The Importance of Understanding Workplace Motivation

Aug 30, 2021

Your people may have all the expertise in the world, but it is unlikely that they will use their complete potential if they are not motivated.

The first time I was asked what I wanted to become, I answered, “an astronaut”. Then, after a year or two, my answer was a lawyer. Well, I did win all the arguments with mom and dad. The year after that, my answer changed to an event manager. The idea of creating magical moments for people and getting paid for it sounded blissful, but I ‘only’ lacked creativity.

Then came the reality check. All I wanted was a fat paycheque. That’s when I realized I wanted to join my father’s business. So I started to take the initiative at every opportunity to learn all about how to manage a business and poured my heart into it.

As a passionate and curious teen, I wanted to pursue every new possibility that I came across. However, after I developed self-awareness and understood what motivates me, I could finally pursue one work area.

Motives play a significant role in determining what we do and how happy we are doing it. Each of us places value on different things in our environments and our jobs. As much as motives play an important role in personal life, they play an equally important role at the workplace.

At a workplace, an employee’s performance is a function of ability, motivation, and opportunity. Therefore, assessing motives facilitates evaluating the fit between an individual, the organization, and the job role.

There are three dimensions to motives in a workplace: Individual, Social, and Work motives.

1. Individual

This dimension focuses on personal accomplishments and expression. It can be classified into:

a. Achievement Motive — People driven by achievement motive often go an extra mile to do impactful work. They take the initiative and responsibility personally. They like a sense of challenge and accomplishment and therefore set their goals and go after them. They are hardworking, focused, and ready to learn, grow and progress.

b. Autonomy Motive — People driven by autonomy motive are independent and creative. Such people prefer to make their own decisions rather than use a consensus approach and have an individualistic approach that often leads to new ways of thinking and doing things. They dislike interference and being told what to do.

2. Social

This dimension focuses on interactions with peers. It can be classified into two motives.

a. Power and Influence Motive: People driven by power motive influence the behavior of others. They like to lead and guide the action of others and prefer leadership roles. They like to influence decisions and take charge and also look for opportunities to exercise authority and control.

At work, they enjoy spending time with higher-level managers and leaders. In addition, they are very interested in advancement and like to think that their work has an impact.

b. Relationship Motive: People driven by relationship motive seek opportunities to build strong relationships and serve others. They are most happy when working with others and can build rapport effortlessly.

Such people like to organize social activities, collaborate, and prefer group consensus, like harmony and comfortable relationships. In addition, they are quite approachable and often develop healthy relationships with people at work.

3. Work Environment

This dimension focuses on the work setting. It can be classified into two motives.

a. Security Motive: People driven by security motive seek environments that provide security and stability. They like predictability in their work environment and prefer clarity in their work. They avoid volunteering for assignments that are undefined and ambiguous. They are typically loyal employees, like job security and steady employment, and prefer a regular and secure source of income.

b. Balance and Comfort Motive: People driven by balance and comfort motive seek low-stress environments that place equal emphasis on non-work activities and enjoy having variety in their work. Such people like to balance all areas of life, not just work. As a result, they are more productive in the absence of stress and strive for comfortable, well-balanced work and home environment.

They have a wide variety of interests outside of work. They tend to be relaxed, laid back, and easy-going.

Out of these six motives, every individual has one dominant motive, which acts as the primary driver in choosing an area of work and an organization to work for.

Employee motivation is more than just a concept; it drives good employees to do great things. Therefore, understanding the importance of motivation within your workforce is essential for running a successful business.

When an employer understands employees’ motives, it leads to:

  1. A better understanding of employees’ interests, and therefore better performance and productivity.
  2. Lesser turnover and attrition rates and
  3. Smooth internal mobility.

Motivation is essential to embrace one’s potential. Motivated people enjoy their jobs and perform well.

Therefore, make sure you identify the primary motivating factor of your candidates during recruitment. We at PerspectAI have got your back with our scientific and easy to administer tools to assess multiple dimensions of a candidate’s personality, including what motivates them.

Sign up for a demo with us today to understand how we can help you find the right talent for the right job.

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