2017; 2(3): 35-40
Motivation: Outstanding Way to Promote Productivity in
Department of Management, College of Business Administration, University of Hail, Hail, Kingdom of Saudi Arabia
To cite this article:
Almas Sabir. Motivation: Outstanding Way to Promote Productivity in Employees. American Journal of Management Science and
Engineering. Vol. 2, No. 3, 2017, pp. 35-40. doi: 10.11648/j.ajmse.20170203.11
Received: May 24, 2017; Accepted: June 12, 2017; Published: July 17, 2017
Abstract: Employees are the most valuable and unique assets of organization. People often confuse the idea of 'happy'
employees with 'motivated' employees. This paper would highlight the different ways to motivate employees and how it helps
in promoting productivity of the organization. In this study a detailed discussion would also be there to explain how to make
feel that the work they do has meaning. There are many ways to motivate employees. Managers who want to encourage
productivity should work to ensure that employees was greatly appreciated and rewarded with diligent employee performance.
In order to study the various issues highlighted in this paper related to employee motivation, a large body of literature mainly
from different journals have been incorporated. To make the study more relevant only those studies were included which were
published in the last few decades. In past research papers few dimensions of motivation were used to explain the different
models of motivation theory which has direct influence on employee motivation. The novelty of this study lies in its theoretical
framework where authors have made an attempt to come up with a construct having dimensions that directly or indirectly
influences employee motivation.
Keywords: Motivation, Productivity, Behavior, Capital, Efficiency, Dimensions
Motivation in general referred as the reasons for acting or
behaving in a particular way. It gives the reason for people's
actions, desires, and needs. Motivation can also be defined as
one's direction to behavior or what causes a person to want to
repeat a behavior and vice versa. A motive is what prompts
the person to act in a certain way, or at least develop an
inclination for specific behavior. According to Maehr and
Meyer, "Motivation is a word that is parts of the popular
culture as few other psychological concepts. Managing
motivation is therefore a critical element of success in any
business; with an increase in productivity, an organization
can achieve higher levels of output.
Research has shown that motivated employees will have
(1) A "better" way to complete a task
(2) Be more quality-oriented
(3) Work with higher productivity and efficiency
Gary Vaynerchuk CEO of VaynerMedia said short-term
rewards won't keep your office excited. It’s all about long-
term leadership. According to him 2 things every manager
must do to motivate employees.
(1) Lead by example
(2) Know what your employees want
Llopis (2012) draws attention to the increasing relevance
of the work-life balance problem for modern employees and
stresses its negative impact on the level of employee
motivation. Specifically, Llopis (2012) reasons that unless
employees achieve an adequate level of work-life balance in
personal level, management investment on the level of
employee motivation can be wasted.
This viewpoint is based on Hierarchy of Needs theoretical
framework proposed by Abraham Maslow (1943), according
to which there is a certain hierarchy for individual needs, and
more basic human needs need to be satisfied in order for the
next level needs to serve as motivators.
In summary, motivated employees will retain a high level
of innovation while producing higher-quality work more
efficiently. There is no downside—i.e., the opportunity cost
of motivating employees is essentially zero, assuming it does
not require additional capital to coach managers to act as
36 Almas Sabir: Motivation: Outstanding Way to Promote Productivity in Employees
2. Literature Review
Motivating employees is vital to any business. Rich
Henson has said in his studies that motivating employees is a
lot like bathing. The results are not permanent, but it’s
something you should be doing on a regular basis. Every
employee can use a shot of motivation from time to time, no
matter how much of a self-starter the person is. It’s easy to
tell when people are properly motivated because they:
(1) Look for better ways to do a job
(2) Care about customers
(3) Take pride in the work, and
(4) Are more productive.
Leaders motivate people to follow a participative design of
work in which they are responsible and get it together, which
make them responsible for their performance. Aguinis et al.
(2013) stated that monetary rewards can be a very powerful
determinant of employee motivation and achievement which,
in turn, can advance to important returns in terms of ﬁrm-
Vuori and Okkonen (2012) stated that motivation helps to
share knowledge through an intra-organizational social media
platform which can help the organization to reach its goals
and objectives. Den andVerburg (2004) found the impact of
high performing work systems, also called human resource
practices, on perceptual measures of ﬁrm performance.
