Work motivation: How it influences work performance

Discover how work motivation directly influences employee performance and productivity.

Career development

Work motivation is a crucial component in the work environment, which directly influences employee performance and productivity.  

In this article, we will see what work motivation is, and how it affects work performance. 

What is work motivation? 

Work motivation is the set of impulses, desires, needs and expectations that drive a working person to carry out certain activities or achieve certain objectives within their work environment.  

This motivation can be intrinsic, that is, originating from within the individual (such as the desire for personal improvement or the satisfaction of doing a job well done), or extrinsic, coming from external incentives (such as a salary increase or public recognition). 

As you can see, employee motivation is essential to understand and optimize work performance, since an adequate motivating force can increase satisfaction, commitment and effectiveness in work tasks.  

Theories of work motivation 

One of the most influential theories in the field of work motivation is that of Frederick Herzberg, who proposed the two-factor theory. According to Herzberg, there are factors that can lead to job satisfaction and others that can cause dissatisfaction. 

Two-factor theory 

  • Satisfaction Factors: Satisfaction factors, also known as motivating factors, are those that generate a sense of fulfilment and personal growth at work. Recognition, professional development opportunities, and autonomy in decision-making are examples of these factors. 
  • Dissatisfaction Factors: On the other hand, there are dissatisfaction factors, or hygiene factors, which are those that, if absent, can cause discomfort in employees. These include aspects such as working conditions, salary, and company policies. 

In addition to Herzberg’s theory, there are other important theories that help understand motivation at work. These include Vroom‘s expectancy theory, Adams‘ equity theory, and Deci and Ryan’s self-determination theory. 

Expectancy theory  

Vroom’s expectancy theory suggests that employees are motivated by the belief that their efforts will lead to good performance, which in turn will lead to desired rewards. This theory emphasizes the importance of setting challenging goals and offering meaningful rewards. 

Equity theory  

According to Adams’ equity theory, employees seek to maintain a balance between the effort they make at work and the rewards they receive in return. When they perceive a lack of equity compared to their peers, that is when they may experience dissatisfaction and decreased motivation. 

Self-determination theory  

Finally, self-determination theory posits that individuals are intrinsically motivated when they feel they have autonomy, competence, and connection to work goals. Offering opportunities for self-direction and personal development can increase this intrinsic employee motivation. 

Importance of measuring work motivation 

Now, you should know that measuring work motivation is essential for companies for several reasons:  

Firstly, it provides valuable information about the emotional and psychological state of employees, which allows us to identify possible problems of demotivation or lack of commitment.  

Furthermore, understanding motivation levels within the organization helps design effective strategies to improve the work environment, increase employee satisfaction, and raise the company’s overall performance.  

And, finally, it facilitates the evaluation of the impact that the implementation of human resources policies and practices has had on the commitment and satisfaction of the workforce. 

Factors that influence work motivation 

Now that we know all of the above, we must take into account that there are different factors that can influence employees’ work motivation. Some of the main ones include: 

Recognition and rewards 

People tend to be more motivated when they are recognized and rewarded for good work and performance. These rewards can range from public recognition to financial bonuses or job promotions.  

Work environment 

It is well known that a positive work environment, which encourages collaboration, respect and open communication, can significantly increase staff motivation. 

Professional development opportunities 

People tend to be more motivated when they have the opportunity to grow professionally. These opportunities can be given, on the one hand, through training, mentoring programs or with the possibility of assuming new challenges and responsibilities.  

Balance between work and personal life 

All those companies that promote a healthy balance between work and personal life for the people who make up their staff tend to experience higher levels of motivation and satisfaction at work. 

Effective leadership 

Leaders who inspire, empower, and support their teams tend to create a more motivating and productive work environment. This causes the work motivation of co-workers to increase considerably.  

Taking all these factors into account, we will be able to implement effective work strategies to create a motivating and satisfying work environment. 

How does work motivation influence performance? 

Work motivation has a significant impact on the performance of people on staff and, therefore, on the overall success of the company. When working people are motivated, they tend to be more committed to their work, demonstrate a higher level of creativity and proactivity, and be more willing to take on additional responsibilities.  

Likewise, work-motivated people tend to have a more positive attitude towards obstacles and obstacles, which helps them overcome them more effectively. 

On the other hand, when people are not sufficiently motivated, they are likely to experience a low level of energy and enthusiasm at work, which can negatively affect their performance and productivity.  

Lack of motivation can also lead to increased employee turnover, absenteeism, and interpersonal conflicts in the workplace. 

As you can see, work motivation is a crucial factor that influences the performance and productivity of the workforce, and if we prioritize it as a company, we can improve our own performance, increase customer satisfaction and remain competitive in the market. 

If you want to continue delving into the different strategies to promote work motivation, stay at Educa.Pro and continue reading the following article on 5 work motivation techniques

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