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“People often say that motivation doesn’t last. Well, neither does bathing – that’s why we recommend it daily.” _ Zig Ziglar


The word Motivation is derived from the word ’motive’ which means reason, cause, purpose, intention or aims within an individual. Therefore, to motivate a person is the act of stimulating them to accomplish certain goals. Within a working environment, there are certain factors that stimulate people:-

  • Desire for more money / wealth
  • Need for success
  • The desire for recognition
  • Job-satisfaction

Management in itself is meaningless if it does not entail the creation of willingness amongst the employees to perform in the best of their abilities, as one of its functions. The role of a leader / manager is to arouse interest in performance of employees in their jobs.

Ability + Skill + Motivation = Profitability

Ability + Skill – Motivation = Burnout



Why motivate?  

Motivation is important to both individuals, i.e. employees and to the business they work for.

To an individual; Motivation will help one achieve their personal goals, job satisfaction, team work skills and self development among other benefits.

To the business; the more stimulated the employees are, the more dynamic the team is in terms of service and delivery and the more success and profitability. During times of amendments or changes at the work place, Motivation does lead to an optimistic attitude among the employees.

Motivation ensures that the human resources are maximally utilized and this can be done by building willingness in employees to work.

It also improves level of efficiency of employees.  The level of efficiency of an employee does not only depend upon his qualifications and abilities, but also on willingness. Stimulating employees to work ensures that they are goal oriented and act in a purposive manner.

Keeping in mind and framing an incentive plan for the benefit of the employees is one of the ways of motivating them as it will foster employee satisfaction. These could include monetary and non-monetary incentives as well as promotion opportunities.

Motivation of employees encourages them to stay with the business and remain loyal. This leads to good public image of the business / company and attract potential qualified people to the company, hence stability of the work force.

How to Motivate

Adopting a fair reward structure that provides incentive to the most deserving in the company will encourage employees to work harder knowing that they will be rewarded if they perform well.

Complimenting an employee / team member for a job well done – no matter how small is all the motivation one may need to work better and harder. There is nothing more satisfying to an employee than a pat on his back. Never give any of the team members the third degree. There is nothing more de-motivating than that. Provide consistent feedback to the team. Mentor them and recognise good and outstanding performance, always constructive and not negative feedback.

Always encourage transparency within the company to avoid rumors that might eventually disorient the team. Staying in touch on a regular basis helps.

Acknowledging that each member of the team is responsible for their career and is capable of working towards their own personal development plan is a plus. This can be done by encouraging and supporting their training. It will in turn increase the marketability of the company.

The team’s objective should be in synch with the team members’ needs and requirements.

Have a mission statement for your business and ensure that each member of the team understands it.

Providing the team with growth opportunities is a great motivating strategy. Any normal employee would work harder knowing that they are appreciated, their skills and competencies are improving and are learning new things by the day.

Devote time to your team. Listen to their grievances and act on them, with utmost fairness. This will boost their morale as well as help the manager to keep track of how well his team is performing. Being unapproachable and unhelpful will not only discourage your team but will also give them ideas of exiting the company the moment they get the chance to.

At the end of the day, ability is what one is capable of doing, but motivation is what determines what one does and how well they will do it.

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