What Are Psychological Factors of Motivation? (With Tips)

By Indeed Editorial Team

Published June 17, 2022

The Indeed Editorial Team comprises a diverse and talented team of writers, researchers and subject matter experts equipped with Indeed's data and insights to deliver useful tips to help guide your career journey.

Motivational factors are an integral part of every company or organization. Motivation factors influence both beneficial and harmful employee experiences, and understanding which ones to apply may help improve employee productivity and happiness. Learning how to encourage people can help ensure that the company operates successfully while meeting its project deadlines. In this article, we define the psychological factors of motivation, discuss why they're important, explore the various factors of motivation, and review the theories of motivation.

What are the psychological factors of motivation?

The psychological factors of motivation include methods, rewards, recognitions, and any components that enhance an employee's overall desire to accomplish their work obligations. To increase productivity and workplace happiness, you may use a variety of motivational factors for the team or yourself. Each individual is unique, so it's critical to first learn more about what inspires various employees.

Bonus incentives, for example, may encourage certain employees, while the possibility of earning extra paid-time-off (PTO) days may inspire others. Motivation is the act of guiding and maintaining habits that assists employees in achieving a certain goal or doing duties efficiently. The following are the most typical forms of motivation:

  • Extrinsic motivation: This kind of motivation refers to elements that are external to the individual, such as incentives, public recognition, and appreciation.

  • Intrinsic motivation: This is a sort of motivation that originates from within the person. Personal enjoyment and a sense of achievement, for example, are two examples of intrinsic drives.

Related: Examples of Extrinsic Motivation (With Types and Definition)

Why is motivation in the workplace important?

As a team member or leader, you may help a company flourish by motivating yourself and your coworkers. Whether you work remotely or in person, there are many reasons to encourage your coworkers. Here are some benefits of motivating colleagues at work:

Increases productivity

Being motivated to complete your task might help you produce more. This is because motivation allows you to have a clear focus and prevents you from being distracted from your regular tasks. Your enhanced productivity may also aid the organization in achieving its objectives.

Encourages creativity and innovation

Workplace innovation may improve productivity and make work more fun. Similarly, your improved productivity may inspire you to broaden your thinking. This may lead to innovative, unique ideas and initiatives that you may not have considered before.

Increases employee contentment

It's critical to be enthusiastic about your work as an employee. When you're inspired to work, you're more likely to have a favourable emotional reaction to what you're doing. It might also increase your dedication to your task and overall performance.

Factors of motivation

Each of these variables is an important aspect of keeping you and the team motivated:

Leadership style

Managers, supervisors, and other organizational leaders have a substantial impact on employee motivation. Proper leadership styles allow employees to set aims and objectives for themselves in their work, work toward those aims, and help employees stay motivated throughout their tenure with the company. Some employees react more favourably to certain leadership styles, so it's critical for leaders to explore which styles can help each employee succeed.

Related: What It Means to Lead by Example (And Leadership Styles)

Appreciation and recognition

Within a company, appreciation and acknowledgment are two crucial components of motivation. Recognizing and praising individuals not only helps them feel accomplished and valued, but it also reinforces excellent performance and encourages them to keep repeating the behaviours that led to their success. The more favourably acknowledged employee conduct is, the more likely they are to repeat it and stay motivated.

Meaning and purpose

Employees who find direction and significance in their job are more likely to be motivated than those who don't. Employees want to know that the work they perform makes a difference and that their responsibilities and accomplishments contribute to the company's overall success. It's important to understand how your function contributes to the performance and operations of the organization, and that your work has purpose beyond merely executing duties on time to receive a salary.

Positive work environment

The culture of a business has a significant influence on employee motivation. When there's a strong business culture that encourages employees and brings them together regularly, many people feel more appreciated and likely to love their job. Employee health, inclusiveness and equality among employees, and compassion for every individual are all areas to concentrate on when trying to improve the culture of a business or team. You may also add value as an employee and get more engaged with the company's culture to stay motivated.

Opportunities for professional growth

When there are many prospects for growth and professional development, employees are frequently more motivated at work. Giving employees the opportunity to improve their abilities and become more efficient in their jobs instills a feeling of satisfaction and success that serves as a powerful incentive. Additionally, providing employees with opportunities to improve their abilities may have a positive influence on an organization's overall performance, making it a win-win scenario for all parties concerned.

Related: 43 Motivational Quotes for Work and How to Inspire Your Team

Opportunities for advancement

When a route to career growth is clear, individuals become more motivated in the workplace. Employees who believe they have significant potential to advance within a company are less likely to seek other employment. You can encourage employees to strive for a promotion and enhance their productivity by explaining the rules for advancement in their workplace clearly. If you're not sure that you have prospects for advancement, you can talk to your supervisor and ask what's accessible.

Related: Intrinsic vs. Extrinsic Motivation: Which Is Best?

Financial benefit

While financial incentives aren't a motivator for everyone, they may help many individuals feel more motivated at work. Providing various possibilities for employees to get monetary rewards for their efforts is an effective method to enhance employee motivation and offer them a feeling of success and gratitude. Bonuses, increases, promotions, competitive benefit packages, and increased paid time off are all examples of financial motivators.

Flexible working hours

Another approach to motivate employees is to give them the option of creating their own schedules or working flexible hours. Employees with flexible schedules may better meet family demands, holidays, and other personal daily duties than those with more rigorous schedules. Some individuals, for example, are more productive in the mornings, while others are more productive in the afternoons or nights. Allowing employees to establish their own schedules helps them to organize their workday around their preferences and requirements, which may keep them motivated to meet their daily work objectives.

Theories of motivation

The following are some of the most well-known incentive theories that may be useful in an organization:

Hertzberg's two-factor theory

According to Frederick Hertzberg, employee happiness is based on the two key factors of motivation and hygiene. Working circumstances, administrative and business regulations, status, security, compensation, interpersonal interactions, and supervision are hygiene factors that reduce employee motivation. Employee motivation often decreases when they're unsatisfied in any of these areas. The profession itself, development, acknowledgment, progress, success, and responsibility are all motivation factors in Hertzberg's theory. Employee motivation is likely to grow when they feel satisfied and included in all or most of these areas.

Related: A Guide to Self-Motivation in the Workplace

McClelland's theory of needs

McClelland's theory of needs is another well-known theory that focuses on employee motivation. Every person, according to him, has one of three basic driving motivators. These motivators are the desire for success, the need for power, or the desire for affiliation. When putting this theory into practice, it's crucial to know which team members react to specific motivators. Individuals in each motivational group share the following characteristics:

  • Affiliation: People who enjoy the appreciation of others and who want to be a part of a group, those who prefer cooperation over competition or individual effort, and those who don't like uncertainty or high risk are often driven by affiliation considerations.

  • Achievement: Achievement in the workplace motivates those who have a strong desire to create and achieve objectives, love working alone, are prepared to take calculated risks, and want to get frequent feedback on their achievements and growth.

  • Power: Power motivates employees who desire to influence and supervise others, love competition, prestige, and recognition, and enjoy winning disputes.

Vroom's theory of expectancy

The separation of performance, effort, and results underpins Vroom's theory of expectation, sometimes known as expectancy theory. Employee conduct, according to this concept, results from deliberate decisions made to reduce pain and enhance pleasure. Vroom highlights individual elements that impact motivation, such as talents, personality, expertise, and capabilities.

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