The Fuel of High Performance - Motivation theories and action

The Fuel of High Performance - Motivation theories and action

Motivational theory and implications

Improving and sustaining high performance from our organisation’s employees is critical to our success as leaders and managers.

Performance can be expressed as the result of applying motivation to ability:

Performance = Motivation X Ability

Therefore to improve employee and organisational performance, we need to create the conditions that support employee motivation to work towards organisational goals in addition to developing and improving competence.

What motivates and demotivates employees have been researched extensively over many decades and has resulted a wealth of motivation theory. These studies show that the factors that influence employee motivation are individual and complex and no single theory to explain motivation has emerged.

As leaders and managers, understanding the main motivation theories provides a useful foundation to help us understand:

That employee motivation is individual and reflects the complex interplay of individual needs and individual views and decisions on what are the best actions to satisfy them;
The needs that drive employees and influence their motivation and behaviour;
How employees’ expectations influence their motivation and behaviour;
Our opportunities to influence intrinsic motivation;
The critical design elements of your organisation’s extrinsic motivators (e.g. pay, rewards, goal setting, performance assessment processes etc) and ‘hygiene factors’
What is employee motivation?

Motivation is what influences or drives our actions and behaviours - usually towards a goal and a reward that satisfies our needs.

Employees are motivated when they expect that their actions are likely to achieve a goal or receive a reward that satisfies their needs.

Motivating employees is about influencing them to move in the direction set by you or the organisation, and creating the conditions where they want to persist in applying effort to achieve organisational...

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