Motivation Theory At Workplace Course Work Examples

Published: 2021-06-21 23:48:39
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Category: Life, Life, Workplace, Employment, Organization, Employee

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People working across different organizations, spend huge amount of time and significant part of life at workplace. This increases their expectations from the employers and it is essential that employers keep their workforce satisfied and happy in order to achieve efficiency in job performed by employees. Motivation is one the major factor that govern various aspects related with why people perform their jobs and what is driving factor that determine their overall behavior. A satisfied employee benefited the organization not by performing their job with full efficiency but also by reducing their absenteeism, encouraging co-workers and creating healthy environment at workplace which resulted in overall growth of the organization. This paper intends to discuss how motivation is important at workplace and how it can be achieved. The paper will also elaborate on Maslow and Hertzberg motivation theories and their application on organizations.


Motivation refers to psychological trait of individual that stimulate individual to act in order to achieve any desired objective. It obtains controls and maintains specific objective oriented behaviors. Motivation is considered as major driving force that reinforces individuals’ actions to get goals. For example thirst is motivation to drink water. Thereby it can be said that motivation is purpose of actions. Motivation is a process that generates guides and influences objective based behavior in individuals. People perform different actions in order to achieve desired goals in this process individual actions are governed by the motivation.

Motivation at Workplace

Motivation at workplaces refers to encouraging employees to perform certain tasks in order to achieve rewards or to satisfy different needs such as money, promotion, recognition etc. Workplace motivation governs individuals’ work related behaviors. Motivation provides directions, increase intensity and improve employee’s attitude towards work (Lindner, 1998). Organizations used motivation as a tool to determine specific behavior of employees and capitalize on their abilities. Workplace motivation help in making employees happy which resulted in low turnover of employees, higher retention, satisfied customers, efficiency at work and growth of organization.

Maslow’s Motivational Theory at Work

Abraham Maslow proposed the theory of hierarchy of needs and he portrays his theory through a pyramid model that became a model of motivation for the personal as well as organizational management. At the lowest level of his pyramid model, he talks about basic needs that are also psychological needs. These needs include food, water, air, cloth and sleep. A human life can not sustain without these fundamental needs. Maslow suggests that it is not possible for a human being to think about anything if these needs are not being fulfilled (Maslow, 1943). This requirement is applicable at both, personal as well organizational level.

Once basic requirements are fulfilled, a person aspires to be safe and the same is suggested by Maslow in his motivational theory. The second block of his pyramid model deals with the safety of a human being. A safe environment is necessary for a person in order to move ahead in life. Maslow suggests that a human being in his personal life and a worker in his professional life want a sense of security and such environment inspires him to perform in better manner. This level or needs is applicable at both personal and organizational level (A. Maslow, 1971).
Third level of Maslow’s pyramid talks about social needs. Man is said to be a social animal and after his basic requirements and safety requirements are fulfilled, he starts socializing. He needs friends, love and other relations that satisfy his feelings and inspire him to move ahead. Maslow suggests that socializing is also very necessary requirement of both personal and professional life. A person in his personal life and in professional life can not sustain without making relations (Koltko-Rivera, 2006).

Fourth level in this pyramid deals with need of esteem. A person expects esteem after reaching at this level. It has been observed that motivating the employees produces positive results for an organization. It is also established fact that people look for esteem in their personal life once their requirements are fulfilled. They need respect and like when their orders are implemented. This level of pyramid model is related to feeling pride in personal as well as professional life.

Once four requirements are fulfilled, fifth level of pyramid model comes into play and that is self actualization. Maslow suggests that individuals can easily achieve what they wanted to achieve once they are able to reach at this level. Their imagination of truth, creativity, honesty, justice and wisdom can be realized at this level of pyramid. People, at this level feel very relieved and their mind is in absolutely innovative state. At this level people come up with innovative ideas in personal as well as professional life which ultimately benefits individuals and organization (Maslow).
Maslow’s theory is equally relevant for a human being as well as for any organization. Employees are motivated to work in organizations and their motivation is influenced as per the hierarchy of needs and the same is reflected through different levels of the pyramid. We are going to examine how Maslow’s theory is applicable to organization and the organization that will be discussed in this paper is Kellogg. Employees of Kellogg are motivated to work as per levels of hierarchy. This produces favorable results for the company and also helps employees in growing.

Maslow’s Motivational Theory: Case Study Kellogg’s

Psychological needs – Kellogg’s offers attractive salaries to its employees which inspires people to work in the organization in order to fulfill their basic needs. Apart from salary, company provides its employees certain other facilities like meal coupons, childcare vouchers etc. these are some basic offers that companies fulfill and in lieu of this employees show their loyalty to the company and keep working for the company (Times, 2011).
Safety needs – safety of employees is recognized by the Kellogg’s. Company provides a safe as well as healthy environment to its employees. Employees are given some major responsibilities to maintain their own safety which inspires them to perform in a better way since they are given the responsibility of their own safety. Healthy environment is one of commitments of Kellogg’s and company takes care of it.

