Author: Jim Riley Last updated: Sunday 23 September, 2012
People management - Motivation at work (introduction)
What is motivation?
Motivation is essentially about commitment to doing something. In the context of a business, motivation can be said to be about
“The will to work”
However, motivation is about more than simply working hard or completing tasks. Entrepreneurs and staff can find motivation from a variety of sources.
Motivation can come from the enjoyment of the work itself and/or from the desire to achieve certain goals e.g. earn more money or achieve promotion.
It can also come from the sense of satisfaction gained from completing something, or achieving a successful outcome after a difficult project or problem solved.
Why does motivation matter in business? In short, people’s behaviour is determined by what motivates them. The performance of employees is a product of both their abilities (e.g. skills & experience) and motivation. A talented employee who feels de-motivated is unlikely to perform well at work, whereas a motivated employee can often deliver far more than is expected from them!
Benefits of a well-motivated workforce
A well-motivated workforce can provide several advantages:
Better productivity (amount produced per employee). This can lead to lower unit costs of production and so enable a firm to sell its product at a lower price
Lower levels of absenteeism as the employees are content with their working lives
Lower levels of staff turnover (the number of employees leaving the business). This can lead to lower training and recruitment costs
Improved industrial relations with trade unions
Contented workers give the firm a good reputation as an employer so making it easier to recruit the best workers
Motivated employees are likely to improve product quality or the customer service associated with a product