Why Is Motivation in the Workplace Important? Motivation pushes teams forward to strive for achievement. Motivation motivates employees to perform to their highest potential. A high level of motivation promotes a deep sense of satisfaction and accomplishment. Motivation in the workplace is particularly important because it keeps employees motivated and alert to changes in their surroundings.
Why Is Motivation in the Workplace Important? According to behavioral economists and psychologists the motivation for an individual is grounded on three-dimensional theory. Motivation is grounded on three-dimensional theory: attachment, experience, and attitude. According to the three-dimensional theory, motivation is an interpersonal attribute that can be understood, controlled, and promoted by the attribute of attachment (the individual’s personality).
According to attachment theory, an individual is motivated to become or remain attached to a particular object or situation. If the attachment is strong enough, the individual will be willing to go beyond what his or her resources (including capabilities, resources that are available to others, and available opportunities) will enable him or her to achieve. The situation or object is only secondary to the importance of attachment. In fact, that the employee is motivated to a degree to do the assigned work does not depend on the value of the reward. Rewards may be important to an employee at the time of reward but at other times an employee will not even think about the reward because the attachment to the situation and the object is strong enough.
According to the third dimension of attachment theory, motivation is directed toward achieving a desired goal. Therefore, employees who are highly motivated are those who look forward to the workday rather than dreading it. Employees who dread the work day will look forward to it less and will dread the consequences of not performing to the best of their ability. Employees who are highly motivated are those who view their jobs as intensely personal and as involving a great deal of skill and responsibility. High levels of personal involvement, high levels of self-control, and high levels of motivation lead employees to be more productive at work and to be more satisfied with their job performance than are those who dread their workplace.
In terms of employee productivity, the theory of attachment predicts that motivation will improve employee productivity. Specifically, if the employee is motivated to do his or her best and if the employee is able to derive satisfaction from doing his or her best, then the employee will produce more than he would if the goal of the task was simply to get the job done. The theory also predicts that when employees are motivated they will increase their productivity, which will, in turn, increase satisfaction. If there is increased satisfaction, there will likely be more motivation.
In terms of self-esteem, studies also predict that motivation will increase employee self-esteem. In particular, high self-esteem leads to higher productivity and greater workplace satisfaction. In addition, when employees are motivated, they will develop greater organizational and interpersonal skills. They will be able to perform their tasks with greater skill and, therefore, they will be able to accomplish more for the company. When employees are capable of reaching goals, they are likely to be more likely to take risks and to try new things.
Motivation does not only relate to intrinsic qualities of an individual but also to extrinsic rewards or benefits. Extrinsic rewards or benefits are given in order to motivate an individual to reach a goal. In many businesses, for example, company parking lots are filled with money, which employees can use to buy tickets for the subsequent day’s work. The logic of this type of reward is that if employees feel like they are being rewarded in some way for their efforts, then they will be much more likely to perform to the best of their ability and to the advantage of the company.
It is important to remember that extrinsic rewards or benefits cannot be the sole basis for employee motivation. Motivation must, ultimately, be related to internal objectives of the organization. If an employee feels like he/she is being rewarded in some way for his/her performance, then they will be likely to feel like they have been given a special favor by the organization. Internal organization objectives such as high employee satisfaction will then lead to higher motivation levels.