What is Motivation and How Can You Improve it in Your Staff?

Motivation determines how your employees choose to allocate their energy – where they put their focus. When they’re at work, you want them to put their focus and energy onto what they’re doing and onto your business.

Motivation is affected by a number of factors, including:

  • Being treated with fairness and respect
  • Getting pride and fulfilment from their work
  • Feeling that they and their work are valued
  • Confidence in the direction in which the organisation is going.

How does motivation work? There are five components, as shown in this diagram.


Source: XpertHR 17 November 2010

Your actions create results; these results are evaluated by other people; outcomes occur as a result of those evaluations; your needs will either be satisfied or not by those outcomes. Positive evaluations or outcomes can lead to needs being satisfied and increased motivation!

So what can you do as a manager, to improve motivation in your team?

Think about your answers to these questions:

  1. Do you treat employees with fairness and respect?
  2. Do you know what motivates the different members of your team?
  3. Do you use this information to play to their strengths and keep motivation up?
  4. Are your team meetings a two way process?
  5. Do you allow the sharing of ideas from members of your team?
  6. Do you share achievements of the company and of individuals?

How many of those questions did you answer No to? If it was more than three then you might have a problem with motivation – or you might see one emerging soon!