Organisational objectives are not achieved by people simply turning up to work. Managers must challenge, inspire and maintain employee behaviour to achieve goals. This can be achieved through a balance of the use of rewards, punishment and authority. This process is known as motivation. There are two major types of motivational theory: content and process theories. We will be examining what each involves and some of the theories that have developed in each major grouping. .
Content theories focus on the factors within a person that energise, direct, sustain and stop behaviour. They look at the specific needs that motivate people. These theories have been helpful in discussing motivation but have not been verified by research. We will look at two major content theories, Maslow's and Herzberg's.
Maslow's Hierarchy of Needs .
One of the major Need's motivation theories is that of Maslow. He suggested that people have a hierarchy of needs that must be satisfied. These needs fall into five major groups:.
1 Physiological - air, food and water.
2 Safety - freedom from attack.
3 Social needs - friendships.
4 Ego - a need for recognition.
5 Self-actualisation - self-fulfilment.
According to this theory, once lower needs are satisfied, the next level needs become the motivator. So, if you have enough air, food and water, more air food or water will not motivate you, you will only be motivated by the next level of needs. However the lower level needs become unsatisfied, for any reason they once again become the motivators.
These needs can be linked to the workplace:.
1 Physiological - pay.
2 Safety - job security.
3 Social - sympathetic colleagues, friends.
4 Ego - praise and promotion.
5 Self-actualisation - satisfying job.
This is a rather simplistic answer to a complex problem. People appear to have many motivations, which change continually, according to the situation and circumstances. Money whilst important, is not the sole motivator.