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The Effects of Motivation on Employees Performance in Organizations



Society since ancient times faced with a weak involvement of human resources in organizations. Therefore motivating employees became today an important objective for organizations that want to remain viable on the market today. Motivation of human resources in the organization will bring extra performance to the manager that hopes to reach the organization’s goals.
Valahian Journal of Economic Studies Volume 0 (0) Issue 02016
DOI 10.1515/vjes-2016-0006
The Effects of Motivation on Employees Performance in
Alina-Georgiana IANCU
Valahia University of Târgoviște, Romania
Society since ancient times faced with a weak involvement of human resources in
organizations. Therefore motivating employees became today an important objective for
organizations that want to remain viable on the market today. Motivation of human
resources in the organization will bring extra performance to the manager that hopes to
reach the organization's goals.
Keywords: motivation, management, human resources, strategic management
JEL Classification: M50
All the time attempted to explain what motivates people to work. The answer to
this question is important because it is obviously good to understand what influences
people's behavior. However, isn't the only reason for the great interest in the subject of
motivation? Managers looking for ways to motivate employees because they claim that
motivation can lead to some positive results for a company. Therefore the manager
standing between the concerns of experts to form, identifying special qualities, but also for
those of a leader allowing perspective to associate the most talented and recommended
successor [Bălan, Andreiana, Popescu, Stoica : 263].
Fulfilling proper function of the manager assumes this practice by an appropriate
driving style, motivating subordinates differentiated and exciting, and establishing and
maintaining communications with them. These elements form the essence of leadership,
which is the driver's ability to obtain performance of his subordinates individually, in
groups or scale organization [Ştefan, Dogaru, 2012: 65].
Motivation is defined as all internal and external driving forces that makes the
individual to perform an activity, what determines the limits and forms of activity and
which give it its activities oriented towards achieving certain goals [Duică, 2008: 142]. The
question is whether the motivation really has an influence on people's performance at
work. Research shows that indeed there is a relationship between motivation and
performance [Deci & Gagne, 2005].
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Valahian Journal of Economic Studies Volume 0 (0) Issue 02016
However, motivation and performance cannot be treated as equivalent phenomena.
Effective realization of a task is not only of motivation, but also other factor. The picture
that emerged from his studies have suggested that even if people are motivated cannot do
performance, if not possessing the skills to perform the task. Motivation and skills are
equally important. More means earning from people by increasing their capacity are highly
motivated to achieve pregnancy than those who are not motivated. It used existing data and
indications described the relationship between motivation and performance as a function
inverted U (Figure 1).
Figure 1
Hypothetical relations between motivation and performance level
Figure 1. Hypothetical relations between motivation and performance level
In other words, the performance is not growing, when the level of motivation is
increasing. The highest level of motivation does not result in the highest performance,
especially when the task is difficult. In fact, extremely high levels of motivation decrease
performance than at a moderate level. This relationship is explained in two ways:
- the first assumed that a high level of motivation reduce cognitive field.
- second suggests that people motivated are afraid of failure and this result leads to
lower performance.
Many factors could reduce employee performance, such as practices restricted by
their superiors the limits company policies and the physical working environment -
lighting, temperature, noise or availability of materials [Hall, 1994; Baron, 1994 quoted in
Pinder 1998].
Limitations of human performance are an important topic. However, it seems that
there are several studies that seeks the answer to question what can positively influence
employee performance. Organizations often use incentives to motivate their employees.
Meta-analysis of the effects of incentives on performance at work carried presents some
interesting findings. It was found that the average effect of all incentive programs in all
work settings increase performance by 22%. This means that incentives can significantly
increase performance but the authors argue that they should be implemented carefully.
Performance level
Motivation for performance
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Valahian Journal of Economic Studies Volume 0 (0) Issue 02016
It indicates that some things are better than others to increase performance. For
example, if we consider the stimulus programs, they lead to better performance of
employees if the mechanism from program includes the competition among employees to
earn a bonus. Another important feature of the stimulation programs is their length. Long
programs increase performance more than short programs. One of the biggest differences
between levels of performance was between incentives offered by team and individual
incentives. Incentives for team had a much stronger effect on performance than individual
Finally, the incentives have significantly less impact if they are used to force
people to do something than to make people make them work in a smarter way or to be
more persistent the work that those people began already. It shows that monetary stimulus
led to greater performance than non- monetary incentives [Condly, Clark, and Stolovitch,
Successful management product by motivation shows an important fact that may
explain the relationship between performance and motivation. People have different goals
in their lives. Therefore, for some reason it affects people differently performance. There
are employees who are extrinsically motivated. They fall into two types:
- maximize revenue and asylum status. The maximize income are only interested
in making money for consumer goods and considers the job an unpleasant duty.
