Best way to motivate

The best way to motivate is to organize the job so that doing it provides the feedback and challenge that helps satisfy the person’s higher level needs for things like accomplishments and recognition. These needs are relatively insatiable, so recognition and challenging work provide a sort of built in motivation generator. Satisfying lower level needs for things like better pay and working conditions just keep the person from becoming dissatisfied.

The factors satisfy lower level needs are different from those (motivators) that satisfy or partially satisfy higher level needs. If hygiene factors (factors outside the job itself, such as working conditions, salary and incentive pay) are inadequate employees become dissatisfied. However adding more of this hygiene (like incentives) to the job (supplying what Herzberg calls extrinsic motivation) is an inferior way to try to motivate someone, because lower level needs are quickly satisfied. Soon the person simply says in effect, what have you done for me lately? I want another raise.

Instead of relaying on hygiene says Herzberg the employer interested in creating a self motivated workforce should emphasize job content or motivator factors. Managers do these enriching workers’ jobs so that the jobs are more challenging and by providing feedback and recognition — make the job itself intrinsically motivating in other words. Here the motivation in a sense come from within the person and just dong the job provides the motivation. Among other things Herzberg’s theory makes the point that relying exclusively on financial incentives is risky. The employer should also provide the recognition and challenging work that most people desire.

Psychologist Edward Deci’s work highlights another potential downside to relying to heavily on extrinsic rewards: they may backfire. Deci found that extrinsic rewards could at times actually detract from the person’s intrinsic motivation. For example, a Samaritan who risks danger by rushing to an accident victim’s aid might be insulted if the victim said Thanks here’s some money for your trouble. The point may be stated thusly, Be cautious in devising incentive pay for highly motivated employees lest you advertently demean and detract from the desire they have to the do the job out of a sense of responsibility.

Victor Vroom


A person’s expectation that his or her effort will lead to performance


The perceived relationships between successful performance and obtaining the reward


The perceived value a person attaches to the reward.

Another important motivational fact is that in general people won’t pursue rewards they find unattractive or where the odds of success are very low. Psychologist Victor Vroom’s motivation theory echoes these commonsense observations. He says a person’s motivation to exert some level of effort depends on three things: the person’s expectancy (in terms of probability) that his or her effort will lead to performance; instrumentality or the perceived connection (if any) between successful performance and actually obtaining the rewards; and valence which represents the perceived value the person attaches to the reward. In Vroom’s theory motivation is thus a product of three things: Motivation = ( E x I x V), where of course, E represents expectancy), I instrumentality and V valence. If E or I or V is zero or inconsequential there will be no motivation.

First, if employees don’t expect that effort will produce performance, no motivation will occur. So, managers must ensure that their employees have the skills to do the job, and believe they can do the job. Thus training job descriptions and confidence building and support

Second, Vroom’s theory suggest that employees must be see the instrumentality of their efforts – they must believe that successful performance will in fact lead to getting the reward . Managers can accomplish this, for instance by creating easy to understand incentive plans.

Third, the reward itself must be of value to the employee. So ideally the manager should take individual employee preferences into account. Endeavor to use extrinsic and intrinsic rewards that make sense in terms of the specific behaviors you want to encourage.

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