Motivation - Meaning, Importance, Types, Factors & Example

Published in Human Resources Terms by MBA Skool Team

What is Motivation?

Motivation is a psychological process through which a person acts or behaves towards a particular task or activity from start to completion. Motivation drives or pushes a person to behave in a particular way at that point in time. When the motivation is positive, a person is happy, energetic, enthusiastic & self-driven to perform the work and when it is negative motivation, person is demoralized, sad, lethargic & pessimistic leading to drop in productivity and performance.

Importance of Motivation

It is an important psychological factor for any individual as it defines the work, ambition and drive of that person to do any work. A person with high levels of motivation is motivated to do good quality work, help others, spread their energy and focus on achieving goals. On the contrary, a person with low levels of motivation, demotivates others, works shabbily and creates a negative atmosphere.

It is an important human factor in an individual’s personal as well as professional life. Positive motivation for people is required in every field like business, sports, politics, entrepreneurship etc.

It is the desire of an individual to work towards a motive, which is a certain task. In business, good motivation helps employees learn important managerial skills like leadership, team management, time management, decision making, communication etc.

4 Types of Motivation


It is driven by several factors which influences the behavior and attitude of an individual. Based on the different factors and the kind of impact it has on a person, there are different types of motivation. The different types of motivation in people are:

1. Intrinsic Motivation

This type comes from within a person to do a task or achieve a particular goal. It is a feeling of being self-driven and achieving objectives for oneself. Intrinsic motivation is driven by motives like social acceptance, eating food, desires to achieve goals, biological needs etc.

2. Extrinsic Motivation

This type drives an individual due to external forces or parameters. Some other person or organization motivates the individual to work hard to achieve certain goals or tasks. Extrinsic motivation is driven by motives like financial bonus, rewards, appreciation, promotion, punishment, demotion etc.

3. Positive Motivation

This type drives an individual by offering positive accolades and rewards for performing a task. In this type of motivation, the individual is rewarded by monetary benefits, promotions etc. which drives an individual to work hard.

4. Negative Motivation

This is where fear and threat are used as a parameter to get the work done. In this type of motivation, individuals are threatened with things like demotion, reducing benefits, withdrawing merits etc.

For every individual, all the types are interlinked based on which he or she takes an action. The resultant behavior of any person is basis the motivation types he or she has been influenced by.

Top Factors Influencing Motivation

Motivation Factors

Keeping employees motivated is the biggest challenge for companies for ensuring that they give a high productive output at work and help in achieving company goals. A positive motivation amongst employees helps drive the business positively & enhances creativity. On the other hand, a demotivated employee will not contribute efficiently and slowdown progress at workplace. The key elements & top factors which influence employees in business or people in general are as follows:

1. Salary

Monetary compensation & benefits like gross salary, perks, performance bonuses etc. are the biggest motivation factors. The better the salary and monetary benefits, the higher is the motivation level & passion of a person towards a job.

2. Recognition

Rewards, recognition, accolades etc. are important for ensuring high enthusiasm levels for an employee. If the hard work of an individual is appreciated, it keeps them motivated to perform better.

3. Work Ethics

Ethical working environment, honesty etc. are important factors for any individual. Good work ethics in a company helps keep employees motivated at work place.

On the other hand, if the work environment is not ethical, then the workforce might be demotivated.

4. Transparency with Leadership

The leadership in an organization helps in employee motivation if there are transparent discussion and flatter hierarchies. The senior management has to ensure that all subordinates are happy, focused & motivated.

5. Culture at Work

A good, vibrant, positive culture at workplace is always an important factor.

People from different backgrounds, religions, countries etc. working together helps create a social bond at workplace.

6. Learning and Development

Another factor influencing is the training and development opportunities that a person gets. L&D helps individuals develop more skills and have better opportunities in their professional career.

7. Work Life Balance

Having a good quality of work life (QWL) helps in the motivation of people. A good work life balance ensures that a person can give quality time to both office work as well as family.

8. Career Growth Opportunities

Career development opportunities have a positive influence on the motivation of any person. If a person knows their future & career path is secure, they tend to work with more passion.

9. Health Benefits

Health benefits, insurance & other incentives act as a source of motivation for people. If the medical bills, hospitalization charges etc. are taken care of by the company, it helps build a strong trust.

10. Communication

A positive & transparent communication between managers and subordinates gives a sense of belonging and adds to the employee’s motivation. Discussion related to work as well as personal life help make a friendly bond at workplace.

There are not finite factors influencing positive attitude of an employee. These keep on changing depending upon the type of environment, job responsibility, experience in life etc. Hygiene Factors of motivation are also given by the Hygiene Theory.

Advantages of Motivation

There are several advantages of an employee being motivated at work. Some of the main benefits of motivation for employees and companies are as follows:

1. Feeling of belongingness and self-respect.

2. A motivated employee is excited to learn and contribute more.

3. Higher productive output due to positive motivation.

4. Reduced absenteeism and lower attrition.

5. Employees high on motivation help reduce costs & improve profits.

6. Reduce stress & anxiety at workplace.

Disadvantages of Motivation

Despite several advantages, there are some probable drawbacks as well. Some of them are:

1. It is a relative feeling and hence there is no way of ensuring that everyone would feel the same way.

2. Motivating employees in a company requires additional efforts, money and time on employee related activities.

3. It among people is mostly a short-term feeling. Afterwards a person become demotivated or even uninterested about a particular task.

Examples of Motivation

Motivation is relevant in every field of life for any individual. There can be many examples based on type, situation, field of work etc. Some examples are as follows.

1. Consider a person who has joined a university. After a lot of hard work, he or she gets admission in their preferred course. Hence the intrinsic motivation for the individual would be perform well in academics, get a good score, learn new skills and get a job opportunity with a good company. Since this is an internal feeling, the driving motives are achieving a personal goal.

2. An example of extrinsic motivation can be seen from a footballer, cricketer or any other sportsperson. Any sportsperson wants to excel in their sport not only for themselves but to also become a crowd favorite and get their attention. Hence, he or she gets highly motivated by this external factor which drives them to perform better in their sport.

Hence, this concludes the definition of Motivation along with its overview.

This article has been researched & authored by the Business Concepts Team. It has been reviewed & published by the MBA Skool Team. The content on MBA Skool has been created for educational & academic purpose only.

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