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Research has shown that motivation in an employee is an important factor which determines his performance. Motivation is the “driving force within individuals” (Mullins, 2007, p. 285). It is the concerned with finding out the reasons which shape and direct the behaviour of the individuals. The people act to achieve something so that they can satisfy some needs (Gitman and Daniel, 2008). It is important for the manager to understand this motivation of individual employees in order to inspire them and devise an appropriate set of incentives and rewards which would satisfy the needs that they have individually (Kerr, 2003). Once these needs are expected to be met in return for some specific behaviour or action, they would work more diligently to have that behaviour in them and to achieve that objective (Meyer and Hersovitch, 2001). Since it would lead to early and fuller achievement of the company objectives as the individual would work more diligently, it would lead to better organizational performance (Wiley, 1997).
It is important for manager to understand that what motivates the individuals. There are different kinds of motivation theories which reveal that individuals are motivated by different factors. For example there is extrinsic motivation and intrinsic motivation (Amabile, 1993). Extrinsic motivation refers to the motivation that one has for the extrinsic rewards such as pay, status, power, etc. Then there are intrinsic motivating factors such as the chance to exercise one’s skills, the opportunity to learn and personal development. Research suggests that various factors motivate employees in a different degree depending on their nature. It would therefore be important for the manager to understand that what are the motivating factors for individual employees and then provide them incentives accordingly so that they can work in a more productive fashion. Once the individuals work with greater excitement and vigour it would automatically lead to better performance.
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So on the whole motivation is a very important concept for the managers to understand. Understanding that what ticks an individual, helps in developing the right incentive structure which goes a long way in getting the best out of individuals.