a light of motivation

Motivation: Definition, Features, Process, Types (Explained)

What is Motivation?

Motivation is the force that leads people to act to achieve their objectives. It is the activators of human behaviors to do something. People are willing to act cause they are motivated towards their goals. The driver of their actions may be money need, success need, position need, their best potentiality.

Motivation is the art of inspiring and encouraging subordinates or people to do work effectively so that both organizational and individual goals can be achieved.

The phrase motivation is derived from the word ‘motive’. As a noun motive means an objective and as a verb motive means moving into action.

A person is how much motivated, can not be observed directly but only from the shown behavior. It is also influenced by a worker’s perception, learning, ability, and personality traits. Management gets work done by working with and through people to achieve organizational goals. Motivation is the crucial tool for the manager or leader to achieve effective work performance from workers.

Employees get motivated when they get what they expected from the management. Their expectations like increased salary, bonuses, incentives, over time, and other similar benefits.

Motivation is essential for both individuals and the organization, an individual is motivated for his success and an organization motivates its employees for organizational success.

employee motivation through increased salary

In fact, motivation is the psychological and human aspects. Motivation is the process of creating willingness among the employees to do work in the best possible way. It is the turn of encouraging employees to give their best effort to attain organizational objectives.

People do something to fulfill their basic and social needs. In other words, workers or employees fulfill their duties efficiently to fulfill their needs, desires, and wishes. Motivation is an instrument through which the management understands why and how workers interact and work following organizational requirements. It energizes the behavior of subordinates and directs them towards the attainments of common goals.


Motivation means a process of stimulating people to action to achieve desired goals – William G. Scott

Motivation means a willingness to exert a high level of effort to reach organizational goals, conditioned by the effort’s ability to satisfy some individual need – Decenzo and Robbins

Motivation is a general term applying to the entire class of drives, desires, needs, wishes, and similar forces that induce an individual or a group of people to work – Koontz and O’Donnell

Motivation can be defined as a willingness to work to expend energy to achieve a goal or reward – Dale S Beach

The concept of motivation is mainly psychological. It relates to those forces operating within the individual employee or subordinate which impel him to act or not act in certain ways – Dalton E. McFarland

Thus, motivation consists of inspiring and encouraging subordinates to do work to achieve common goals. A manager must know why and how people act per organizational requirements. He must have the knowledge to do a particular work with a clear vision.

It is the responsibility of the manager to develop such an environment that workers can perform their work in the best possible way.


Motivation is a continuous process. Up to life, people needed to be motivated. It is a psychological phenomenon that affects individual behaviors. As it has sound benefits, the complex it is.

Following are the main features/characteristics of motivation:

features of motivation

Psychological Process. Motivation is a psychological process. It is a process to achieve the desired result by stimulating and influencing the behavior of subordinates.

A manager must be careful to understand the needs, motives, and desires of every worker in the organization. Subordinates differ in their approach and even two individuals can not be motivated with the same technique.

Continuous Process. It is a continuous process. A satisfied person of today may not be satisfied tomorrow. When one need is satisfied, another need emerges.

Therefore, motivation is a never-ending process until the completion of the objectives. It is the responsibility of the management to develop new techniques, systems, and methods to fulfill the changing needs of workers.

Complex and Unpredictable. It is complex and unpredictable. Human wants are unlimited and change according to time and situation. A satisfied person of the present may not be satisfied in the future.

In a similar manner, even two persons may not be motivated with similar behavior and facilities. Therefore, a manager must be conscious to motivate subordinates and achieving objectives effectively.

Pervasive Function. It is a pervasive function of all levels of management. Every manager from the top level to the lowest level in the management hierarchy is responsible for motivation.

A manager is primarily responsible for motivating his subordinates and secondly other subordinates in the management hierarchy. For this, it is essential to develop the concept of group work and team spirit among all the members of the organization.

Influences the Behavior. One of the important parts of motivation is to influence the behavior of the people. Management has to influence the behavior of the workers and inspire them to concentrate more on their works.

Therefore, a manager has to play the role of a leader to influence the behavior of subordinates to achieve common goals.

