A motive is a reason for doing something. Motivation is concerned with the strength and direction of behavior and the factors that influence people to behave in certain ways. The term ‘motivation’ can refer variously to the goals individuals have, the ways in which individuals chose their goals and the ways in which others try to change their behavior.
Motivating other people is about getting them to move in the direction you want them to go in order to achieve a result. Motivating yourself is about setting the direction independently and then taking a course of action that will ensure that you get there. Motivation can be described as goal-directed behavior. People are motivated when they expect that a course of action is likely to lead to the attainment of a goal and a valued reward – one that satisfies their needs and wants.
The three components of motivation, Arnold et al (1991)
1. Direction – what a person is trying to do.
2. Effort – how hard a person is trying.
3. Persistence – how long a person keeps on trying.
Types of motivation
Intrinsic motivation can arise from the self-generated factors that influence people’s behavior. It is not created by external incentives. It can take the form of motivation by the work itself when individuals feel that their work is important, interesting and challenging and provides them with a reasonable degree of autonomy (freedom to act), opportunities to achieve and advance, and scope to use and develop their skills and abilities. Deci and Ryan (1985) suggested that intrinsic motivation is based on the needs to be competent and self-determining (that is, to have a choice).
Intrinsic motivation can be enhanced by job or role design. According to an early writer on the significance of the motivational impact of job design (Katz, 1964): ‘The job itself must provide sufficient variety, sufficient complexity, sufficient challenge and sufficient skill to engage the abilities of the worker.’ In their job characteristics model, Hackman and Oldham (1974) emphasized the importance of the core job dimensions as motivators, namely skill variety, task identity, task significance, autonomy and feedback.
Extrinsic motivation occurs when things are done to or for people to motivate them. These include rewards, such as incentives, increased pay, praise, or promotion; and punishments, such as disciplinary action, withholding pay, or criticism.
Extrinsic motivators can have an immediate and powerful effect, but will not necessarily last long. The intrinsic motivators, which are concerned with the ‘quality of working life’ (a phrase and movement that emerged from this concept), are likely to have a deeper and longer-term effect because they are inherent in individuals and their work and not imposed from outside in such forms as incentive pay.
Factors influencing motivation
•The Law of Individual Differences
–The fact that people differ in personality, abilities, values, and needs. –Different people react to different incentives in different ways. –Managers should be aware of employee needs and fine-tune the incentives offered to meets their needs. –Money is not the only motivator.
•Job Characteristics Model
The Job Characteristics Model (JCM), as designed by Hackman and Oldham attempts to use job design to improve employee motivation. They show that any job can be described in terms of five key job characteristics: 1. Skill Variety – the degree to which the job requires the use of different skills and talents 2. Task Identity – the degree to which the job has contributed to a clearly identifiable larger project 3. Task Significance – the degree to which the job has an impact on the lives or work of other people 4. Autonomy – the degree to which the employee has independence, freedom and discretion in carrying out the job 5. Task Feedback – the degree to which the employee is provided with clear, specific, detailed, actionable information about the effectiveness of his or her job performance The JCM links the core job dimensions listed above to critical psychological states which results in desired personal and work outcomes. This forms the basis of this ’employee growth-need strength.” The core dimensions listed above can be combined into a single predictive index, called the Motivating Potential Score.
Suggestions for motivating employee
1.Happy work force
2.Senior manager feedback
3.A positive attitude
4.The right tools and skills for the job
5.Don’t be tempted to carry anyone who is not up to the job.
6.Keep things fresh
7.Small ‘quick fix’ prizes
8.Training is always good; it keeps people up to date and focused on the job
9.Offer a nice clean working environment
10. We all like to be rewarded or praised for doing it well
11. Use both sides of the brain
12. Listening to your team
13. Positive immediate consequences
14. Be careful promoting people into management roles
15. Get the systems right
16. Sort out the headaches
17. Rewards to share with the family
18. Find out what makes staff ‘tick’
19. Reward good work
20. Regular review sessions