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A crucial role of management is to motivate and develop their workforce to ensure that they are as productive and creative as possible. Professor Herzberg defined motivation as:

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The will to work due to enjoyment of the work itself.

Motivation is what influences individuals to behave in a certain way and combined with individual skill and ability results in performance. Motivation helps people:

  • achieve their goals
  • gain a positive perspective on their private and working lives
  • create the power to change
  • manage their own development
  • build self esteem and positive self-esteem

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The heart of motivation is to give people what they really want most from work. The more you are able to provide what they want, the more you should expect what you really want, namely: productivity, quality and service.

Twyla Dell: How to Motivate People (1989)

Motivation can be classified as intrinsic or extrinsic. Employees are usually motivated by a combination of both intrinsic and extrinsic motivation

Intrinsic Motivation

Intrinsic motivation comes from within the person themselves. People engage in an activity because they receive satisfaction from it, not because they are rewarded for doing it or punished for not doing it. Employees may be intrinsically motivated if:

  • the job is challenging, stimulating and interesting
  • they can see the result of their efforts
  • they can control the way they work
  • they see that their work helps others

Extrinsic motivation

Extrinsic motivation comes from outside of the person. Good performance is rewarded with benefits and/or recognition. Pay and bonuses are obvious examples of rewards and may compensate for any lack of satisfaction from the work itself. Extrinsic motivation may not be positive, it may also be the result of threats such as redundancy or reduced rewards.