Concentrated on Whole Individual. Individuals are motivated to fulfill their unlimited needs. A person can not be partly motivated as he is a self-contained and inseparable unit.

For example, whenever individual wishes to wear a pair of shoes, only the feet are not motivated but the whole body of the individual is motivated to get the shoes. Thus, motivation is concentrated on individuals and their attitudes to improve their working efficiency.

Positive or Negative Motivation. Last but not least, motivation can be negative and positive. A positive one promises incentives and rewards to workers. Incentives involve financial and non-financial benefits. A negative one is based on punishment for poor performance like minimizing wage, demotion, job termination, etc. On the basis of requirements, a manager can use both positive and negative motivation for better performance.

Positive Vs. Negative Motivation

Motivation could be classified into positive and negative motivation. Both motivations have important at the necessary time and situation. Negative motivation means encouraging others to do by punishment and positive is by some incentives.

Positive motivation

It is additionally referred to as the ‘carrot’ approach. It means to supply some rewards to influence employees within the desired manner to realize common objectives. Such rewards could be in terms of cash or non-monetary or both.

Monetary incentives are those, which are given in terms of cash. These also involve benefits and incentives, which may be marked in terms of cash. Monetary benefits involve increments in salary, cash rewards, bonus payments, the share of profit, pension, etc.

Non-monetary incentives are those, which are offered aside from money to the workers. Such incentives are also referred to as social needs. Non-monetary considerations involve promotion, assignment of authority, sharing in deciding, assignment of creative works, providing a far better working climate, providing records of merits, etc.

The impact of positive motivation is that it strikes integrity among the workers. It promotes the sense of belongingness and feeling of relations among the co-workers. It helps to develop the working energy of the workers and gain planned objectives.

Negative motivation

Negative motivation is additionally referred to as the ‘stick’ approach. It means to carry out some punishment to employees to produce desired behavior for the achievement of common goals. Negative incentives also can be monetary or non-monetary.

The monetary punishments involve fines, penalties, reduction of remuneration, bonus, allowances, and reduction of other financial incentives. The non-monetary punishment involves demotion, the threat of dismissal, transfer to remote areas, minimization of responsibilities, etc.

It often returns rise to defensive behavior of workers like the creation of unions, poor quality works, high employees turnover, etc. It may lead to the breakdown of the management. However, negative motivation cannot always be avoided, because according to time and situation it can best act as a tool for motivation.


Motivation is a process that starts with needs and ends at the achievement of incentives that fulfill the need. Especially, in the process of motivation, there are three elements, needs, drives, and incentives.

Needs. Needs are created when there’s felt of deprivation in the people. Need is that the origin of the motivation process. Humans have endless needs as the satisfaction of 1st need creates a wish for an additional need. For the attainment of endless need people do performance, this is often the main concern of each manager of the organization.

Drives. Physiological and psychological drives are action-oriented. Drives or motives are found out to form it easy to satisfy needs. They’re the main step of the motivational process. For instance, when people have the necessity for food that’s converted into a hunger drive. For the accomplishment of hunger, people are concerned about any quiet performance. Once they do any activity, it gives a return and helps for getting food to beat hunger.

Incentives. Incentive is that the end a part of a motivational cycle. It helps to meet needs and diminish drive. When people get incentives it helps to revive physical and psychological balance. For instance, when people have a requirement for food they involve in any quiet activity that gives them a return in terms of incentives. Once they get incentives in terms of remuneration they acquire food.

Needs, drives, and incentives are interrelated to each other. As mentioned, people have endless needs. To fulfill such needs they may involve in some activities on the basis of their expertise and knowledge to beat the needs.

Importance and Objectives

Motivation may serve various purposes, some purposes are:

  • Leads To Profitable Operation
  • Increases Productivity
  • Best Remedy For Resistance To Change
  • Effective Use of Human Resources
  • Satisfaction of Employees
  • Minimizes Organizational Disputes and Strike
  • Basis of Coordination
  • Stability of Workforce

Get a full explanation of these benefits, here…

Leave a Comment

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

%d bloggers like this: