Motivation

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Motivation: General definition
A question anyone can ask themselves is: what keeps us going? What makes us wake up in the morning and live our daily life? What makes us who we are and what we are? Well the easy answer here is simply motivation; the desire to do things. Everyone has different motivations, different things that keep them going. What can motivate some people, can de-motivate others and vice versa. Moreover, what can motivate you today can de-motivate you tomorrow. Motivation can have several sources: for example it can be god and religion, having a better life, achieving a goal or an ambition. Many people in this world don’t realize the powers of motivation. We can look at a simple example of brothers and sisters growing up in the same household and ending up at totally different places. Nathan and Ethan A. are two brothers who grew up in a very small town in North east Arkansas. Nathan today is going to start working for a big marketing company in Chicago while Ethan is a drummer who sometimes, as he says, forgets the smell of food, because he is just living an adventurous life, never knowing for sure what’s happening the next day. Motivation makes us who we are; it is how much an individual wants something that determines how much they would fight for it. However, sometimes, it is not that much what we want but what we fear. On a small scale, you would make sure for example that your room is clean because you fear your mom’s reaction, if it is not. On a bigger scale, you would work hard because you are scared to be a below average person, who wouldn’t make enough money to survive. Positive and negative feelings and thoughts can drive our motivation. But what happens when you lose your motivation, what happens when you don’t feel like doing anything anymore. It helps sometimes to picture yourself at the arriving line; to imagine that you realized whatever you were looking forward to and try to soak up the feelings of success and glory (Wicker, 2009). However, it might take way more to get our motivation up all the time, especially in the work environment. Motivation and work

Research came up with several motivational theories the past years and proved that it is an essential element in attaining our goals. The most known theories are Frederick Winslow Taylor’s, Elton Mayo’s, Abraham’s Maslow’s and Frederick Herzerberg’s theories. * Taylor’s theory

Frederick Winslow’s Taylor (1856-1917), is considered to be a pioneer in motivational theories. Working in the car industry as a mechanical engineer, he stated that what motivates the most the workers is their pay. Focusing on that would get the companies to a better efficiency and productivity. The idea consisted in breaking down the production in small tasks. After being given the right tools and training on a certain task, employees would be paid on every item produced, what’s called “piece rate” (Tesco, web). This theory is practiced by a British company called Tesco, it is one of the biggest food retailers in UK. Their reward program includes financial reward packages but they don’t use only the pay to motivate their employees. They try to improve their employees lifestyle through “relevant benefits” (Tesco, web). They also use non financial motivation factors such as promotions. Taylor’s theory worked out for many businesses as it increased their productivity. Nevertheless, it hasn’t been applies for long as the tasks that the employees were given were repetitive and boring and the pay then doesn’t become as motivational as we think it would be, since if their employee are unhappy in their jobs, they will start being efficient. Today, Taylor’s theory is just too simplistic. Much more needs to be done to motivate the workers, as Tesco understood it. The pay of course stills a motivational factor but has to be added to other factors in order to really motivate the employees and improve their productivity. * Mayo’s theory

George Elton Mayo (1880-1949),...
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