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In this third wiki we are going to try to explain what motivates people and where motivation comes from. There are a lot of questions about the origin of our behavior and lots of psychologists, athletes, coaches and educators have been trying to answer them over centuries. Motivation is still one of the most interesting part of human mentality.

The actor needs to know what is the reason of the action in order to be able to perform it properly. (Gorman 2004)
Motivation explains needs to eat and drink, preferences for certain types of food, attraction of alcohol and even explains why people engage in ridiculously dangerous activities. In summary, motivation moves individuals and groups towards some goal.

There is something biological which pull us back from the edge of cliff, but on the other side there is also something which brings us to the top of the bridge with nothing but an elastic rope tied around our legs.

No one ever does anything without having been motivated to do it. Every thought you think of, every act which you voluntarily engage can be traced back to some definite motive or combination of motives. (Cairo, 1998)

This topic is divided into few sections:

1/ Basic definitions

This part is focused on definitions of Motivation. The main question to answer is : How can we describe motivation or reasons of our behavior?

  • Motivation is "the process that arouses, sustains and regulates human and animal behavior." (Collins English DIctionnary)
  • Motivation is an attempt to explain the ‘why’ of behavior. (Gorman, 2004)
  • Essentially, when we ask why a person or animal acts in particular way, we are asking about their motivation (Mook, 1996)

There is beautiful quotation of 30th President of the United States Calvin Coolidge about motivation:
“Nothing in this world can take the place of persistence. Talent will not; nothing is more common than unsuccessful people with talent. Genius will not; unrewarded genius is almost a proverb. Education will not; the world is full of educated derelicts. Persistence and determination are omnipotent. The slogan ‘press on’ has solved and always will solve problems of the human race”

Every explanation or definition of motivated behavior is related to one or another of these four concepts:
  • instinct: every human being is motivated for some reasons the same way as the others. It is a biological fact.
  • drive: it is an internal state of tension that motivates you to do things that would make this tension feeling disapear.
  • incentive: this is an external goal that you have that motivates you to behave in a special way.
  • arousal: it is a real motivator for your behaviour. It regulates your conscience and your attention.

There are three main definitions made by Phil Gorman in book ‘Motivation and Emotion’:
  1. "An instinctive desire to satisfy a specific physiological need or drive".
  2. "A decision to act in a particular way in order to gain satisfaction or reward".
  3. "The desire to increase or decrease one’s level of arousal".

In summary motivation is the desire to everyday actions, like desire to get out of the bed and have a breakfast. There is also desire to be successful which is connected with trying to be excellent in the work, day after day and leads us to do anything to achieve our goals.


2/ What motivates people?

What motivates people is a really wide question. Indeed, at first we could think about some topics as happiness, recognition, humanism, love, pleasure, power, freedom, sustainable development, to control techniques, results and objectives...
But answering to the question "What motivates people" is not that easy. Indeed, motivation is a really old topic as ancient philosophers have already thought about it. It was particularly elaborated by Eudaemonism and Socrate five centuries before J-C. His theory is that the pursuit of happiness is the goal of every human being’s life.
We are going to see in this second part that many different theory’s have been made after Socrate’s one. They are classified from the best known to the least known.

2.1 Maslow's theory

Abraham Harold Maslow (1908-1970) was an american professor of psychology who was considered as the founder of the humanistic approach in psychology. He is very famous for his explanation of “motivation” by the creation of a hierarchy of human needs.
It is important to notice that in a first place, human beings have needs. These needs can be classified in five levels, and they represent together a pyramid. At the top of the pyramid, there are the needs that are the hardest to satisfy because they are more complex. As long as a need is not satisfied, it stays a source of motivation to reach for the individual. When the individual reaches its goals, he can go to the level above. He can only pass from a bottom level to a higher level when the level underneath has been satisfied.
A human being is always looking forward to reach a higher level of the pyramid and this is what motivates him during his life.
We must notice that rare are the people that manage to satisfy their needs of the last level.

Below, is this Maslow pyramid of the hierarchy of human needs, with an explanation of each level.

