The term motivation has been derived from the word motive. Motive is anything that initiates or sustains activity. It is an inner state that energies, activates or moves and that directs or channels behaviour towards goals. Motive is a psychological force within an individual that sets him in motion. Behind every human action there is a motive.

According to Brech, “Motivation is a general inspirational process which gets the members of the team to pull their weight effectively, to give their loyalty to the group, to carry out properly the tasks that they have accepted and generally to play an effective part in the job that the group has undertaken.”

According to Littlefield and Rachel, “Motivation is the process of being influenced to take action or accomplish a goal. In an organization, people are motivated if they are willing to perform efficiently and effectively.”

According to Hodge and Johnson, “Motivation may be defined as the willingness of an individual to respond to organisational requirements in the short run.”


According to Stanlay Vance, “Motivation implies any emotion or desire which so conditions one’s will that the individual is propelled into action.

The most important task of the management is to get the work done by the subordinates and achieve results. Getting the work depends mainly on whether a person has been motivated to do it. Motivating a worker is to create a need and a desire on the part of worker to better his present performance.

This will mean to do anything beyond just what he is required to do. This can be done by creating in him a sense of responsibility and feeling of special interest in his work. Motivation concerns itself with the will to work.

It seeks to know the incentives for work and tries to find out the ways and means whereby their realization can be helped and encouraged. Motivation has been defined by Jucius as “The act of stimulating someone or oneself to get a desired course of action, to push the right button to get a desired reaction.”


How to motivate your staff:

1. Get to know your staff individually

2. Understand their interests

3. Let them to work in good condition


4. Motivate them in and out of work

5. Share information with them

6. Provide them with increasingly challenging opportunities

7. Give them feed-back on their job performance


8. Analyse their strengths and weaknesses

9. Coach and guide them in areas where they are working

10. Tell your friends of other departments, “how well your team works.

Let your team gets the reward they deserve Give recognition for good job performance Encourage them to come up with ideas for improvement Involve them in decisions and seek their views Get them involved in the department budgeting Help them to solve their problems, etc.


Importance of Motivation

Studies have shown that motivation plays a crucial role in determining the level of performance of employees. If motivation is low, employees, performance will suffer as much as if ability were low. According to Allen, “Poorly motivated people can nullify the soundest organisation.”

Another view is that “Motivation is the core of management.” The president of an American Corporation remarks, “you can buy a man’s time, you can buy a man’s physical presence at a given place but you cannot buy his enthusiasm, initiative or loyalty.”This enthusiasm or willingness to work can be created through motivation.

All organizational facilities will remain useless people are motivated to utilise these facilities in a productive manner. Motivation is an integral part of management process and every manager must motivate his subordinates to create in them the will to work. High motivation provides the following benefits:


Motivation is an effective instrument in the hands of management to maximize efficiency of operations.

Motivation inspires employees to make best possible use of different factors of production.

Higher motivation leads to job satisfaction of workers. As a result labour absenteeism and turnover are low.

Increased labor productivity in turn results in higher wages for employees. This will reduce labour unrest and create better relations between management and workers.

An enterprise that offers abundant financial and non-financial incentives enjoys reputation in the labour market.

High motivation helps to reduce resistance to changes.

Need-Hierarchy Theory of Motivation

Abraham H. Maslow an eminent American psychologist, developed a general theory of motivation, known as the Need hierarchy theory, which is as follows:

1. Physiological Needs:

Physiological needs are the basic needs of the organism and are essential for survival. These are needs for food, thirst, exercise and shelter. In organised co-operation, these needs are satisfied through adequate compensation in terms of employee needs of this kind and through job security.

2. Safety Needs:

Safety needs are more important when a man is in a dependent relationship and fears arbitrary deprivation. Since people in the organization stand in dependent relationships safety needs become important informal structure.

3. Social Needs:

As a social element, it is the desire of human being to be accepted by others. Need for belonging is manifested in the form of social groups formed on informal basis.

4.Self-Actualization Needs:

These are needs relating to personal growth and realizations of man’s full potential. The need for self-actualization is not strong in all subordinates. At the same time, organizations usually offer limited opportunities for satisfying self- actualization needs.

5. Ego Needs:

These are needs relating to one’s self esteem, such as self-respect, self- confidence and achievement. Ego needs relating to reputation maybe satisfied through promotions and allotment of status symbols to deserving individuals in the organization. Ego needs relating to self-esteem may be satisfied by assigning challenging and stimulating work the accomplishment of which will result in recognition.

Sound Motivational System

A sound motivational system is an essential ingredient in any organization. Evolving a good system of motivation in an organisation, requires a good deal of care and imagination. Generally speaking, sound motivation system should have the following characteristics:

1. Permanence: It should be permanent features of an organization.

2. Reflect the goal etc.: It should reflect the goals, objectives and philosophy of the organization.

3. Simple and equitable: The motivation system should be simple so that it is well understood by all employees. Further, it should be equitable.

4. Relate to efforts: It should be directly related to efforts and its operations should be evident to all.

5. Standards: The motivation system should be correlated to motives and needs of the employees and should be based on proper standards.

6. Flexible: The motivation system should be flexible, comprehensive and competitive.