Mitchell has defined motivation as ‘the degree to which an individual wants and chooses to engage in specified behaviours’. Simply put, motivation is the reason why an individual wants to do something. The four characteristics that underlie Mitchell’s definition are: motivation is typified as an individual phenomenon, as each individual is unique; motivation is described usually as intentional; motivation is multifaceted and the purpose of motivation theories is to predict behaviour.
The basic motivational model explains that needs and expectations will result in a driving force to achieve desired goals, which ultimately provide fulfilment, thus leading to new needs and expectations. The CIPD Employee Attitudes to Pay 2011 report provides evidence that since 2008 workers feel less motivated to perform well, and employees that receive bonuses gave a higher job satisfaction score than their counterparts. This evidence can be supported by Taylor’s rational-economic needs concept of motivation.
Workers under his direction would deliver higher outputs to increase productivity and in return be rewarded for their hard work through monetary incentives. However, his belief disregards rewards that are not money orientated which could still increase productivity, also known as intrinsic motivation. Herzberg’s devised a two-factor theory to explain how to achieve motivation and job satisfaction. One set of factors are called ‘hygiene’ or ‘maintenance’ factors, which are concerned with job environment for example, salary, job security, working conditions, level and quality of supervision, company policy and interpersonal relations.
This structure tells us how these elements in a job are organized can act to increase or decrease effort. When I took a look at the Job Characteristics Model (JCM) it describes five core job dimensions that managers should look into to increase motivation within employees. I have heard employees say “I only come to work for this easy check, there is nothing to do here but eat, sleep and the most ...
If these are absent it can lead to an individual feeling dissatisfied. The other set of factors are called ‘motivators’ or ‘growth’ factors, which provide a sense of achievement, recognition, responsibility, nature of the work and personal growth and advancement. An absence of these lead to a lack of satisfaction, but not dissatisfaction. Employees at Aviva have demonstrated the second set of factors through applying the concept of “systems thinking” – improving processes on an organisation scale to improve customer experience.
When an employee has achieved success it has spurred others to follow suit creating a domino effect, thus boosting employee engagement and increasing motivation at work. Using this model it becomes clear that money is a motivator but not the only motivator. If motivation is not present it can cause dissatisfaction, the extent of this determined by one’s circumstances and other satisfactions that can be achieved at work. Receiving recognition and having opportunities available to grow and work up the ladder are just as important, if not more, influences on motivation.