Social needs- at this level employee need a sense of belonging. Kellogg’s provides its employees several opportunities to feel connected and comfortable. Employees are heard if they have any grievances or issues and action is taken accordingly to solve their problems. ‘Huddles’ is operated by the company that is a weekly group where employees express their opinions and share it with company management in an informal way (Times, 2011).

Esteem needs- the fourth level is the need of esteem. People working in any organization need esteem and recognition of their performance. Kellogg's believes that all employees should realize that they are also contributing in the development and growth of the company. Company has made policies to reward the contribution of employees and give them due position and importance for their achievements.
Self- actualization- Kellogg’s provides its employees several opportunities to deal with challenges and play bigger roles. Employees are given responsibilities and engaged in dealings that improves their performance and further enables them to improve and show their creativity.

Herzberg’s Motivational Theory at Work

Frederick Herzberg developed two-factor motivational theory to improve motivation at workplace. This theory is also known as motivation hygiene theory. According to Herzberg, there are two main factors that determine individual’s motivation at workplace; these factors are intrinsic factors and extrinsic factors. At workplace there a few factors which resulted in job satisfaction and few factors resulted in job dissatisfaction.

Herzberg mentions that majority of the motivation factors get changed over the time but respect is a very stable factor that is ranked highest by the Herzberg.

According to the theory, intrinsic motivating factors such as job recognition, challenging tasks, and higher responsibilities increase employee satisfaction from the job because these factors helps in achieving respect for employees. If any employee task that is very difficult and can not easily be performed increases employee recognition among co-workers as well as among senior management. Extrinsic hygiene factors such as job security, monetary benefits and fringe benefits are also play a major role in employee’s satisfaction. In absence of these factors employee get dissatisfied because he do not see any value coming from job.

Herzberg emphasized on two important sets of requirements of individuals: one to avoid pain and second to grow psychologically. All requirements related with food, warmth, safety, shelter and guidance are considered as hygiene requirements by Herzberg which motivates individuals to perform actions to fulfill these needs. Herzberg recognized possibility of personal development and growth as primary motivator (Herzberg, 1968). This factor motivates employees in their personal and professional life. At workplace employees get dissatisfied if they consider that they not doing job that is right as per their ability and qualifications or they are not well paid according to the difficulty of job they are involved. Employee should be assigned the work according to their interest and education level and their salary should be as per industrial norms. It is also essential that there should be no discrimination in organization in terms of job design and salary of two people who are equally qualified.

Herzberg’s Motivational Theory: Case Study Tesco

Tesco applies various motivational theories at workplace to keep their employees motivated and satisfied. Company also adopted two factor theory of Herzberg in order to increase satisfaction of employees and also to eliminate various factors that are responsible for creating dissatisfaction among employees. To implement this theory company identified hygiene factors that were responsible for creating dissatisfaction and factors that will increase employee’s satisfaction. Factors that increase employee’s satisfaction are related with personal growth in terms of respect &recognition and also in terms of money.

Tesco emphasized on both satisfier and hygiene factors to improve overall working environment of the company and make all employees satisfied. According to the company emphasize only on hygiene factors would not result in desired results as there is need not to make employee neutral but happy. In order to motivate employees and achieve desired efficiency it is important to identify factors that can stimulate employees to perform their best. According to the Herzberg, real motivation among employees comes from a feeling of fulfillment at workplace. Tesco emphasized on achieving that feeling by empowering its employees, effective & timely communication, and clear delegation of responsibilities and considering employees ideas while decision making. All these factors successfully conveyed the message to employees that company considers them as important part (Times, 2010).

Tesco also consider compensation as important factor of employee satisfaction hence company organize common forum every year where employees can discuss compensation and pay rise. Tesco emphasized on all factors to recognize and reward its employees. Company allows its employees to decide the menu of restaurant and encourage their participation in all activities including innovation.


Having observed the discussion and analysis of the Maslow’s and Herzberg's theory and their application, it can be concluded that these theories are very relevant and play significant role in personal as well as organizational sector. These theories are equally useful for the human beings and also for the organizations. Both these theories help people and organizations in different ways. The appropriate application of these theories ensures positive results in individuals as well as organizations. Seeing their realistic use and effect, one can imagine how realistic and useful they are. These theories are about practicality, growth and interpersonal relationships between human beings and organizational behavior. Their importance lies in the fact that they are equally relevant for both individuals and organizations.


Herzberg, F., 1968. Work and the nature of man. London, UK: Crosby.
Koltko-Rivera, M.E., 2006. Rediscovering the Later Version of Maslow’s Hierarchy of Needs: Self-Transcendence and Opportunities for Theory, Research, and Unification. Review of General Psychology, 10(4), p.302–317.
Lindner, J.R., 1998. Understanding employee motivation. Journal of Extension, 36(3).
Maslow, A.H., 1943. A theory of human motivation. Psychological Review, pp.370-96.
Maslow, A.H., 1971. The farther reaches of human nature. New York: Viking.
Times, T., 2010. Motivational Theory in Practice at Tesco. The Times 100: Business Case Studies, pp.105-08.
Times, T., 2011. Building a better workplace through motivation. The Times 100: Business Case Studies, pp.65-68. Available at:

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