Influence of Motivation on Employee Performance

Posted on April 10, 2020

The issue of motivation is one of the fundamental aspects of human resources management and the organization’s effectiveness. Motivation is a psychological concept, a factor that makes people work harder and take responsibility for various tasks. Experts argue about the role of motivation for modern employees because various specialists state that the role is overrated. They base such assumptions on the willingness of a person to work and circumstances in which the person takes action. However, the effectiveness and positive influence of motivation are scientifically proved by experiments that clearly show an increase in quality and employee performance.

Motivation is a psychological concept that includes various desires, needs, and wants that drive a person to take specific actions. In terms of human resources management, motivation is a tool for improvement of the performance of employees and making them more productive. Theoretically, this concept was represented in the Maslow’s needs hierarchy, which was developed in 1954 (Robertson 143). Maslow states that all needs can be divided into stages depending on their importance for the person. The hierarchy of needs includes eight issues such as:

  1. Physiological necessities such as thirst, hunger, and other matters of bodily comfort.
  2. The state of safety or security; it is necessary for every person to feel himself/herself out of danger.
  3. Belongingness and love; one needs a sense of being accepted by society, a circle for communication, and community.
  4. Esteem needs, including gaining approval and recognition.
  5. A need to know, explore, and understand various issues.
  6. Aesthetic needs because a person feels more comfortable in symmetry, order, and beauty.
  7. Self-actualization or realization of potential.
  8. Self- transcendence, including creativity, morality, and the ability to solve problems (Robertson 145).

The hierarchy offered by Maslow shows that a person should have specific considerations in order to feel physically and mentally comfortable. This theory states that these are particular aspects that can make people work harder in order to fill a certain level of the hierarchy. As a result, the motivation of employees can be included in several stages of Maslow’s pyramid, and the main task of the HR manager is to implement effective methods of motivation.

Numerous experts are analyzing the aspect of employee performance and its interconnection with motivation currently. The modern theory of motivation is based on its division into intrinsic and extrinsic motivation. Intrinsic motivation refers to the kind of motivation that goes from the internal willingness of a person to make things that bring satisfaction to him or her. At the same time, extrinsic motivation can also be associated with satisfaction, but this interconnection is indirect. This kind of motivation provides employees with resources that they can further use for satisfaction of their needs; these resources are predominantly money or various material opportunities. Therefore, the intrinsic and extrinsic motivation of employees refers to self-development and self-regulation that drive a person to professional activity and growth (Danish et al. 36). Understanding motivation theory is significant because it allows us to explain why this aspect is essential for maintenance and an increase in employees’ performance.

Several fundamental functions can characterize motivation as a category of human resource management. First of all, measures of motivation allow a manager to put all human resources into action, aiming to receive maximum effectiveness and productivity. In fact, every enterprise or organization requires appropriate efforts from employees striving to maintain the work and efficiency of the company. Of course, the primary motivation in this prospective is salary because its flexibility can motivate employees to use all possible resources (Danish et al. 36). The following aspect of motivation is connected with the improvement of employees’ efficiency. HR managers should understand that the professionalism, qualification, and abilities of the employee are not only characteristics that construct the general effectiveness of a person (Chand). Psychologically, every individual needs to be aware of personal and corporate goals in order to organize work productively and feel an interconnection between efforts made and the benefit received. Motivation is a direct contribution to an increase in workers’ productivity, reduction of operational costs, and improvement of the overall efficiency of a company’s staff.

The issue of motivation is intimately interconnected with the achievement of organizational goals because these conditions are a base for motivation. The process of corporate aims realization can be successful exclusively in case the management of the company creates comfortable conditions for employees. This environment should promote the effective utilization of resources and cooperative conditions for employees. Additionally, the natural conditions for the achievement of corporate goals are a purposive manner of employees’ work and their goal-directed behavior at work. Finally, all these circumstances can be established exclusively through effective coordination and cooperation developed individually for the environment of the company; the central part of this organization is the aspect of motivation. In this prospect, motivation is necessary for business because it allows the clear establishment of all goals for employees and effective regulation of all purposes.

One of the most significant functions of motivation is the active development of the environment inside a team. Employees feel interconnection with management and their colleagues in such a way to receive support, satisfaction, and benefits. Motivation measures can help to build friendly relations between formal leaders of the company and employees. In fact, there are several ways of this system’s development, including monetary and non-monetary initiatives, provision of various opportunities for employees, and also a system of fines for inefficient workers (Chand). Both positive and negative motivation establishes a subordination between the management of a company and employees because it provides a framework for behavior. Generally speaking, relations in a team, despite its domestic hierarchy, can be shaped by motivation because employees become more adaptable to changes, interested in overall team performance and appreciation of a company’s leaders.

The final function that a motivation performs for a company is the improvement of the company’s stability. Generally speaking, the stability of a workforce includes a sense of reputation and goodwill of the staff. Adequately motivated employees stay loyal to an enterprise maintaining its stability in various prospects. In addition, appropriately motivated employees create a positive reputation for the company at the market because they are responsible, professional, hardworking, and ready to make efforts to reach higher results. These people are psychologically loyal to their organization and feel a sense of duty to represent the company positively among others. All listed functions of motivation show that this issue generally has positive effects on the effectiveness and functioning of the business. Motivation makes employees more interested in the work process, more united, and ready to use their resources for the improvement of the company’s affairs.