Ashmos andDuchon (2000) recognizes that employees have
both a mind and a spirit and seek to ﬁnd meaning and
purpose in their work, and an aspiration to be part of a
community, hence making their jobs worthwhile and
motivating them to do at a high level with a view to personal
and social development
A motivated workforce means a highly productive staff, all
of which will help to achieve business goals. And this should
be a main objective in organizational and business plan. Few
points are mentioned with relevant significance of motivating
(1) Completing task in allotted time to increase
productivity- When workers are continuously
motivated from outside or within, they tend to show
passion in their work and perform better. Companies
that provide a reason behind challenging jobs are, in
turn, motivating them to work hard and reach the goal
or accomplish the challenges so provided. As such,
when they are faced with productivity goals, they give
in their best efforts to reach the challenges and
complete their tasks within the allotted time, without
any external motivational tools like bonuses and
awards. This, in turn, is beneficial for the company
through increased production and productivity.
(2) Improved Employee Morale- Motivating employees on
a continuous basis can induce them to work hard and
accomplish the challenges, thereby improving the
morale levels amongst them. A team with high
employee morale is in a better position of attending
office every day and facing challenges of the job. The
happier the workers are, the more productive they turn
out to be. Additionally, the company experiences less
conflicts and lower incidents of absenteeism.
(3) More Loyal Workforce- The more employees are
motivated, the more loyal they are towards their work
and the organization, on the whole. It proves to be
expensive for the organization to hire new employees
by investing time and money on their recruitment.
Plus, they come with a high employee turnover (the
cost of replacing an employee with another one) to the
company. On the other hand, loyal workers lead to
saving money in recruitment costs, training, and lost
productivity, thereby reducing the employee turnover
to a great extent. Besides, a company with a group of
motivated and loyal workers is more likely to gain a
good reputation amongst potential workers and clients.
(4) Better Creativity- A motivated workforce tends to
work freely and more passionately on the tasks
assigned. As such, these employees display improved
and better levels of creativity and imagination on the
job. As a result, a group of innovative and inspired
employees help in taking the business to step forward
with creative ideas flowing all the while for the
betterment of the organization. For inducing more
creativity amongst employees, the supervisors have to
design such a leadership style which constantly
encourages them to provide suggestions, new product
ideas, and new cost effective ways of delivering better
(5) Appraisal Opportunities- The more motivated
employees are towards their job goals and objectives,
the better are their chances of getting promoted.
Depending upon the interest and hard work that an
employee delivers on the job, he is likely to be
rewarded accordingly. As such, better levels of
performance are more likely to get an employee
recognized amongst other workforce, thereby being
benefited with an appraisal, promotion, or increased
With the above stated reasons indicating the significance
of employee motivation, it is essential to keep the workforce
stimulated and encouraged.
According to Lockley (2012) offering training and
development programs that effectively contributes to
personal and professional growth of individuals is another
effective employee motivation strategy. At the same time,
Lockley (2012) warns that in order for motivational aspects
of training and development initiatives to be increased,
ideally they need to be devised and implemented by a third
party with relevant competency and experience.
Alternative working patterns such as job-rotating, job-
sharing, and flexible working have been branded as effective
motivational tools by Llopis (2012). Moreover, Llopis (2012)
argues that motivational aspects of alternative working
patterns along with its other benefits are being appreciated by
increasing numbers of organisations, however, at the same
time; many organisations are left behind from benefiting
from such opportunities.
American Journal of Management Science and Engineering 2017; 2(3): 35-40 37
An interesting viewpoint regarding the issue has been
proposed by Wylie (2004), according to which members of
management primarily should be able to maintain the level of
their own motivation at high levels in order to engage in
effective motivation of their subordinates. Accordingly,
Wylie (2004) recommends managers to adopt a proactive
approach in terms of engaging in self-motivation practices.
