Work Motivation: Theories, Classification and Characteristics

Work Motivation: Theories, Features, Classification and Characteristics

We explain what work motivation is and why it is so important. In addition, its general characteristics and theories of work motivation.

What is work motivation?

Work motivation is the ability to maintain business or corporate values that lead to very good performance in relation to work . A company can be considered successful if its objectives are aligned with those of the employees, since the effect of both parties will achieve great dynamism in achieving goals.

In this sense, work motivation happens when the needs of the workers are met and their expectations are met. To promote it, variables such as idiosyncrasy, age, sex, position held and social level of the employee must be taken into account .

Consequently, it is important to create an organizational climate that has a positive influence on the morale of the workers, so the administrator must make use of the most appropriate incentives.

Motivational factors

Motivational factors
It is necessary to achieve unity of values in the company and create a sense of belonging.

Motivation, by definition, is the drive that guides and sustains behavior until desired goals are achieved . The most important factors that promote this dynamic at work are the creation of friendly conditions that establish a bridge between work and family life (“Living” Factor), the possibility of growth (“Growing” Factor), achieving unity of values in the company and thus achieve a sense of belonging (Factor “Relate”).

Work motivation theories

There are two types of theories on work motivation, those that focus on the process and those that are based on the content.

Those that focus on process are:

  • Theory of expectations (Vroom). That it has as assumptions that workers know their goals and that achieving them depends on their performance, that there is a relationship between effort and job performance.
  • Equity theory (Adams). Which postulates that employees weigh their contributions to the company and the compensation they receive.
  • Goal setting theory. That holds that the subject must be aware of the goal as something for which you want to work.
  • Stress theory (Skinner). Whose scheme is behavioral: stimulus, response, retribution.

Those that focus on content are:

  • Learned needs (McClelland). Theory that analyzes the needs that drive behavior: power, achievement, and affiliation.
  • Hierarchy of needs (Maslow). That supposes three basic needs in the people that you want to satisfy: social, physiological, protection, consideration and self-development.
  • Hierarchical model (Alderfer). According to which the main needs are encompassed in three dimensions: relationship, personal development and growth.

Micromotivation and macromotivation

Micromotivation and macromotivation
Macromotivation addresses motivational aspects that are outside the company.

Micromotivation is the one that happens inside an organization in order to improve the performance of workers, while macromotivation addresses motivational aspects that are outside the company, conditions that also influence job performance.

Extrinsic motivation

This type of motivation refers to what the worker can obtain from others with his work . What happens with this type of motivation is that the work seems to be something alien to the personal history of the worker, so instead of increasing productivity , it could even harm it.

Intrinsic motivation

In this kind of motivation, what is obtained from the work itself is interesting, considering it as the stage to deploy one’s own abilities. The positive values of work in themselves are highlighted , not to achieve something else. Productivity tends to be higher in these cases.

Transitive motivation

transitive motivation
That the work itself results in the benefit of others gives it a share of value.

In this case, we talk about what can be contributed to the rest through work . In this sense, although intrinsic motivation is essential, the fact that one’s own work benefits others gives it a share of value and increases the interest of the employee.

Transcendent motivation

When acting through a transitive motivation that does not specifically respond to the needs of others, it is inconsequential. The leader’s motivation is transcendent : he can satisfy undemanded needs, increase the potentiality of customers, going over himself.

Roles of the leader to encourage motivation

Roles of the leader to encourage motivation
The leader must prepare the strategy according to the objectives.

Among the actions that must be carried out to promote satisfaction in a work team, are:

  • Define the tasks and objectives of the group
  • Prepare the strategy according to the objectives
  • Review the information that is available
  • Making the agenda and establishing a plan
  • Give a justification of the importance of the proposed objectives
  • Assign tasks to the group and manage its operation
  • Ensure compliance with regulations
  • Stimulate the group towards action and supervise that the objectives are pursued
  • Create group feelings, encourage and discipline
  • Accept contributions and ease tensions with humor
  • Update and share information constantly
  • Measure the consequences of planned objectives
  • Assess overall team practices and encourage group self-examination

self-fulfilling prophecy

This prophecy, determined by the perceptual sets, can be decisive. It is based on the expectations of, for example, a manager , with respect to a certain worker, which leads him to grant him preferential treatment and thus achieves that he responds positively to his tasks.

The importance of work motivation

The importance of work motivation
Companies should award recognition to those who stand out.

The importance of work motivation lies in its reciprocal benefits : more productive work that has the quality of meaning positively for its employees will increase profits.

Companies must award recognition to those who stand out and at the same time improve working conditions – tools, for example – so that the objective of achieving company profits and the desire for individual improvement are perfectly articulated.

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