The represented information included the positive influence of motivation on the productivity of the company on the general corporate level. However, motivation in terms of human resource management is also essential for personal productivity and satisfaction of employees. Every employee has specific individual goals in terms of work at the enterprise; these goals can also be a part of motivation initiated by management. For example, opportunities for career growth, an increase in salary, or extension of duties can be considered by workers as personal goals and, at the same time, be a tool for motivation. In addition, a person motivated at a workplace is predominantly satisfied with the profession and benefits it provides to him or her. Motivated people are more likely to become efficient members of staff and make a more significant contribution to the productivity of a team. Finally, motivation at a workplace can also initiate a person to make efforts for self-development in order to correspond with the requirements of the company.

Human resource management theory considers motivation as a complicated process because it should be based on specific conditions effective for separate groups of employees. For example, monetary motivation can be effective for people that establish money as the main purpose of professional activity. However, finances cannot be effective enough in case a person seeks comfort and job satisfaction. Proving the importance of motivation for the performance of employees, it is significant to emphasize that the effects of motivation are quite complicated to reach. First of all, HR managers, in cooperation with the leadership of the company, have to analyze the necessities of employees and offer benefits based on the results of such analysis. Among the main factors that are determining motivation can be job satisfaction, achievements, working conditions, need for money, self-development, and respect.

Job satisfaction is a crucial aspect that determines the positive influence of motivation on employees’ performance. In case workers feel satisfied and comfortable at the workplace, they tend to improve their productivity and make significant efforts to reach the company’s goals. Job satisfaction can include various aspects such as finances, conditions, relations in a team and with leaders, and even infrastructure of the company’s facilities. In addition, job satisfaction can be determined as indirect motivation because a person will be more productive and engaged in the working process in case he or she is satisfied with the working environment. As a result, the management of the company has to take into account the position and necessities of employees, aiming to provide them with the maximum possible comfortable working conditions. Such a step will drive people to more productive and responsible work and can become a ground for future additional motivation measures.

The research of Ismail Nizam on the influence of motivation on the performance of employees in the electronics industry in China represents a specific framework regarding the place of motivation in the system of work with human resources. The researcher states that the management of any company should place training and development, a delegation of authority, rewards, and recognition before the stage of motivation (Bao & Nizam 31). These aspects should be considered as a basis for motivation that further influences the overall performance of employees. Generally speaking, Nizam proves that motivation is an inalienable aspect for an effective and productive working process. What is more, the researcher describes an experimental investigation of motivation influence on workers of the electronics industry. He states that workers of this sphere are always seeking recognition, an extension of power, financial benefits, and broader working opportunities (Bao & Nizam 38). As a result, people become more productive because they are interested in results both for them personally and for the company as a whole.

Generally speaking, motivation is one of the fundamental concepts of human resource management, and HR managers have to approach this problem aiming to increase the performance of employees. There are specific ways that can be implemented by the administration to motivate employees. One of the most effective and widely applied methods is financial benefits, including an increase in salary or various benefits and bonuses. The manager establishes a specific scale of work completing which an employee can receive additional money. Modern HR managers often do not appropriately estimate the moral and communicational encouragement of employees to work. As follows, a sense of recognition and support should be accepted as a necessity based on the hierarchy of Maslow. As a result, encouragement is significant for the maintenance of motivation and the close interconnection between an employee and a manager. An essential kind of motivation refers to the delegation of duties that can be realized in case an employee appears effective in teamwork. Finally, various opportunities for self-development, entertainment, education, and even sport or relaxation can be offered to workers as bonuses for better performance.

Several theories claim that motivation at a workplace is ineffective because the necessity or willing of a person to work is exclusively a result of an individual’s internal state. For example, the drive-reduction theory represented by Clark Hull stated that a person could be driven only by biological or individual psychological needs. The researcher proves that motivation should be accepted exclusively as an inherent ability of a person. Specific necessities cause behavior, and it depends only on the internal state of the human mind and body (Kringelbach and Berridge 29). However, this theory appears to be outdated and is often criticized because it does not consider the external environment. The motivation at a workplace is based on the creation of specific conditions in which a person will feel a necessity to work. This aspect proves that external motivation is effective because it influences the satisfaction of both the psychological and biological needs of a person.

In conclusion, it is possible to state that motivation is a condition that is basic for improvement and maintenance of high professional performance among employees. Motivation fulfills numerous positive functions for a company and an employee personally. It contributes to the sustainability of an enterprise, improves its reputation, increases revenue, and also creates a more comfortable environment for communication between employees and management. Motivation is intimately interconnected with job-satisfaction of employees because a person is more productive being satisfied with his or her workplace. Finally, human resources managers should consider the aspect of motivation because it is a significant psychological category that provides people with a sense of comfort and a company with better employees’ performance.

Works Cited
Bao, Connie, and Dr. Ismail Nizam. “The Impact of Motivation On Employee Performance In The Electronics Industry In China.” International Journal of Accounting and Business Management, vol. 3, no. 2, 2015, pp. 29–45., doi: 10.24924/ijabm/2015.11/v3.iss2/29.45.

Chand, Smriti. “7 Most Important Types of Motivation: Business Management.” Your Article Library, 11 Dec. 2019,

Danish, Rizwan Qaiser, et al. “Effect of Intrinsic Rewards on Task Performance of Employees: Mediating Role of Motivation.” International Journal of Organizational Leadership, vol. 4, no. 1, Jan. 2015, pp. 33–46., doi:10.33844/ijol.2015.60415.

Kringelbach, Morten L., and Kent C. Berridge. “Neuroscience of reward, motivation, and drive.” Recent Developments in Neuroscience Research on Human Motivation. Emerald Group Publishing Limited, 2016. 23-35.

Robertson, Fiona. “Maslow’s hierarchy of needs.” Gower Handbook of Internal Communication. Routledge, 2016. 143-148.

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