Without a doubt motivation is a key factor to getting work done. Not just done, but done well. It has been proven that motivation pushes an employee to succeed, seeing that a well-motivated employee goes the extra mile to get things done.
According to Wikipedia, “Motivation is the reason for people’s actions, desires, and needs. Motivation is also one’s direction to behavior, or what causes a person to want to repeat a behavior”.
“Employees who believe that management is concerned about them as a whole person– not just an employee – are more productive, more satisfied, more fulfilled. Satisfied employees mean satisfied customers, which leads to profitability.” Anne M. Mulcahy
There are always internal & external factors that stimulate desire and energy in people to be continually interested and committed to a job, role or subject, or to make an effort to attain a goal. Motivation results from the interaction of both conscious and unconscious factors such as the intensity of desire or need, incentive or reward value of the goal and expectations of the individual and of his or her peers.
However, there are divergent views on the method or factors that best motivate employees as majority of practitioners opine that what motivates employee ‘A’ might not motivate employee ‘B’ or that what might motivate employee ‘A’ at a particular time might not at another time, depending on his or her circumstances. For example, Mr. James of ZAYZ & Co. won an all-expense vacation for emerging as the best employee. But at that time he had defaulted on his house rent and was being threatened with eviction. The holiday trip, as exciting as it seems, is not likely to motivate Mr. James at that point in time.
Below is an excerpt of a survey on HR practitioners’ views with regards to the best factors that motivate employees.
“I find out it depends on the company culture. For some team bonding activities such as trips or excursions works. For some recognition works, respect in the work place also works”. Peju Ayo-Fisher
“If the company culture allows it then it will fly. But any organization that wants to drive motivation will not have a one-size-fits-all motivation. It has to make it broad so that employees can pick what motivates them because it is usually the case of one man’s meat is another man’ poison. It depends on individual employees…what motivates them? Some it is time-off, some not an 8-5 work hour (flexible working hour), etc.” Blessing Okorafor
“In my own opinion, you can’t accurately pick out which of the above is most effective in motivating employees haphazardly as there are several factors to be considered; who are your audience in terms of the employees you are looking to motivate. Are they entry level employees, mid-level managers or senior level managers? Note that the key thing is the employee value proposition. As it varies from person to person. So what might motivate an entry level officer might not necessarily motivate a senior level officer and vice versa. So for me, first is to know your audience (employees) and target the right motivation tools accurately to suit them.” Adesola Ige
“On motivation, I think it is important to look at the various theories of motivation and use this as a guide to determine the bouquet of offerings required to motivate employees along various Cadre, grade and importantly the values of the organization. Using the Maslow’s Hierarchy of need, the Herzberg Hygiene theory or the Adams theory etc will help in building a framework.” Yemi Ajayi
The diverse views clearly indicate that practitioners see employee motivation as an important contributor to organizational growth, and that the best way to go about it is knowing your audience and motivating them in line with company culture and what is likely to tickle their fancy.