Benefits of motivation


In this competitive world where every business and individual are struggling to achieve something in order to become superior or to survive in this market but what is that factor which takes people towards it? Simple the answer is Motivation. Motivation is defined as an urge in an individual to perform goal directed behaviour. Therefore motivation cannot be inflected from outside but it is an intrinsic desire in a man to achieve the target goal through performance or activity. In another words motivation is to inspire people to work, individually or in groups in the ways such as to produce best result. It is the willingness of an individual to achieve the targets or the goals. Motivation is getting somebody to do something because they want to do it. To motivate others is the most important of management tasks. It comprises the abilities to communicate, to challenge, to encourage, to involve, or to delegate some work to others. The benefits of motivation are improved qualities such as worker work hard and are consistent, keep an individual/worker satisfied, to get the best result out of employees, improved productivity and increase in profit of business.

The two main approaches to the study of motivation, developed since 1950's and still widely promoted till now are known as the content and process theories.

Content theories are mainly concerned with what it is within individual or their environment that energises and sustain behaviour. In other words, what specific need or motives within an individual or their environment energizes individual behaviour. For example, if u feels very hungry it is physiological need, you will feel a conpulsoion to satisfy that need by eating. And if you have a need for recognition it is psychological need, then you may try to satisfy that need by working hard in order to please your boss. Content theories are useful because they help manager to understand what people will and will not value as work, rewards, or need satisfiers.

Process theories strive to provide an understanding of the thought or cognitive process that take place within the mind of individual to influence their behaviour. Thus a Content theory suggests that security is an important need. And process theory may go further by suggesting how and why a need for security could be linked to specific rewards and to the specific actions that the worker may need to perform to achieve these rewards. So process theories add a cognitive dimension by focusing on individual's belief about how certain behaviour will lead to rewards such as money or promotions.

There are different concepts of different people so there are different theories of motivation in which two famous theories according to content and process motivation theories are of Abraham Maslow's theory of "Need Hierarchy Theory" which is content theory and Vroom's Valence x Expectancy theory is process theory. Now based on the content and process theories the two famous people theory's is described below.

Continuing with Abraham Maslow?s Need Hierarchy Theory where according to Abraham Maslow he identifies five distinct levels of individual needs from self actualization and esteem at the top to social safety and physiological requirement at the bottom. Maslow assumes that some needs are more important than others and must be fulfilled before other needs can serve as motivators. Thus the physiological needs must be satisfied before the safety needs are activated and the safety needs must be satisfied before the social needs are activated and so on. He saw human needs in the form of a hierarchy, ascending from the lowest to the highest, and he concluded by saying that when one need is fulfilled then only he is motivated for higher needs. As per his theory the needs are as follows:

While Maslow worked with monkeys earlier on in his careers, what he noticed was that some needs take priority over others. For example, if you are hungry and thirsty, you will tend to try to take care of the thirst first. Maslow took this idea and created his now famous hierarchy of needs. Beyond the details of air, water, food and sex, he laid out five broader layers which are described below.

  1. Physiological needs: most basic human needs such as food, water, sex etc are the basic physiological needs which fall in the primary list of need satisfaction. Maslow was of an opinion that until these needs were satisfied to a degree to maintain life, no other motivating factors can work.
  2. Safety needs: needs for security, protection and stability in physical and interpersonal needs. It also includes protection against any emotional harm.
  3. Social needs: needs such as love, affection, emotions etc. People try to satisfy their need for affection, acceptance and friendship.
  4. Esteem needs: needs such as respect, prestige, recognition, self esteem. Once people begin to satisfy their needs to belong, they tend to want to be held in esteem both by themselves and by others. It includes both internal esteem factors like self-respect, autonomy and achievements and external esteem factors such as states, recognition and attention.
  5. Self actualization needs: needs such as highest need level to fulfil ones self, to grow and to use abilities to their fullest, and most creative extent. Maslow regards this as the highest need in his hierarchy. It is the drive to become what one is capable of becoming; it includes growth, achieving one's potential and self-fulfilment. It is to maximize one's potential and to accomplish something.

The most widely accepted explanations of motivation have been propounded by victor vroom. His theory is commonly known as expectancy theory. The theory argues that the strength of a tendency to act in a specific way depends on the strength of an expectation that the act will be followed by a given outcome and on the attractiveness of the outcome to the individual to make this simple, expectancy theory says that an employee can be motivated to perform better when there is a belief that the better performance will lead to good performance appraisal and that this shall result into realization of personal goal in form of some rewards. The theory focuses on three things such as efforts and performance relationship, performance and reward relationship, and rewards and personal goal relationship.

Victor Vroom's expectancy theory tries to explain the task related effort expended by a person. In this individuals are viewed as making conscious decisions to allocate their behaviour towards work efforts and to serve self interest. The three main concepts of this theory are Expentancy Instrumentality and Valence

Expectancy is the probability that the individual assigns to work effort being followed by a given level of achieved task performance.

Instrumentality is the probability that the individual assigns to a level of achieved tasks performance leading to various work outcomes.

Valence represents the value that the individual attaches to various work outcomes.

According to Vroom motivation is a combination of Expectancy, Instrumentality and Valence are related to one another by the equation "M = E x I x V"

For example people exerts work effort in order to achieve task and performance but in between some expectancy comes like select capable workers, to train them, support them, set clear goals. Likewise task performance are related to work related outcomes where Instrumentality comes like clarify possible rewards for performance and further more worked related outcomes leads to valance like identifying needs and match rewards to needs.

Expectancy theory is able to accommodate multiple work outcomes in predicting motivation. For example expectancy delivers two results the one is positive and the other is negative and it depends upon the individual, like if a person wants to earn high merit pay then he will give more efforts and give better performance. Likewise if he is not willing to earn more he will give less efforts and low performance.

One of the most recent change of vrooms original version of the theory distinguish between Extrinsic and Intrinsic rewards as two separate types of possible work outcomes. Extrinsic rewards are positive where as Intrinsic are negative.

Thus in summarising we can say that according to Maslow hierarchy of needs people have multiple needs loosely classifiable as physiological, psychological, growth and transcendent needs. As one need is satisfied, then another higher need becomes apparent. Where as in Vrooms expectancy theory motivation for a given act depends upon the desirability of the expected outcome of a situation, whether you believe you can affect the success of the situation and whether you believe the success of the situation is linked to the desired outcome.

There were issues in Maslow theory that concerns have been raised with the small sample size used in the original study, and other academics have argued that his results cannot be replicated. Also this model does not allow for feeling two different needs simultaneously for example needing shelter and food, nor for individual difference in prioritise of needs. And the issues with Vroom were that crucially, Expectancy theory works on perceptions, so even if an employer thinks they have provided everything appropriate for motivation, and even if this works with most people in that organisation it does not mean that someone won't perceive that it does not work for them. At first this theory seems most applicable to a traditional attitude towards work situation where how motivated the employee is depends on whether they want reward on offer for doing good job. Thus this theory of motivation is not about self interest in rewards but about the associations people make towards expected outcomes and the contribution they feel they can make towards those outcomes.

Thus in conclusion we can say that expectancy theory could also be overlaid over another theory by Maslow. Maslow could be used to describe which outcomes people are motivated by and Vroom to describe whether they will act based upon their experience and expectations. Hence in a sentence we can explain Maslow's theory by saying different people have different needs, and vrooms theory by saying people only do things when they believe that their action will lead to need fulfilment.

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