  • Physiological level : This takes into account survival needs for the individual and for the whole specie. These are prMaslow's_theory.jpgactical needs such as breathing, eating, drinking, sleeping, reproducing the specie...
  • Safety level : It consists in protecting ourselves against all dangers possible. It can be the security of body, employment, resources, family and health.
  • Social level : The individual needs to feel that he is part of a group (family, friends, at work, in an association...) and that he is accepted by this group.
  • Esteem level : This level is a prolongation of the previous level. The individual needs to be recognized for what he is in the group. He is looking for self-esteem, confidence, achievements, respect of others, prestige, status...
  • Self-actualisation level : The individual is looking for challenging projects, opportunities to develop its creativity and spontaneity. It is, according to Maslow, the highest human aspiration. The aim is to leave out a purely physical condition in order to achieve development. For that reason, we can consider this level antagonist to the physiological needs. (Maslow 1943)

It is now interesting to notice that Maslow has been critized. Some people say that his hierarchy can not be seen in a universal way because all human beings do not have the same needs. Others say that, when a need is satisfied, it can still stay a source of motivation. That is to say that, an individual can have more than one source of motivation and that these sources of motivation can be on different levels of the pyramid.

2.2 Douglas MacGregor's theory

Douglas McGregor (1906-1964) was a management professor at MIT that wrote the famous book The Human Side of Enterprise, in 1960. He has observed that people in a company or in an organization may be managed in two different ways.
The first one is mostly negative; it is the X theory, whereas the second one is mostly positive, it is the Y theory.
These theories show the different behaviours about the workforce motivation.


Above is a diagram of the X and Y theory, where both management methods are represented.

The X theory is a vicious circle where the main type of management is the authority, often resented by employees. It increases the work aversion.
In contrast, the Y theory is a virtuous circle where the main type of management is participative. (McGregor 1960, 43)

2.3 Frederick Herzberg's theory

According to Herzberg, the circumstances that lead to satisfaction and motivation at work, are not the same kind as those leading to dissatisfaction and discontent.

Below are shown in a table, the factors that lead to satisfaction and dissatisfaction.


This theory shows that the work content rather than the frame is important for the satisfaction of the workers.
This work content must provide opportunities for accomplishment and recognition of this achievement.
When these factors are present, people have positive attitudes regarding their work.
But, if these factors are absent, there is not dissatisfaction, but simply a lack of satisfaction. (Louart 2002)

Herzberg's theory has also been critized. The main point is that salary can be put in a source of insatisfaction and as well in a source of dissatisfaction. If you are not payed enough then you will be dissatified, and if you are well payed then you will be satisfied.

2.4 Vroom's theory

Vroom has developed a theory based on three features (hence the name of the theory: V.I.E theory):
  • Valence (V): This is the value (which could be positive or negative) that you give to a result, a performance. It is answer to the question: “Is what I get back about my performance important for me?”. It could be salary, free time ... The valence is measurable on a scale from -10 to +10.
  • Instrumentality (I): This is the performance linked to the result. It is the probability of the link between the reached performance and the reward for it. It is the answer to the question: “If I do this, will I get that in return?”. The instrumentality is measurable on a scale from 0 to 1.
  • Expectancy (E): This answers to the questions: "Does the effort reach the performance?".That is to say: “Am I able to?”. The expectancy is measurable on a scale from 0 to 1.

The motivation (F) is therefore calculated: F = E * (∑V * I)

We need to emphasize something in this equation: This is not an addition but a multiplication. If one of the three features worth 0, the whole equation (and so, the motivation) will worth 0.

For example:
If I do not feel able to perform my boss’ job (E) while he is on holiday, I will not be motivated even if I would love to do it (V) and if I know I would get well seen by him (I).
If I feel able to perform my boss’ job (E) while he is on holiday but I don’t see how I could get well seen by him (I), even if I would love to (V); I would not be motivate.
If I feel able to perform my boss’ job (E) and if I know I will get well see (I), but I do not want it; I will not be motivated. (Font 2001)

2.5 McClelland's theory

David McClelland has made a theory based on three sorts of motivating needs:
1. Power’s need
2. Affiliation’s need
3. Achievement’s need

Persons who are attracted by the power’s need could be tended to influence and control. They would try to be at the centre. They are ambitious and they may be motivated if we give them key or power positions.

Number two’s category is the affiliation one, the one for persons who are sociable. They naturally go to others. Persons who are attracted by the affiliation’s need are conducted by faith and love. So they prefer to be surrounded by friends. They may be motivated by social recognition and others’ affiliation.

Last category is the one for persons who are attracted by the achievement’s need. They look forward success’ challenges but are afraid to fail. They tend to take risk, but they calculate the risk’s rate before. Therefore they are also analytical. In this category, people are motivated by success’ chances.