Furthermore, Wylie (2004) recommends concentrating on
specific variations of intangible motivational tools such as
celebrations of birthdays and other important dates with the
participation of whole team
According to Thomas (2009) the main challenge of
motivation in workplaces is identifying what motivates each
individual employee taking into account his or her individual
differences. In other words, individual differences have been
specified by Thomas (2009) as the major obstruction for
management in engaging in employee motivation in an
3. Research Methodology
The main objective to write this review is to highlight the
flow of motivation and to reveal what motivation techniques
work more efficiently in different stages of life. This study
provides useful managerial implication for employee
motivation in an organization. Business owners often fret
about the best way to increase employee motivation. Some
might wonder, however, why simply providing a paycheck is
not enough. Looking closely at what causes a loss of
motivation, and recognition of the business' dependence on
employees, reveals it is fundamental for employees to bring
their enthusiasm to the workplace to increase the company's
(1) A motivated workforce will work in a way that
provides the greatest value it can to the organization.
The success of the company will suffer as a result of
employees working below their level of capability.
(2) Employee imagination and creativity can feed into the
innovations made by a new business.
(3) A company with an environment that prevents
demotivation, or includes the financial compensation
and recognition of a formalized motivation program,
will retain good workers.
(4) A company can achieve its full potential only by
making use of all the financial, physical, and human
resources that it has. It is through these resources that
the employees get motivated to accomplish their
duties. This way, the enterprise begins to glisten as
everyone is doing their best to fulfill their tasks.
(5) Any enterprise has its goals, which can be achieved
only when there is a proper resource management, the
work environment is a cooperative, one and all
employees are directed by their objectives.
(6) Needs, wishes and desires are interrelated, representing
the thrust to act. These wants should be understood by
the manager and he/she should formulate and
frequently update comprehensive motivation strategies.
(7) Managers should seek to empower them through
promotion opportunities, monetary and non-monetary
rewards, or disincentives in case of inefficient
Figure 1. Motivation: Makes things happen.
Realistically speaking, the duties at work can be most of
the time tedious, repetitive and quite boring. Most of us don’t
go to work excited that we’re going to have another day in
which we’ll respond to dozens of emails, complete a pile of
Excel spreadsheets, or other tasks which fall into the dullness
With that in mind, managers need to find creative ways in
which to consistently keep their employees motivated as
much as possible. Motivation is highly important for every
company due to the benefits that it’s able to bring.
Measuring employee motivation is often a challenging
prospect as motivation is a qualitative, rather than
quantitative, value. In other words, it cannot be easily
38 Almas Sabir: Motivation: Outstanding Way to Promote Productivity in Employees
measured with numbers or statistics. Unless your business is
the type that uses targets and sales incentives, you can often
estimate the motivation of your employee with the use of
surveys and questionnaires, directed to the employee and the
(1) While employee productivity is not necessarily the
same as employee motivation, it can give you a good
estimate of the amount of effort your employee is
putting into the business.
(2) Conduct a survey of your employees. Specifically, ask
them how much they care about the business' success.
According to Personnel Today, an employee who cares
more about the success of the business is more likely
to be more motivated in his or her daily tasks. Use a
third-party service for this kind of survey, as
employees may not give you a completely honest
answer if you ask them yourself.
(3) A highly motivated employee will likely result in
more satisfied customers than that of an employee
with less motivation. Conduct the survey either
yourself or with the use of a specialized survey
company, but ask customers about their experiences
while they are still fresh. The longer you wait, the less
accurate your result.
(4) Determine a job candidate's motivation at the
interview stage. Ask about a previous project the
candidate was engaged in, focusing on specific steps
he took to complete the project, improvements he
made along the way, and the level of satisfaction he
had with the work. By doing this, you can assess an
individual's motivation level in performing a specific
type of work.
(5) Provide a questionnaire asking employees whether
they feel their training and overall level of preparation
for their jobs have been adequate. Many employees
will not volunteer this information on their own
because they believe a lack of training places their job
(6) Examine your own expectations for your people. It's a
studied and measured fact that people tend to perform
up -- or down -- to their expected performance levels.
This phenomenon is known as the Pygmalion Effect.