- applicants seeking comparisons social status. Work for them is a tool to win
"positions" on their status.
Employees are also intrinsically motivated. There are three groups characterized
by specific features. Those loyal personal identifying with corporate objectives for which
they work. Formalists are focused on existing rules and procedures in a company, while
autonomists are pursuing their own ideology. The definition of these types of employees
helps us to predict what kind of motivators are most effective in improving the
performance of individuals. As an example, performance-based pay increases maximizes
performance, especially when paid with money than with fringe benefits. Condition to be
satisfied is that employees see a clear relationship between compensation and performance.
Applicants’ status may also be motivated by salary, as long as distinguished from
others. In their case, the compensation must not be in the form of cash. They would rather
prefer other benefits that directly show their status. Loyal can understand this kind of
satisfaction as a signal that their work is considered by society as inadequate. Formalists
may feel that the company is trying to change the way they work.
Finally, autonomists would lose their intrinsic motivation because their concept of
self-satisfaction at work is questioned. Non-financial rewards must be appropriate for all
employees. Autonomists may feel that manager is trying to attraction organisation and
formalists cannot appreciate praise because they "just doing their job." For other
employees, autonomy would be an effective way to increase their efforts. Characteristics
of types of employees presented here suggests that people have different expectations and
desires at work. Some rewards can be really rewarding for them, but others are rather seen
as negative factors affecting their performance [Frey & Osterloch, 2002].
The question that arises at this point is whether monetary ways to motivate people
are better than non-monetary ways. If they are not, then what are the best ways to motivate
non-financial? These issues are widely discussed by many researchers and professionals
and seem to bring more opposing views. This is why it will be shown separately below.
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Valahian Journal of Economic Studies Volume 0 (0) Issue 02016
Financial motivators versus non-financial motivators
The overall picture of the content and process theories bring some important
discoveries. Definitely there is a motivation influence on employee performance.
Motivation can be described as intrinsic and extrinsic. Some factors are more motivated
than others. Researchers have worked hard to find out which ones are the best motivators.
The most frequent factors that are considered come from two categories: financial and non-
financial incentives.
Money is a motivating factor that satisfy a lot of needs. Is a factor that is essential
for life and is necessary to meet basic needs for survival and security? Greater needs, such
as self-esteem can also be satisfied by it. Money allows people to buy things that show
their status and create a visible sign of appreciation. In other words, money is a symbol of
many goals intangible which makes them a powerful motivator. Some credible studies
confirm that, in fact, money is a good motivator, while others, equally credible neglect this.
Another study shows the importance we pay to motivate employees found that
money is not a motivating factor for everyone and not in any circumstance. However, an
important factor for most people. Money is more important to the current elections people
than in their answers to the question about the importance of money as a motivator. That
could lead to an underestimation of financial rewards as being one of the motivating
factors in the workplace.
A comparison of surveys where respondents were asked to place the factors that
motivate the research on actual behaviour shows that people put money in fifth position
while the actual conduct money are almost always the most effective motivator. One
explanation is that respondents tend to give the answer that is desired. If they are asked
what motivates other people, the most frequent answer is money. Similarly, if respondents’
role is to assess the attractiveness of jobs, they often choose jobs that are characterized by
higher levels of salaries.
The results indicate that if people are asked indirectly about the importance of
money as a motivator is much higher rank than if question is posed directly. Money are
still the most important motivator for employees, which makes it work well in the
company. Intrinsic rewards motivates directly, but after a certain point of his career,
money seem to have greater importance.
Long-term incentives are less effective than short-term performance based on
incentives. This is the result of associated risk and uncertainty about the future that comes
with long-term incentives. In summary, these examples show us the importance of money
as a motivator. Some of them indicate the circumstances in which money can be
underestimated, while others try to define the conditions under which money plays the
most important role.
Researchers around the world have shown that there are three reasons non-
financial (praise from managers, manager attention, a chance to lead projects or working
groups) are motivating more efficient than the three rated financial incentives (cash
bonuses, increased basic salary, and the option shares.
The first non-financial motivator, which plays an important role in shaping
employee behaviour is the design of the workplace. Hackman and Oldham in 1975
introduced job characteristic model (Figure 2). The essential point of this model is that the
"presence of attributes of jobs increases the likelihood that people will find job as
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Valahian Journal of Economic Studies Volume 0 (0) Issue 02016
important, will experience the responsibility for the results, and will have knowledge
reliable the results of their work" [Oldham & Hackman , 2010].
The job as a core characteristic of the theory presents three psychological states
(meaning work experience, experienced responsibility for the results of the work, knowing
the actual results of work activities) and they narrated by characteristics of the workplace
and personal results. If employees make work experience to be significant, they are
responsible for the results and have knowledge about their work as a result of their
motivation to do better [Hackman & Oldham, 2010]. Features that deliver improved job
performance of employees will bring intrinsic rewards.