McClelland has also noted that when people get more responsibilities, higher job positions in organisations, they are tended to become part of the first or third group.
(McClelland 1961)

2.6 Conclusion

In this second part, we have seen five different main theories about motivation. Some were worldwide known, others less, but the main point is still there. Motivation is a complex system which cannot be reached easily. Taylor said that the motivation only depends on the reward. The reward is actually, just one part of the whole process of motivation, sometimes it even has nothing to be with.

What motivates people? There are lots of things as we have seen, as reward, expectancy, satisfaction, recognition, development... but the only way to motivate may be to control all of these factors and to implement them. This is why in the next part, we explain how to develop motivation at work.


3/ Developing motivation at work

3.1 Basic Knowledge

As motivation is a reason of every action it is needed in every organization. Without motivation there is no action and then no services and products. It is important for a manager to find out how to develop approaches to your staff and motivate them.

At first you need to understand employee’s needs. You can reach it by communication with them. Then give them environment which provides opportunities for people to grow and develop and transfer more responsibility for their own development. The most important motivator seem to be feedbacks and valuation. Without it staff doesn’t know if their work is pointless or not. Share customer’s reviews with staff.

3.2 How Organizations Motivate Managers

If you are rewarded or recognized for doing something, you will be motivated; if you reward others, they will be motivated. (Cairo, 1998)

Key factors for motivation and engagement (Ashridge survey, 2009):
What Managers Want

What Organization Rely On
1. (29%)
Challenging/Interesting work
2. (14%)
2. (11%)
Opportunity to continually learn and develop skills and knowledge
5. (8%)
3. (10%)
A high basic salary
6. (7%)
4. (7%)
Having the authority to run ‘my own show’
15. (3%)
5. (7%)
Clear career advancement within the organization
8. (4%)
6. (6%)
Knowing my decisions have an impact on the organization
14. (3%)
7. (5%)
Performance related pay/incentive schemes
1. (18%)

Most organizations think that rising of payment is the key motivator. However only 5% of asked managers agree and they more prefer high basic salary. Both, organizations and individuals, feel importance in challenging and interesting work. Very important is also good leadership, giving proper feedback and valuating work, in opposite case individuals are demotivated.

There are few points about motivation based on survey by Ashridge (2009):

1. What does your organization do to demotivate you?
  • Poor management/leadership, slow decision making, risk aversion at the top
  • Poor top managers and leaders
  • Not valuated, lack of feedback
  • Big difference between top manager and average employee salary

2. What does your organization do to motivate you?
  • Autonomy, empowerment, trust and freedom
  • Share the vision, values and benefits; engaged
  • Involved, consulted and values my opinions
  • Pay and reward
  • More recognition, thanks, encouragement and feedback
  • Improved communications, more visibility of top team, contact, talk more, be more open
  • More money

As one of good motivators seems be fulfilling basic needs of employees by providing them free services or with discount. Like for example Google which provides gyms, laundry rooms, massage rooms, haircuts etc. to employees.

3.3 How Managers Motivate their Staff

Being valued, having clear goals, being trusted and empowered; familiar issues on the list of what managers say motivates them personally. It is hardly surprising to find that they use the same approaches when thinking about how best to motivate their staff. (Ashridge 2009)

Three quarters of managers said that it’s easy to motivate staff. Rest of them disagrees. In some of cases it’s caused by negative environment in whole organization which manager can’t change. On the other hand some companies offer training in giving feedback, motivation and coaching.

In most situations are requirements for motivation same as in managers case. The staff appreciate showing respect, space for develop and grow, and giving feedback and talk with them. One of important guideline is: No man – or woman – is an island. Which means a good team ethos is valued, where everyone shares highs and lows of the task in hand. A team that reviews performance together is likely to be one that achieves their targets and objectives.

There are some advices how to motivate staff:
  • Give them freedom to organize their own work
  • Let them use their own initiative
  • Be open, honest, encouraging and supportive
  • Make your staff feel they are valued
  • Support and challenge each other
  • Build excellent team spirit (The best way is non-work activities e.g. football tournament and other sports competitions)
  • Make them feel they can come to you as necessary

3.4 Summary

In though economic times such as the current down-turn the quality and commitment of staff becomes even more important. Success is more likely to follow if you attract, and keep, high effective staff who feel valued and appreciated. As the team work became most popular and important, needs for team motivation are rising. How to motivate whole team is topic of next part.


