Work Motivation (Management Guide based on Latest Psychological Research)

Understanding motivation is one of the most important things we can do in our lives, because it has such a bearing on why we do the things we do and whether we enjoy them or not. – Clayton Christensen (HBS)

This is a book for employees, executives, HR managers and entrepreneurs. Work is the sum of both internal and external energies that drive human work behaviour. A motivated workforce is a highly desirable aspect. This book contains only research after 2012. Learn the WOP (Work, Organizational and Personnel) psychology. Evidenced-based management principles are very important.

What motivates people to perform at their optimum level? Intrinsic rewards are the most important factor. They are inherent to the job and inseparable from it. Extrinsic ones are like monthly salary etc. Intrinsic ones could be like the feeling of mastery and expertise or achieving self-set objectives etc. Both are important. Stress the positive aspects of every project you are doing or are working on. Ensure the steps towards your success. Try it out for yourself. Punishments are unlikely to bring out the best in workers. It is better to reward good behaviour. Negative feedback must be construed as being constructive. 5 key job characteristics must be present: 1) skill variety (repetitive tasks are no good); 2) task identity (if given ownership, you might perform better); 3) task significance (does your job matter? Does it value-add); 4) autonomy (the more responsible you are, the better ownership you will take); 5) feedback (do I need to get better?). People in private companies are usually happier with their jobs. The private sector has less bureaucracy. The culture of solving problems are more prevalent in the private sector. Your work must seem meaningful; Being responsible for something can boost your motivation; Efforts must be recognized; Freedom from planning; You must be satisfied with the type of work.

Leadership & Management. Leader self-mastery is important. A leader needs to display integrity, intelligence etc. He should earn employee trust by being credible and of high competency. Leadership is also about setting the tone from the top. Talking about success helps to foster intrinsic motivation. Using positive words can also help to improve motivation. Ethical leadership is characterized by honesty, integrity, altruism, trustworthiness and justice. Intrinsic motivation is also linked to non-monetary incentives and leadership style. Alignment of personal goals with organization goals is important. If everyone is working towards a common goal, it creates motivation. Transformational and supportive leadership helps. While giving them autonomy, learn to provide guidance as well. CSR also an impact on employees. Internal CSR is more effective than external CSR. Socially responsible conduct of company management is also crucial.

Few things can help an individual more than to place responsibility on him, and to let him know that you trust him. – Booker T. Washington

Human Resource Management. The quality of HR practices will have an effect on employee motivation. The appraisal process must be transparent too. HR can be an ambiguous part of an organization. Job rotation is important. However, it can lead to de-motivation if employees do not see that their skills are valued. The forced distribution method of appraisal can demotivate employees. It is a bell-curve method. The bell-curve is widely used. Important decisions should be made considering the individual case. Competition among co-workers might not be the smartest idea. Employee education can improve motivation. Specialized training are usually more useful. Professional qualifications determine employee satisfaction and motivation. Have fun in your work.

Employee Characteristics. Older workers are less concerned about long-term career development than younger workers. We cannot motivate older workers in the same way as younger people. At the start, extrinsic factors are more important. As we age, intrinsic factors are highly valued. Older people want to feel that their experience matters. Some of them are interested in passing on knowledge. Older people are fond of challenge and recognition motivations too. For managerial positions, intrinsic motivation is even more important. Gen Y (born between 1980 and 2000). They value the following factors: 1) Flexibility; 2) Work-life balance; 3) Coaching-based leadership; 4) Opportunity to develop; 5) Convenient social relationships.

Our colleagues have the power to instantly lift up our mood – be it a silly joke or a meaningful conversation. Never underestimate the impact of the people you are working with or your psychological well-being and motivation at work. – Anonymous

Social Factors. Healthy work relations are crucial for motivation. Social isolation and rejection should be avoided. Our colleagues do matter. Social bonding is important. If employees are talking too much, remind them to concentrate on their work. Pay attention to people who are neglected at work too. Learn about your colleague’s hobbies etc. If you are closer to your colleague, it will be easier to ask for favours too. There is always a social component to work.

Every single employee is partly responsible for the mutual organizational support and in this way for the motivational level of his or her colleagues at work. – Anonymous



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