“If you do well in your examinations, we’ll get you whatever you want!” is a statement most of us are all too familiar with. It’s one of the many tricks that parents use to push children to develop good habits or skills.

Positive reinforcement works like a charm, and not just while getting children to study. Most of our performances or desires are driven by the rewards or positive feedback we hope to receive. The cycle of incentivizing and recognition continues to dominate our actions throughout our lives, especially in the professional sphere.

Motivation in organizational behavior has a huge role to play in business success. Managers and team leaders can make the most of it by using a few tips and tricks. Read on to understand the significance of motivation and its impact.

Understanding Motivation In Organizational Behavior

What is it that makes a business truly successful? Surely, achieving goals and generating impact are chief drivers. However, a productive and efficient workforce is the backbone of success. Unless employees are happy, motivated and incentivized, businesses are unlikely to perform well. Motivation in organizational behavior not only creates willingness but also encourages employees to fully utilize their abilities.

In a nutshell, motivation in an organization refers to the positive state of mind that drives you to achieve your objectives. Motivation is a huge field of study and various psychologists have studied human behavior to propose different motivation theories in organizational behavior. These theories provide a deeper understanding of how people behave and how to incentivize them to do better.

Let’s look at motivation theories in organizational behavior and see how different motivators influence our performance in the workplace.

  1. Maslow’s Hierarchy Of Needs

Abraham Maslow, an American psychologist, proposed the hierarchy of needs in his paper, A Theory of Human Motivation. Maslow postulated that people are motivated when their needs are fulfilled. Once our base needs and desires are met, we are motivated to do more. For example, if you are someone who values a good work-life balance and your organization offers you a part-time opportunity, you’ll happily take the offer and fulfill your responsibilities to the best of your abilities.

  1. Herzberg’s Two-Factor Theory

Frederick Herzberg, an American psychologist who became an influential figure in business management, introduced the Two-Factor Theory, also known as the Motivator-Hygiene Theory. This theory comprises two parts—hygiene factors and motivation factors.  Hygiene factors, such as working conditions, salary and job security, ensure that employees are satisfied. Motivation factors, such as recognition, responsibility and opportunities for growth, ensure that people are encouraged to better their performance. Herzberg believed that to achieve success organizations should strive to maintain a healthy balance between the two.

  1. McClelland’s Theory Of Needs

David Clarence McClelland, an American psychologist, proposed three motivating drivers that influence our life experiences. The first is the need for achievement. He said people with a high need for achievement tend to pursue objectives that hold them accountable. They want immediate acknowledgment of their efforts. People with the need for the second kind of motivation, the need for affiliation, are motivated by the social relationships they build and the positive interactions they have. They thrive in social situations and make the best of interpersonal skills. The third kind—people with a need for power—aspire for roles that give them authority and tend to exercise their influence on others.

There are, however, other theories of motivation in organizational behavior. You can gauge your team’s expectations and influence their behavior by understanding what motivates them the most.

The Role Of Motivation In Organizations

The role of a manager or a team leader isn’t easy. Not only do they shoulder the responsibility of the entire team, but are also required to give them direction. Motivation is the most effective way to influence job satisfaction at the workplace. Here are some instances highlighting the importance of motivation in organizational behavior.

  • Increases Productivity: 

The role of motivation is to understand someone’s needs and help them find the best way to utilize their true potential; a motivated employee will be willing to put more effort into their work.

  • Ensures Loyal Workforce: 

Motivation ensures that employees are loyal to the organization. This, in turn, reduces turnover rates and helps to retain the best of the workforce.

  • Improves Organizational Efficiency: 

When people remain engaged in their professional roles and are happy about the outcomes, they’re more likely to fulfill targets with greater enthusiasm.

Going Beyond Higher Salary

Many organizations are under the impression that a higher salary package or monetary perks are the only way to engage employees and boost their morale. While monetary incentives are a good motivator, they aren’t the most viable in the long-run. Here are a few types of non-monetary incentives that can improve motivation in your team:

  • Promotion opportunities, to assure others that there are avenues for growth and development in addition to job satisfaction

  • Job enrichment, where you delegate responsibilities to others and show them that you trust them to hold the fort

  • Feedback, where you provide employees with a constructive review of their performance and provide them with opportunities to improve their abilities (e.g., upskilling)


If you want to understand your team’s expectations and use the best methods to help them stay motivated, turn to Harappa Education’s Managing Teamwork course. It will teach you everything about team formation and growth and what makes a team effective. The Skill-Will Matrix will guide you in assessing people’s skills and willingness to perform tasks. Learn the most effective ways of team management and motivate everyone like a true leader.

Explore topics such as What is TeamworkDifference Between Motivation and Morale & Easy Ways to Boost Your Career from Harappa Diaries to increase your productivity at work.

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