4/ Motivating teams

4.1 How can you motivate your team?

Motivation needs to be focused on clear, specific, realistic and achievable goals. Everyone needs different kind of motivation, your job is discover what is the best for your team. They may well be different from yours and will give you useful insights into what drives people.

Your staff may say money is a motivator but if you look closely, you will find that it is frequently more of a stepping-stone to another goal: for instance, money to travel, retire early or a desire for recognition. A sense of belonging also motivates. The smaller the group to which someone belongs is, the stronger the loyalty, motivation and effort is. Participation motivates. People feel more motivated when they feel their involvement in a project is important and valued. Often we exclude our greatest assets, the people around us from decisions in which they could be usefully included. Challenges motivate and people often rise to the occasion. However, it can also be demotivating if they are too difficult, or conversely, too easy to achieve. Motivation needs recognition and reward even if it is something as simple as a thank you.

4.2 What causes demotivation?

There are many goalposts which going demotivation team. You should do your team whats happen, if you do not tell about it, you can demotivatite your team. Not showing faith or trust in people can demotivate them, since they are not considered as important.
Arbitrary decisions which are not consistent for all members of staff, and humiliating people in front of their peers.
Pay, work conditions or available facilities can affect motivation, and often small changes can make big differences.

"Here are some signs of demotivation:

4.3 Advices to motivate

Motivating team is a big challenge. People in your team have different mentality, so you should use lots of different methods to motivate them. A good thing would be to motivate yourself first. If the others see that you are motivated they will want to work as good as you are doing. But it is not enough. A good way to motivate your team is to set goals for the team at the beginning. When people work for one goal, they are focused on it and are going to work better and faster. If one's work becomes mundane and uninteresting, it is a good idea to give a more challenging assignment to that person. One of the easiest way to motivate your team is to be appreciative. It is very easy, because you should only use small words as "Thank you", or "Good job", but then people in you team are motivated, because they see that you are glad and happy of their job.

A good advice would also be to take time to chat with your team members. Find a time to ask them about any concerns or problems. Ask would make their life easier. If you know your team, you can easily find sometimes bad things in your teamwork. Often, quite simple and cheap things can be done that will really improve people’s day to day experience of work.

The most known motivation is a prize. Some organizations use a prize to motivate employees in to better results. The prize doesn't have to be money. It can be anything from a diploma to a weekend at the spa. We all know that a prize motivates. When you have something to thank you for the job well done, you can handle the tasks better and try to achieve the best possible results. The prize could also be a better salary according to your knowledge, skills and experience. Is it fair that a person with many years of experience and a degree that shows his knowledge gets the same salary as an intern who has no experience or knowledge? Many organizations uses this only according to the years of experience, not including the knowledge at all.

This video is about Two Types of Motivation:
  • Intrinsic Motivation: motivated by internal factors, hobbies, doing things just for the fun of it.
  • Extrinsic Motivation: motivation caused by external source, trips, money, prizes.

Intrinsic motivation is much stronger.

This video shows in the most easiest way two kind of motivation. What kind of goals do you have.

Some organizations use a system to give prizes to employees. This system is based on the companies score. If the company does well financially the employees get a monetary compensation for their hard work. These compensations should only be in adding to the salary, not a raise because what happens when the company doesn't succeed that well financially.

The manager of the organization should be interested in his employees and keep their motivation up. If employees are comfortable in the work environment and well motivated the organization or team can achieve better results and new goals.

So in this part we have seen all about motivating a team and what are causes of the motivation. Next we are going to deal with communication roles in motivation. How does motivation and communication relate to one another and how can you motivate team members by communicating with them? You will find answers to these questions in the next part.


5/ Role of communication

Communication is a way to exchange opinions and knowledge. When a person tells another person about something and the other person replys and shares their own experinces or knowledge communication happens. But the real question here is: how does this relate to motivation? It is essential that people communicate in a work environment. Communication helps employees to achieve goals and get ahead. Some people may say that they are afraid to communicate. This might happen because of the old fashioned leading type. The leader is the boss of the employees and they are afraid of the leader. The employees are used to doing their own work in private without the help of anyone else.

5.1 Communication in team work

In teams communication works. A team must play together to achieve a certain goal. If the team members do not communicate with each other the goal will not be achieved. Communication in a work environment motivates people because it strengthens the team. When team members communicate all the knowledge is out there. One of the team members might be expert in a certain part where the other one is not so familiar with. If someone does not know the answer to a question another team member might know the answer. You might say that in a way communication keeps all the team members safe because they do not have to know everything. There are many ways to communicate in a team and in a company as emails, face-to-face, meetings, intranet, circulars...