Ask yourself if, as a manager, you aren't inadvertently
causing some people to feel less motivated by giving
them soft tasks or failing to solicit their feedback on
(7) Ask employees during their review sessions what their
five-year career plans are. This can help you gauge a
particular employee's level of motivation. For
example, if an employee states she's comfortable
where she is, this indicates low motivation to advance
her career. Conversely, if that same person says she
wants your job, take that as a positive in terms of
(8) Observe how often employees come to you with
questions about their roles and tasks. Proactive
engagement shows initiative and a desire to please.
(9) Another way of finding out if employees are satisfied
at work is by conducting a one-on-one review with
them as management need to focus on individuals and
their specific needs.
(10) Create a platform to allow you and your team voices
Allow team to speak up to express an opinion. In today’s
workplace where ‘Yes-men’ (and women) are all too
plentiful, people who are willing to stick their neck out and
question the status quo thinking not only add more value, but
become more valuable for everyone.
Figure 2. Employee Engagement.
Employee motivation has a large internal component.
Some people are simply driven more than others to succeed,
advance and contribute. However, many employees use
external factors such as pay, position and involvement as
gauges for how motivated they should feel. As a manager, it's
difficult to be all things to all team members. However, these
are the certain methods we can use to gauge motivation and
make changes accordingly.
One of the most important factors in employee motivation
is how often their hard work is recognized.
(1) If an employee continues to expend discretionary
effort to produce exceptional results, and that effort
isn't recognized, don't expect it to keep happening.
(2) It's not just important to recognize great work -- how
you go about recognizing your team's contributions
has a significant impact. An annual bonus at the end of
the year isn't likely to do the trick.
(3) Your organization needs to have an employee
recognition program. You can let the productive and
efficient employees choose their reward from a list of
options. This will make them feel valued and more
loyal towards the organization.
(4) The line managers and the supervisors can ensure
efficient communication with their team through a
direct medium instead of relying on mails all the time.
Direct feedback and praise ensure a high comfort level
with direct managers, fostering trust and translating
American Journal of Management Science and Engineering 2017; 2(3): 35-40 39
into high motivation and increased productivity.
(5) A flexible work schedule offers relief to the employee
force, and ensures them that the organization values
their efforts. Flexible timing, telecommuting and job
sharing, will enable employees to finish their work
while maintaining a good work life balance. This will
motivate the employees, and help you retain some of
the best talent in the industry.
(6) Some employees find additional responsibilities a
highly motivating element in their job. It lets them
enjoy greater ownership in different organizational
efforts, and thus, makes them more motivated to strive
for business success.
(7) It’s important to build a solid foundation for your
employees so they feel invested in the company.
(8) Tell them about the history of the business and your
vision for the future. Ask them about their
expectations and career goals, as well as how you can
help them feel like part of the team. When any new
employee starts, make sure they receive a thorough
(9) Most employees are looking for advancement
opportunities within their own company. Work with
each of them to develop a career growth plan that
takes into consideration both their current skills and
their future goals. If employees become excited about
what’s down the road, they will become more engaged
in their present work.
(10) Once in a while, you have put work aside and do
something nice for the people who work for you.
(11) Treat the office to a pizza lunch or take everyone to
the movies. Reward employees with an unexpected
day off or by closing the office early on a random
Friday afternoon. These little diversions can go a long
way toward improving productivity.
Creating a workplace with excellent morale and motivated
employees is a long-term project, and needs to be embedded
within the fabric of an organization’s daily operations.
Highly motivated and engaged personnel are a tremendous
asset to any organization. While money is an important
foundational consideration, the main factors that attract and
maintain “talent” within an organization include:
(2) Having Interesting Work To Do
(3) Being Heard By Management
(4) Having Skilled Managers
(5) Having Good Communication Flows
(6) Being Provided With Opportunities for Advancement.
Managers recognize that motivation is personal to the
individual. If employees feel that they are being treated
fairly, they will be more likely to give their best. Motivation
comes from within an individual. Enterprise managers
therefore need to find out about the personal goals and
aspirations of their employees. What motivates one employee
will not necessarily motivate another.
In addition to ensuring fair pay and conditions, it is also
essential for the business to meet the higher order needs of
individual employees. These include the need for recognition
and fulfillment at work.
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