Motivation : Definition and Concept of Motivation

Motivation originally comes from the Latin word movere, which means "to move". It is derived from the word "motive". Motive may be defined as an inner state of our mind that activates and directs our behavior or implies action to satisfy a need. It makes us move to act. It is always internal to us and is externalized via behavior. Motivation is one's willingness to exert efforts towards the accomplishment of his/ her goal.

Motivation is said to be the mainspring of action in people. Thus, motivation means the need or reason that makes people to do some works. For example, to do outstanding work, a person or employee needs respect from others. Motivation is defined as the act of inspiring the subordinates to work hard to achieve the goal of an organization from the bottom of heart. So, it is an inner stat that activates the person to do something better. In other words, it is an internal force that drives the people to act in such a way which fulfills the particular need. Therefore, motivation is also known as goal-directed behavior. It is the activity that creates willingness and desire to work successfully. Motivation acts as a catalyst in order to achieve the goal. Until and unless employee are motivated, the management cannot expect excellent performance from the employees.

Motivation is the psychological process of creating willingness to work and cooperate for the achievement of organizational goal. Hence, motivation is an inner stat that energizes, activated and directs behavior towards achieving organizational goals. So, motivation always helps the people to work effectively and efficiently to achieve the goal. A man can be physically, mentally and technically fit to work but he may not be willing to work. At such situation, motivating a worker is to create a need and a desire on the part of a worker to better his present performance. Thus, performance is determined by two factors: level of a ability or capability to do certain work and level of motivation. It can be expressed as follows:

Performance = Ability x Motivation

Job performance is a function of employee ability plus motivation. Employee may possess necessary skills and abilities. But without lack of motivation employee cannot perform their work effectively. Motivation has great impact on employee performance. A well-motivate employee can contribute more to an organization. Thus, the duty of every rational manger is to create an environment to motivate the entire employee. Hence, in conclusion, motivation is the process to encourage employee in work and the effect to satisfy some individual need.

The primary task of a manager is maintaining an organization by managing functions willingly and effectively. The success of an organization does not depend only on technical expertise available within the organization, but also on the willingness and motivational level of its members. Organizational goals can never be achieved without subordinate’s willingness to put their best efforts for the benefit of the organization.

Some of the definitions given by experts as follows:
“Motivation is an individual’s willingness to exert high levels of effort towards organizational goals, conditioned by the effort’s ability to satisfy some individual need.” – Decenzo and Robbins
“Motivation in a general term applying to the entire classes of drives, desires, needs, wishes and similar forces.” – Koontz and Weihrich
Motivation can be defined as a willingness to expand every to achieve a goal or reward.” – Dale S. Beach
“Motivation is a process that starts with a physiological or psychological deficiency or need that activates behavior or a drive that is aimed at a goal or incentive.” – Fred Luthans
From the above definitions, it can be concluded that motivation is the need or reason that makes people to do a work or to take action. It includes the processes and forces in an individual or a group that influence or encourage him to act or not to act in particular ways. It arouses or energizes the willingness to put in effort in a particular direction.

In management, motivation plays vital role to make the work done as management itself is an art of getting things done by other people. If the members of an organization are properly motivated, the following results may be expected:
  • Motivated workers will tend to be as efficient as possible by improving upon their skills and knowledge so that they are able to contribute to the progress of the organization. This will result in increase productivity.
  • Higher motivation leads to job satisfaction. Opportunities for need satisfaction make employees loyal and committed to the organization. As a result labor absenteeism and turnover are low.
  • The number of complaints and grievances will come down. Accident rate will also fall.
  • Motivated workers will try to cooperate voluntarily with the management and will contribute their maximum efforts towards the goals of the enterprise.
Motivation inspires employees to make best possible use of different factors of production. They work whole heartedly to apply their abilities and potential in minimizing waste and cost. The enterprise can make maximum use of its physical and financial resources.

Issue in Motivation
The main issues in motivation are:
1. Motivating to professional people: A typical employee today is more likely to be highly trained professional with a college degree than a blue-collar factory worker. These professionals receive a great deal of intrinsic satisfaction from their work. They tend to be well paid. They have strong long-term commitment to their field of expertise. Their loyalty is more often to their profession than to their employer. To keep current in their field they need to regular update their knowledge and their commitment to their profession.

What motivates these professionals?
Money and promotions typically are low on their priority list. Job challenge tends to be ranked high. They like to tackle problems and find solutions. They want other to think what they are working on is important. Although this may be true for all employees, because professionals tend to be more focused on their work as their central life interest, non professionals typically have other interests outside of work that can compensate for needs not met on the job.

2. Motivating low-skilled service worker: These jobs are typically filled with people who have limited education and skill and little above minimum wage. Traditional approaches for motivating such people are providing them more flexible work schedules and filling their jobs with teenagers and tired whose financial needs is less.

3. Motivating contingent or temporary worker: There is no simple solution for motivating temporary workers. An obvious solution is the opportunity for permanent status. In these cases in which permanent employees are selected form the pool of temporaries, temporaries will often work hard in hopes of becoming permanent. A less obvious solution is the opportunity for training.

4. Motivating people with doing highly repetitive task: These are people who do standardized and repetitive jobs. Motivating individuals in these jobs can be made easier through careful selection. People vary in their tolerance for ambiguity.

5. Motivating diversified work force: Today organization is equipped with different types of workforce like male, female, handicapped, disabled, black, white professional and non-professional etc. All the people won't be motivated by money, position and challenging job. Different people have different needs. This need should be identified and try to meet them to motivate diversified workforce.

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