The Effect of Motivation on Employee Performance


The performance of employees will make or break a company; this is why it is important to find a variety of methods of motivating employees. “Motivation is the willingness to do something," wrote Stephen Robbins and David A. DeCenzo in their book "Supervision Today." "It is conditioned by this action’s ability to satisfy some need for the individual.” The most obvious form of motivation for an employee is money; however, there are other motivating factors that must be considered.

Who's motivated?
Who's motivated? (Image: Digital Vision./Digital Vision/Getty Images)

Employee Differences

Every employee within a company is different and, therefore, is motivated to perform well for different reasons. Due to the differences within an organization, it is important for a manager to get to know her employees and understand what motivates their performance. “If you’re going to be successful in motivating people, you have to begin by accepting and trying to understand individual differences," Robbins and DeCenzo report in their book "Supervision Today.”

Understand individual differences
Understand individual differences (Image: Jupiterimages/BananaStock/Getty Images)

The Job

One motivator for employees is a feeling that the job itself is worthwhile. According to Dr. Sunil Ramlall in his article "A Review of Employee Motivation Theories and their Implications for Employee Retentions with Organization", these employees feel personally responsible for their work and believe that is a meaningful job. Employees who take personal responsibility for their work and believe that it is making a positive impact will strive hard to perform very well.

Happy worker
Happy worker (Image: Comstock Images/Comstock/Getty Images)

Work Environment

Employees have a desire to be part of a company with a positive and encouraging work environment. Motivating input and strong working relationships during the workday will provide an environment that employees will want to be a part of. According to "Supervision Today," this involves focusing employees on achievement and maintaining equity in the workplace. This idea of equity has to do with the perception employees have of their importance in relation to others within the company. If employees do not believe they are treated with equity they will not perform well.

Positive work environment
Positive work environment (Image: Brand X Pictures/Brand X Pictures/Getty Images)

Public Recognition

Sandy Smith, in "Motivating Employees in Tough Times," points out the importance of recognizing employees who work daily to live out the values of a company. Employees like to receive acknowledgment and praise from managers of a job well done. Companies that make public recognition a part of their normal protocol will create an environment for employees to perform well. Praise is an excellent motivator.

Public recognition
Public recognition (Image: Jupiterimages/Pixland/Getty Images)


Money is the most important motivator for employee performance but it is important for companies to find other ways to motivate. This involves getting to know their employees and what drives them, then making sure managers utilize appropriate motivational techniques with each employee. When appropriate motivation techniques are used, employee performance will improve.

Motivate your employees
Motivate your employees (Image: Michael Blann/Lifesize/Getty Images)

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  • "Supervision Today"; Stephen P. Robbins & David A. DeCenzo; 2007
  • "Journal of American Academy of Business"; A Review of Employee Motivation Theories and their Implications for Employee Retention with Organizations; 2004
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