One of the best forms to develop the motivation of people is the communication. In companies, we use motivation in order to get the workers achieve the objectives. But this needs feedback in order to be effective. This is a table that shows the process of work improvement by using communications skills as brainstorming for example.

That is
Technique used
Progressive improvement
Analyse your work
Research for possible improvements
Team development
Control your personal work
Workers recognize their work and try to improve it
Freedom to have decisions
Workers get the satisfaction of a job well done
Feedback to the rest of te team

Communication should be a feature for the team to be effective. The team should set up clear objectives, make sure that everyone is participating in the group, let the freedom expression, trust the other group members... All types of communication have a number of tools to motivate staff such as:
  • The information
It is necessary inform to the workers of the company´s situation, how they must do the work and the work of each member in order to obtain a feedback.
  • Daily schedule
Whit this medium it is possible to distinguish what is the important things and also it can be established an order of priority.
  • Assignment of responsibilities
Must be related to the capabilities of the individual and their responsability must be increased gradually.
  • Evaluate the work done
In this way it is possible to correct the mistakes and also people´s motivation and workers aware of the evaluation methods.

On the other hand there are some sources used for the creation of motivation:
  • The first one is the attraction to the group because closer is the worker to the group more motivated will be
  • The second one is the emotional stability because a emotional balance is needed
  • The third one is the operating balance, work must be allocated equitably
  • The last one is a good communication because if it does not exist it will not be good motivation

5.2 Delegation used as motivation

Delegation is a process in which a controller gives a portion of their work to another person, in this way is possible to increase the motivation of the person who is delegated. In order to obtain this objective we must follow this steps:
  1. Describe the task and provide the necessary information
  2. Tell to the person who is delegated what is his/her work
  3. Ensure that he/shestand her/his work
  4. To investigate the resources to be used for the accomplishment of the task
  5. Set the working methods

5.3 Self-esteem used as motivation

Self-esteem is the love that you have for yourself, people are all the time correlating with the rest of the people through communicaion so, the motivation is marked by social interactions.
Included in the self-esteem´s functions we can find:
  • Regulate the behavior through its relationship with the emotional aspects of the person
  • Is a motivator for people because we want a status improves when assign the most presigious groups

5.4 Active listening

First is necessary to know the difference between hearing and listening. While hearing is a process does not get too interested, listening is paying attention to the message received. To take advantage of our listening can use verbal reinforcement ( words like perfect, right...) or nonverbal ( look closely, nodding, smiling...). It is advisable to use active listening when:
  • We want to encourage our partner
  • We want to identify information about your problem
  • We would like to soften aggressive comments
  • We would like to encourage the participation of a member


6/ Conclusion

Now we have introduced you to motivation theories and how motivation really works in a work environment. You have seen that many theories have been established and that they all considered different features. In practice it is still the same, they are so many things to take care of if you want to reach to a motivated team. Motivation is really an important part in achieving results. Indeed, if the team is not motivated they might feel tired, exhausted and bored of what they have to do. And if they feel so, results in your company will not be there. So motivation is an essantial part of teamwork.


7/ References

7.1 Books

  • Cairo, J. 1998. Motivation and Goal-setting: How to Set and Achieve Goals and Inspire Others
  • Gorman, P. 2004. Motivation and Emotion
  • Holton V., Dent F., Rabbetts J. 2009. Motivation and Employee Engagement in the 21st Century: A Survey of management Views
  • Maslow, A.H. 1943. A theory of human motivation.
  • Maslow, A.H. 1987. Motivation and Personality
  • McClelland, D C. 1961. The Achieving Society. United-States: Free Press
  • McGregor, D. 1960. The Human Side of Enterprise. New-York: Annotated edition.

7.2 Websites

  • Collins English Dictionnary. 2003. HarperCollins. Accessed 21.10.2010
  • Font, A. 2001. La théorie des attentes : Vroom. Accessed: 18.10.2010
  • How to motivation your team. Accessed 20.10.2010
  • Louart, P. 2002. Maslow, Herzberg et les théories du contenu motivationnel. Accessed 18.10.2010
  • Motivation and communication, 2009. Accessed 19.10.2010
  • Norwood, G. 2009. Maslow's Hierarchy of Needs. Accessed 16.10.2010
  • Shah, K. 2000. Theories of Motivation. Accessed 16.10.2010