How to Encourage Motivation at Work

Rosan E. Ariston
Administrative Assistant III

It is important to consider how employees feel towards work. Some people say that once they find a job they love, they feel as if they are not working. This is contrary to an unmotivated employee who can only focus and see the negative in every situation. They also tend to be distracted and unfocused towards work. Motivation is defined as an employee’s intrinsic enthusiasm about and drive to accomplish activities related to work. This is an internal drive that causes an individual to decide to take an action on how they will adapt to the environment.

Each individual has different activities, events, and goals in life which keep him/her motivated. It just needs to be identified so when the time comes that an employee feels a bit distracted and loosen his/her motivation, it can be diverted to something positive and eventually focus on that. Keeping employees motivated is beneficial to everyone as it helps an organization achieve its mission and vision. A motivated employee increases his/her productivity.

According to the website of thebalancecareers, there are ten factors that can affect employee’s motivation. This includes the following:

  1. management and leadership actions that empower employees;
  2. regular and transparent communication about factors important to employees;
  3. treating employees with respect;
  4. involving employees in decisions about their work and job;
  5. limiting the number of rules and policies in an environment that demonstrate trust for employees and treats employees like adults;
  6. providing regular employee recognition;
  7. feedback and coaching from managers and leaders;
  8. above industry average benefits and compensation;
  9. providing employee perks and company activities; and
  10. managing employees within a doable framework of goals, measurements, and clear expectations.


In relation to motivation, Frederick Herzberg, a behavioral scientist popularized the two-factor theory or the motivator-hygiene theory. This theory states that an individual has basic needs also known as hygiene needs wherein, when not met, might be the cause of dissatisfied feeling. When these needs are met, it does not guarantee satisfaction, however, it prevents from becoming dissatisfied. And although the word ‘hygiene’ is a medical analogy, it does not directly contribute in making the patient well, it simply stops him/her in getting sick. These are then called maintenance needs.


The theory can be classified into two factors: the first one is the hygiene factors. These factors are the job factors essential for the existence of motivation at workplace. It does not lead to positive satisfaction for long-term. But the absence of these  can lead to dissatisfaction. These factors are then extrinsic to work. Since this is  required to avoid dissatisfaction, it is sometimes called dissatisfiers or maintenance factors. Example of these includes salary, company and administrative policies,  fringe benefits (health care plan), physical working condition, status, interpersonal relations, and job security.


Since hygiene factors is not motivator, the next factor was introduced; the motivational factors that motivate the employees for a superior performance. It yields positive satisfaction and are inherent to work. These are also called satisfiers. Under this factor are the following: recognition, sense of achievement, growth and promotional opportunities, responsibility, and meaningfulness of work.


There are many factors which can affect employees’ motivation. Anyone can have his/her own decision when not happy in the workplace he/she is in. When this time comes, all the factors mentioned should also be weighed in. A simple quote goes as “Don’t reply when angry, don’t decide when sad, don’t promise when happy.”