First, employees should receive meaningful feedback to evaluate their
performance. Secondly, jobs must apply using skills that value employee - will lead to the
sense of achievement and growth. And thirdly, employees must have a control on setting
their goals - which will bring the feeling of self. To summarize, we can say that the design
well-done of jobs is significant for employees. This improves workers' morale and
positively influence their productivity leading to better overall performance of a company.
Figure 2.
The characteristic pattern of job
(Source: M. Rungtusanatham, J.Anderson, 1996, “A clarification on conceptual and
methodological issues related to the Job Caracteristics Model, Journal of Operations Management,
The job can become loved by involving employers in solving employees’
problems leaving them to plan, organize and control the work they do. Level of
responsibility and freedom given employee is closely related to leadership style
that characterizes his superior. Leadership style of managers should be
Job features
critical stage
Staff and the result of
The importance
of work
Skill varied
Significant task
for the results in
Knowledge of
current results
of labor
High quality work
Great satisfaction at
Satisfaction of
Increasing labor
Increasing need for
Knowledge and skills
Satisfaction of "context"
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Valahian Journal of Economic Studies Volume 0 (0) Issue 02016
compensated with own style of team. Combinations of two variables (about the
task and about relationships) were used for group leaders.
Two other variables (level of motivation and skill levels) were used to
group teams. Authors have proposed the best matches of certain provisions of the
styles of leadership and team (Figure 3 - matching color):
Figure 3.
Inadequacy of management styles and team rules
(Source: Allender, H., & Allender, J. (1998). Identifying the right management job for you.
Industrial Management , Mar/Apr98, Vol. 40 Issue 2, p30)
The combination of successful leadership styles with styles of team leads to
higher productivity. The reason for this could be that leaders’ behavior affects
employee welfare. A low fit between employees’ motivation and the support of the
leader could lead to a decrease in employee welfare. Moreover, the wrong style of
supervision can lead to undesirable behavior of employees, such as absenteeism
from work. How managers behave is not the only important factor. Also, the way
he communicates with employees seems to play an important role.
Communication between superiors and subordinates is a strong predictor of
job satisfaction of employees. Also, a language used by leaders can influence their
subordinates motivation at work. In conclusion it can be seen from the examples of
research on the influence of management style on motivation, how managers treat
subordinates act and can significantly increase their performance.
Another tool often used to motivate employees is recognition. Indeed, this
may be a strong building which affect the performance of men. The employee not
only wants to know how well fulfilled, but also wants to feel that his effort is
appreciated. Recognition is a reward for employee performance, which is defined
as a confirmation, approval and appreciation of the real (praise, not fake) "[Luthans
& Stajkovic 2000, p1].
There are several ways that may arise recognition. It can be a verbal or
written praise, formal or informal, public or privately managed. Recognition is
really a positive influence on employee motivation. A motivational function of the
recognition can be explained by argumentation theory and social cognitive theory.
Recognition refers to the actual achievements and reward them immediately after
implementation [Armstrong & Murlis, 2004].
Low motivation /
High skills
High skills
Low Task /
High relations
Big task /
Low relations
Low motivation /
High skills
Low skills
Big task /
High relations
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Valahian Journal of Economic Studies Volume 0 (0) Issue 02016
Pool Maritz study ( conducted in 2005 on 1,002
employees showed that managers do not meet employees' needs on recognition.
The most commonly used form of recognition is a verbal praise.
The results show that only 50% of employees wish to receive it and 40%
would rather praise written. Personality could be an important factor that makes
people's preferences about the form of recognition. Some people may be proud to
be honored in front of the general public, while others may simply be embarrassed.
The main and most important finding of this study is that a large part of of
employees agree that recognition motivates them and affect their performance. In
summary, recognition can be a powerful tool used to motivate employees. It is
desired by employees and significantly increase their performance. Some authors
[Luthans & Stajkovic, 1999] suggests that social rewards, such as recognition may
affect employee performance to the same level as payment.
The approaches presented shows that there is no clear answer to the
question what kind of motivators are the best to increase people performance.
There is strong support for addressing in which the money are prioritary and are an
economic factor motivating of human. On the other hand, there are opinions that do
not agree entirely with this model saying that money does not significantly affect
people's motivation.
Finally, there are opinions that do not focus on money at all. Instead they
put interest and effort to analyze other reasons. The findings show the importance
of leadership style and language used by leaders in increasing the performance of
subordinates. Designing job is a crucial motivation of employees.
