6.5 Putting It Together: Motivation in the Workplace

Motivation is a highly individual process, and motivating all the employees within a company can be a significant (if not nearly impossible) task. Yet, we’ve proven time and time again that employees who are engaged with their work and with the organization drive productivity and profits. It’s necessary to motivate. Managers need to solve that puzzle.

Photo of a desk with notes, to-do lists, pencils, and pens neatly aligned.Motivation is individual, but in the framework of organizational behavior it can be built from not only individual, but also work and organizational components. We can examine motivation as a product of needs and wants and translate those theories into approaches and programs that incent employees to work harder. Variable-pay programs, or employee recognition programs, or even management by objective, are managers’ answers to employee needs and motivations as identified through the lenses of motivational theories. A continued command of what motivates employees, and continued studies, will help us build more innovative programs that keep motivation high and productivity strong.

Finally, as the world gets smaller, more managers will be called upon to understand the cultural dimensions of multi-national teams, and adjust their approaches to motivate team members who have learned differently than we have.

Motivation is key to success. Without the motivation to set an action into motion, we have no effort, no performance, no outcomes, no organization, and no reward.


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  • Putting It Together: Motivation in the Workplace. Authored by: Freedom Learning Group. Provided by: Lumen Learning. License: CC BY: Attribution
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