Work Motivation Theories in Employee Management


Work motivation is a critical concept in determining the productivity, efficiency, and satisfaction of employees. It is defined as a management process that influences conduct based on the knowledge and understanding of what drives individuals. Strong motivation should be present and comprehensive at various levels in an organization to satisfy employees and enhance commitment to the job.

Organizational theory suggests that motivation must be present to actualize potential in employees, empowering, and enabling them to achieve it fully (Salleh et al. 139). The success of businesses and enterprises in the high-risk and unstable global environment strongly depends on employee motivation since human capital in an organization is the most valuable asset.

The motivational model shown in the figure below shows that the concept consists of four individual aspects that are perpetuated in a cycle to continue feeding motivation until it is disrupted or broken. Motivation also depends on the fulfillment of fundamental human needs as well as the work culture which can be defined and established by management. The psychological concepts ranging from identification and internalization to development and group dynamics considerably contribute to the present level of motivation in employees (Osabiya 64).

Illustration of a basic motivational model
Figure 1: Illustration of a basic motivational model (Osabiya 64).


The effectiveness of motivation can be profound in an organization, impacting productivity, and its ability to reach objectives. Most research suggests that a very small percentage of employees are actively engaged in most workplaces. Motivation impacts a myriad of factors including commitment, satisfaction, development, and efficiency. The highly motivated staff has significantly more ability, innovation, creativity, and willpower.

They can take on significantly more challenges and tend to be less distracted. It contributes to both personal and team development, as there is greater communication. Meanwhile, in contrast, demotivated employees lead to great consequences such as underperformance, lack of innovation, low interest, and high rates of turnover at the organization. The workplace culture and productivity outcomes suffer in demotivational settings. Therefore, it can be concluded that motivation has a significant effect on changing the attitudes and results of employees in the workplace.

Impact on Employees

The impact of motivation on employees is parallel and almost identical to that of an organization. Motivation on an individual level comes from the commitment and levels of engagement that employees demonstrate in their daily duties and projects. Although not all aspects of motivation can be determined by managers, work-related factors contribute a significant amount to individual morale. This can depend on anything ranging from work-life balance to accommodations at the office. Motivation may be more difficult at individual employee levels but contribute towards the performance of the whole team. Motivation helps to achieve personal goals, work on self-development, and achieve job satisfaction through self-fulfillment as well as being part of a dynamic team (Nabi et al. 7).

Personal Experience

Motivation is a relatively abstract concept until it becomes a real-life personal experience. For me, I felt it in my professional role working as an administrative assistant for approximately 7 years. At this job, I lacked proper motivation because I was not self-fulfilled or satisfied, mostly due to the nature of the job while my personality of oriented toward active and social engagement. To resolve this issue with motivation which I saw within myself and several of my co-workers, I decided to create a program by the name of “Social Club.”

It was community-oriented bonding and entertainment initiative which sought to encourage employees to participate in social and cultural events. The program provided places to visit, favorite local restaurants, upcoming sales at department stores, and interesting public events that we could visit as a group outside of work.

The program turned out to be a success as people readily participated and bonded closer together as a result. The team morale was high and productivity and social culture improved as well. For me, creating and administering the initiative was a boost in motivation as it was interesting and a boost in personal value, I was doing it for myself rather than my typical daily tasks. The positive outcome that it brought was motivational due to the outreaching influence that it had on the workplace environment.

Works Cited

Nabi, Nurun, et al. “Impact of Motivation on Employee Performances: A Case Study of Karmasangsthan Bank Limited, Bangladesh.” Arabian Journal of Business and Management Review, vol. 7, no. 2, 2017, pp. 1-8. Web.

Osabiya, Babtunde J. “The Effect of Employees’ Motivation on Organizational Performance.Journal of Public Administration and Policy Research, vol. 7, no. 4, 2016, pp. 62-75. Web.

Salleh, Suzila M., et al. “The Influence of Work Motivation on Organizational Commitment in the Workplace.” Journal of Applied Environmental and Biological Sciences, vol. 6, no. 5S, 2016, pp. 139-143. Web.