there is much more to motivation than just driving the team forward. Motivation also energizes workers, encourages innovation and pushes teams to surpass past performance levels.
Understanding which type of motivation works best in the workplace requires an understanding of what motivates people. Motivation starts with an individual. People have distinct intrinsic traits and motivations for pursuing certain activities. When people are motivated to do their jobs, their performance improves because they feel empowered by what they are doing.
Extrinsic motivation is what we naturally come up with when we are pushed to do something. Extrinsic motivation includes getting a reward for performing a difficult task or getting recognition for doing well in an athletic competition. Extrinsic motivation is positive in nature and gives little to no personal reward. It is usually done when there is no real need for the thing that the person is being motivated for.
Self-control and self-esteem are emotional states that also play a role in employee motivation. The stronger these emotions are, the better self-control and self-esteem a person can have, which in turn makes for a great way to motivate people. A person with high levels of self-control and self-esteem may be able to push themselves beyond where their limits begin to push them outside of their comfort zone.
Motivational speaker and personality psychologist, Lesley Brown, PhD, relate this psychological phenomenon to her work as a workplace consultant. In her book, “What Motivates Us”, she shares information on how to identify a specific motivator, then use that motivator to help employees become motivated. According to Dr. Brown, motivation begins in our childhood experiences, and it continues to be a strong factor throughout our adult life.
Learning how to effectively use motivation techniques in the workplace has been identified as a way to boost productivity and profits. According to research, motivating employees through different types of incentives and rewards has been shown to help improve work performance. This method is also effective when dealing with difficult and problematic employees.
Many companies make a concerted effort to keep their employees motivated through different types of programs. Some companies have motivational speakers come in periodically to give speeches to employees to motivate them. Other companies have reward programs that include gifts and free lunches, and other companies use carrot and stick methods of employee motivation. However, researchers have been unable to find a consistent and universal positive effect of employee motivation on employee satisfaction. Instead, the most compelling research results indicate that motivation can improve employee satisfaction by changing the way an employee thinks about himself or herself.
Studies on motivation point out that self-esteem plays a crucial role in motivation. Employees that have high self-esteem are more likely to perceive themselves as competent individuals. They also have higher expectations of their own performance. This perception of self-worth helps employees really want to do their best at work. If you take the time to recognize and reward your employees for good performance, not only will they perform better, but they will actually be happier at work. In fact, if you focus on intrinsic motivation, instead of external motivation, your workplace will be much more productive and the benefits will far outweigh the costs.
Research has also shown that employee motivation is related to higher productivity and lower absenteeism. When employees are motivated, they enjoy their work and they perform better at work because it gives them a sense of purpose and value. When an employee knows that he or she is worth something and that his or her work contributes to winning an award, there is a tremendous increase in productivity. Similarly, when an employee knows that he or she can contribute something meaningful to the company and that the company cares about him or her, this adds to his or her overall sense of worth and the results are even better. Motivated employees are also less stressed and more productive, which results in not just lower absenteeism but also lower turnover and sick days.
A third major benefit of employee motivation is that it actually does increase productivity. Motivated employees are ready to do the extra work that may be required to complete a task. This means that the company doesn’t have to hire as many extra people to help finish a project. Some companies even find employee motivation so helpful that they eliminate part of their employee payroll in order to attract and retain motivated employees.
These three main benefits of employee motivation are great reasons for businesses to take action and put some employee motivation techniques into place. When businesses pay close attention to employee motivation and try to create a positive workplace environment, they are going to find that they improve productivity and they will enjoy happier and healthier employees. They will also enjoy lower levels of absenteeism and a higher level of overall productivity and profit. When a business looks at these benefits, it’s easy to see why they should put employee motivation into action.