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Motivation theories Essay


Motivation is the force that drives people into action and encourages them into exerting more effort towards carrying out something. Motivated employees feel more comfortable and will have feelings of happiness and fulfillment. Besides, motivated workers tend to produce quality results, and are more productive than their counterparts are.

Different factors exist that can determine how an individual is motivated; for instance, everyone has basic needs like; food and shelter which can be catered for by pay. However, other diverse motivators exist that stimulate people into action. A creative environment can encourage motivation especially in design where a high level of creativity is critical.

Some workers will do well given the problem solving nature of their jobs and support initiative against challenges. Besides, creative staff will find the diverse nature of their occupation encouraging because they have the opportunity to try special responsibilities.

Theories of Motivation – Elton Mayo

According to Elton Mayo, employees are not only motivated by pay, but could also be highly motivated if their social needs are fulfillment especially when they are at the workplace (Sheldrake, 2003). Mayo introduced a new way of looking at employees and argued that managers and supervisors need to have an interest in employees. This involves valuing their opinions and treating them in a worthwhile manner by recognizing that they take pride in inter-personal interactions.

While coming up with the theory, Mayo experimented at the Western Electric Hawthorne factory in Chicago. He separated two groups of women employees and viewed the outcome to productivity intensity in varying environments like working conditions and lighting. Contrary to his expectations, he was surprised to note the productivity of the employees improved or remained constant even with varying lighting and other working conditions. He then concluded that employees are highly motivated by various factors.

Among his top picks are better communication between employees and their managers. When employees feel there exists consultation on their roles and responsibilities with the managers, they tend to perform better also if given the chance to give feedback.

The second factor he discovered was the fact that employees responded very well to increased manager participation in their working lives. Besides the two, Mayo also identified teamwork as a motivator in working environments. He stated that corporate and businesses should reorganize to encourage teamwork, which is a theory that closely links to paternalistic management style.

Abraham Maslow

In the 1950’s, Abraham Maslow with Frederick Herzberg came up with the neo-human relations school. According to Montana and Charnov (2008), “The school focused on employees’ psychological needs” (p. 408). In his theory, Maslow illustrates five stages in human needs that workers need to fulfill at the workplace.

Maslow then structured the needs into a hierarchy. When a lower need is fulfilled that an employee will be motivated to the next stage or need. For instance, a person threatened by hunger will have a great motivation to achieve a basic wage to satisfy the need to eat by buying food. in this sense, the person will have less motivation towards getting a formal or secure employment.

At the bottom, of Maslow’s hierarchy of needs, physiological needs are the lowest and the most basic; this involves the basic needs of humans, which he argued must be satisfied to sustain life. After the physiological needs are satisfied, attention now shifts towards safety.

In a job environment, this could mean the workers are motivated to such things like living in a safe area, secure job and medical insurance as well as saving for the future. Mackay (2007) noted that “If employees feel there is not enough security provided by their jobs, higher needs will remain unattended” (p.281). Social needs are third in the hierarchy.

Maslow’s theory explains that once the lower levels are satisfied, social needs become a motivator as people have other needs for friends or the need to belong. Esteem needs come after employees feeling the need to be recognized and build their reputation. At the peak of the hierarchy, Maslow describes that this is where people pursue the need to self -actualize.

However, Montana and Charnov (2008) state that “Maslow’s theory stipulates that need to self- actualize is not fully realized as people are constantly pursuing changing endeavors” (p.191). The needs here are mostly related to truth, justice and meaning.

Theories’ application in creative technology

In creative businesses, such as website design, businesses should strive towards giving incentives that meet the needs of the staff to motivate them to progress up the hierarchy.

Furthermore, Maslow’s theory dictates that, it is essential for managers to realize that workers respond differently to different incentives to increase output. Besides, all workers progress up the hierarchy at different paces. According to Mayo’s theory, creative employees should be encouraged to work in teams. Sheldrake (2003) found out that “creativity seems to be strengthened by teamwork” (p.122).

Motivation Theory in marketing

When applying motivation theories in marketing, few changes are necessary. As explained by O’Neil and Drillings (1994) “different employees in different departments will be motivated by different incentives” (p.233). In the marketing of merchandise, high levels of motivation are required from the staff.

A good salary package and attractive benefits attracted from the sales will be necessary in ensuring maximum productivity is reached. On the contrary, employees in creative fields require a serene working environment among other incentives to maximize on productivity.

Motivation tools and techniques

Pleasure technique is one of the oldest. The tool ensures a pleasurable reward for productivity and in turn creates motivation in employees to become more productive, besides when employees feel that their efforts are being rewarded they will tend to produce more and more.

According to Daft and Lane (2007) “performance incentives play a key role in ensuring high levels of motivation” (p. 102). It works best by creating an appeal to people’s selfishness, and by giving employees an opportunity to earn more, you as an employer will earn more.

In addition, setting deadlines will help achieve more as workers will tend to realize more productivity and are able to concentrate more when nearing a deadline. This can be achieved by creation of smaller deadlines that lead to a bigger result. It is important for managers to encourage team spirit and create an environment of teamwork.

Mackay (2007) noted that “when people work in a team they tend to be more effective” (p. 253) and besides, they don’t want to pull others down by not putting enough effort. Encouraging creativity is very essential, as employees feel more comfortable within an optimistic environment. The last tool for effective motivation is communication. Managers should uphold open channels of communication. This enables one to fix the problems as soon as they arise and it creates a better working environment.


It is important for every business to take note of the theory to implement. Depending on its line of trade, various incentives may be given to employees to maximize production.

References List

Daft, R. L., & Lane, P. G. (2007).The leadership experience. Florence, KY: Cengage Learning

Mackay, A. (2007). Motivation, Ability and Confidence Building in People. London: Taylor & Francis

Montana, P. J., &Charnov, B. H. (2008).Management. Hauppauge, NY: Barron’s Educational Series

O’Neil, H. F., Drillings, M. (1994).Motivation: Theory and Research.New York, NY: Routledge

Sheldrake, J. (2003).Management theory. Florence, KY: Cengage Learning

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