What is Motivation

Motivation is the reason behind a specific behavior particularly human behavior. Reasons for motivation may vary such as basic needs, an object, goal, state of being or ideal. Motivation for behaving in a certain way could also be due to morality.


Geen (1995) defines motivation as the

“initiation, direction, intensity and persistence of human behavior”.

Twyla Dell writes of motivating employees,

"The heart of motivation is to give people what they really want most from work. The more you are able to provide what they want, the more you should expect what you really want, namely: productivity, quality, and service."

People differ in wants or needs. The theories of motivation, in part, aim to explain the reason behind these wants and needs. Most theories are based on the needs of the person and the idea that satisfying this need is important before the person can focus on other needs.

Importance of motivation in a business environment

A positive motivation philosophy and practice should improve productivity, quality, and service. Motivation helps people:

  • achieve goals;
  • improves efficiency
  • Less wastage of raw material and time
  • Motivated staff is less resistant to change and thus less conflicts.
  • More feedback and better ideas from staff can be very helpful in improving the quality of products and customer service.
  • Less supervision required as workers are self motivated, saves money.

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