Bălan N., Andreiana A., Popescu D.M., Stoica C., The ideal profile of a museum manager,
Proceedings of the 5th WSEAS International Conference on Economy and
Management (Volume II), p.263.
Ştefan M.C., Dogaru M., (2012), Organizarea acţivităţii antrenarea angajaţilor,
coordonarea şi controlul activităţilor, Dezvoltări social-economice nr.2, p.65.
Duică M.,(2009) Managementul proiectelor Editura Bibliotheca, Târgovişte
Duică A . (2008), Management, Editura Bibliotheca, Târgovişte, p.142.
Deci E,, & Gagne M,. (2005). Self-determination theory and work motivation. Journal of
Organizational Behavior , Jun2005, Vol. 26 Issue 4, 331-362
Vroom V,. (1964). Work and Motivation. Malabar, Florida: Robert E. Krieger Publishing
Pinder C,. C. (1998) “Work motivation organizational behavior”. Upper Saddle River, NJ:
Prentice Hall. p. 11,
Condly S., Clark,. R, & Stolovitch, H. (2008). The Effect of Incentives on Workplace
Performance : A meta-analytic Review of Research Studies. Performance
Improvement Quaterly , Volume 16 Issue 3, 46 - 63.
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Valahian Journal of Economic Studies Volume 0 (0) Issue 02016
Frey,. B, & Osterloch, M. (2002). Succesful Managment by Motivation -Balancing
Intrinsic and Extrinsic Incentives. Zurich: Springer.
Oldham, G, & Hackman, R. (2010). Not what it was and not what it will be: The future of
job design research. Journal of Organizational Behavior , Feb2010, Vol. 31 Issue
2/3, 463-479.
Armstrong M., & Murlis, H. (2004). Reward management : a handbook of remuneration
strategy and practice. London: Kogan Page
Luthans,. F, & Stajkovic A,. (1999). Reinforce for performance: The need to go beyond
pay and even rewards. Academy of Management Executive; , May99, Vol. 13 Issue
2, 49-57.
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ABSTRACTA meta-analytic review of all adequately designed field and laboratory research on the use of incentives to motivate performance is reported. Of approximately 600 studies, 45 qualified. The overall average effect of all incentive programs in all work settings and on all work tasks was a 22% gain in performance. Team-directed incentives had a markedly superior effect on performance compared to individually-directed incentives. This effect was not influenced by the location of the study (business, government, or school), the competitive structure of the incentive system (programs where only the highest performers get incentives versus programs where everyone who increased performance receives incentives), the type of study (whether the study was a laboratory experiment or a field study), or the performance outcome (quality, quantity, or both). In these studies, money was found to result in higher performance gains than non-monetary, tangible incentives (gifts, travel). More research is needed on the relative cost-benefit of cash and gift incentives, and the way different types of tangible incentives are selected. Long-term programs led to greater performance gains than shorter-term programs did, and somewhat greater performance gains were realized for manual than for cognitive work. Explanations based on cognitive psychological principles accompany each of the analyses.
Motivated people are crucial to create a sustainable competitive advantage for your company. Successful Management by Motivation shows that in a knowledge-based society, this goal cannot be achieved by extrinsic motivation alone. Pay for performance often even hurts because it crowds out intrinsic motivation like work morale. To succeed, companies have to find ways of fostering and sustaining intrinsic motivation. With the help of in-depth case studies, representative surveys, and analyses based on a large number of firms and employees, this joint work of business researchers and economists identifies the various aspects of motivation in companies and shows how the right combination of intrinsic and extrinsic motivation can be achieved.
This summary commentary explores the likely future directions of research and theory on the design of organizational work. We give special attention to the social aspects of contemporary work, the process by which jobholders craft their own jobs, the changing contexts within which work is performed, and the increasing prominence of work that is performed by teams rather than individuals. Copyright © 2010 John Wiley & Sons, Ltd.
Organizarea acţivităţii antrenarea angajaţilor, coordonarea şi controlul activităţilor, Dezvoltări social-economice nr
  • M C Ştefan
  • M Dogaru
Ştefan M.C., Dogaru M., (2012), Organizarea acţivităţii antrenarea angajaţilor, coordonarea şi controlul activităţilor, Dezvoltări social-economice nr.2, p.65.
Reward management : a handbook of remuneration strategy and practice
  • M Armstrong
  • H Murlis
Armstrong M., & Murlis, H. (2004). Reward management : a handbook of remuneration strategy and practice. London: Kogan Page
Succesful Managment by Motivation -Balancing Intrinsic and Extrinsic Incentives
  • . B Frey
  • M Osterloch
Frey,. B, & Osterloch, M. (2002). Succesful Managment by Motivation -Balancing Intrinsic and Extrinsic Incentives. Zurich: Springer.