What Is Motivation And How It Works

How are businesses successful? What lies at the core of an efficient and productive workforce? How do we ensure the work of a business is optimally performed? Why do employees do what they are asked to do?

These are pertinent questions that needs answers to. Many people can and may give a single answer to all these questions. It may be a broad answer that it is efficient management. While the answer is good, the answer to questions such as these require depth and specification. At a deeper level one may answer supervision. While it may be hard to say it’s wrong, it’s not hard to advocate any equally compelling answer to these questions. The answer is motivation.

Motivation is incitement or inducement to act or move. It is the process of inducing the employees of an organisation to act in a predetermined desired manner so as to achieve organisational goals. At the core of this concept, lies three important sub-concepts. They are Motive, Motivation, and Motivator.

Motive refers to the inner state of mind that initiates and controls behaviour towards business goals. They directly correspond to the needs of individuals. Motivation is the process of stimulating action by understanding the needs of employee and by utilising their motives. Motivator is the technique used for motivation such as pay bonus, promotion among others.

 Importance of Motivation in an Organisation.

The process of motivation plays a very important role in any organisation, profit or non-profit. The managerial process of direction is driven primarily by the process of motivation as it creates within the mind of an employee the desire to work in the direction determined by the manager. The following aspects may be considered under this head:

  • Increases Productivity: Motivation as a process leads to an increase in productivity of the employee. Motivation meets the needs of the employee and thereby creates the drive to work at the best of his abilities. A well-employee will be willing to put in more effort towards the betterment of the organisation than another disheartened employee.
  • Ensures Organisational Efficiency: Motivation plays an important role in changing the attitudes of the employees in the organisation. Indifferent attitude is extinguished most efficiently by motivation. The presence of such favorable attitude allows the organisation to thrive and be successful.
  • Ensures Loyal Workforce: A well-motivated workforce is a loyal workforce. Motivated employees have high levels of morale and commitment towards the organisation and its goals and objectives. Motivation thus reduces employee turnover and reduces the need for constant induction of new employees.
  • Ensures a Reactive Workforce: Adapting to changing business environments is an important feature of any successful business. In order to react to changes easily and to continue smooth functioning, an organisation requires extensive loyalty and commitment of its employees. This reduces resistance to the changes that the organisation intends to make. This in effect makes the organisation efficient in adapting to changing needs.
  • Facilitates Direction: Direction is an important managerial function and forms one of its core function. Motivation as already mentioned is a vital part of direction. Direction being a process that involves directing or initiating action according to a plan drawn up requires the employees to work wholeheartedly with commitment and loyalty. The process of direction is thus possible only when the employees proceed in the direction that the manager determines and this requires a motivated workforce.


The role of motivation cannot be understated in an organisation. It is a simple process that requires an understanding of human mind and behaviour. Such an understanding and proper action thereby stimulating the motives of an employee helps in initiating and maintaining action and helps extensively in satisfying organisational objectives.

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