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Motivational Factors

It is very important for managers to understand that different factors motivate different people. We call these factors "motivational factors".

It is also key to understand that not all people are motivated by a single factor; instead they are motivated by a series of factors.

The motivational factors change during the course of time, greatly depending on the particular phase that an individual might be going through, whether it be in his personal life or career.

When people are asked what factors motivate them to work, we generally receive answers, such as:

o The organization for which they work.

o The work environment.

o Their boss.

o Money.

o The achievements they can produce when they play a specific role.

o Recognition.

o The power that a position enables them with.

o Status.

o Their peers, team and co-workers.

o The work schedule.

A simple way to expose these factors is by means of a polynomial, whereby we add the elements that motivate a person

Let ‘s take Anne as an example:

Anne’s motivation = Salary + Her boss + Power + Work Schedule + Work Atmosphere + Co-Workers.

Each factor also bears a different weight in Anne’s motivation formula:

Anne’s motivation is equal to: Salary (20%)+ Her boss (50%) + Power (10%) + Work Schedule (10%) + Work atmosphere (5%) + Co-Workers (5%).

In Anne’s case, her biggest motivation to work comes from her boss, followed by salary, power, work schedule, work atmosphere and co-workers.

Constant Change

Motivation changes depend on the individual's personal life and career phase (as well as many other instances).

In Anne’s case, being a recent college graduate that is taking her first steps in a corporation, her boss is the primary source of motivation. Her boss is an excellent coach and provides her with guidance and continuous training.

The motivation factors might change as she wants to apply for a loan to buy a house, then salary can become a more relevant motivating factor.

If Anne gets married and has kids, work schedule might become a key factor in determining her motivation to work in a specific position, as she wants to spend more time with her kids.

The polynomial theory gives us a vision as to how motivational factors interact and vary, depending on the person we are analyzing and the timing when the analysis is being made.

So, What Do We Use It For?

Understanding people's motivations is a key competency to being an effective leader, manager or team member.

If we understand the motivation factors, it will be easier to create a work atmosphere where motivation flourishes. There is not a unique formula as to how to create this atmosphere. Nevertheless, if we understand the motivation factor, we will be more likely to take actions that create employees’ satisfaction.

If we do not understand this, we can take actions that are neutral or even counterproductive. For example, if an employee is motivated by work related achievements and we give him a salary increase, probably this will have little effect on his motivation. On the other hand, if we assign him to a relevant project, this will probably have a positive effect on his behavior.

As organizations cannot magically motivate employees, it is the role of leaders, managers and team leaders to continuously monitor the motivational factors of their employees. This continuous exercise will allow them to take the right actions and to improve individual motivation.

Understanding the dynamics of how individual motivation works can make the difference between a successful leader and one that is not

SO .....


hi anu, thanx but i wud like u all to throw lights whether it is easily applicable in our situations or not!!! dips
Hi All

It's a useful idea to consider that we have a number of different motivators and that some will be more dominant than others, hence we have the example quoted:

Work by Prof John Hunt of London Business School (see his book "Motivating People At Work" published by McGraw Hill) suggests that there are a number of motivators that affect us both in and out of work, and he has developed a profiling system for measuring this in people:

COMFORT - this is about lifestyle (money, possessions) and avoiding stress. For different people at different stages in their lives, they may score high for money & possessions and low for stress avoidance (e.g. high achievers) and for others there could be 'average' scores indicating nothing out of the ordinary, whilst for people scoring high in both these aspects there may be some serious personal issues.

STRUCTURE - this is about how much structure and definition you want from your job and also about avoiding risk. Some people need their job very clearly defined and boundaries set (high score for structure). Others may score high also on avoiding risk, meaning that they are currently unlikely to step outside of these defined boundaries without support and permission, meaning that at work they will not wish to take responsibility for tough decisions for example.

RELATIONSHIPS - this is about how important other people are, esp. in the workplace - can people work effectively for long periods of time as part of a busy group, or perhaps even on their own?

RECOGNITION - high scorers here are looking for feedback on what and how they are doing. They need to be told more than others how things are going.

POWER - this is primarily about running things - projects, teams, the local football club at the men's club - controlling and managing the behaviours of others. Managers usually score quite highly here.

AUTONOMY - this is about doing things your way, doing your own thing, and being independent - designers and scientist may score highly here for example, along with inventors and entrepreneurs.

As you can see there are huge implications here for line managers in using such a concept to influence people. The theory also suggests that people can only motivate themselves, not others, and that the motivations profile changes over time, so they WAY in which you ask somebody to do a task is more important.

I'm looking forward to comments!!




hi, I know the post is lovely that’s why i posted it here :P now throw more light on this.. dips
Dear All,

Just want to share.

Motivation factor is not a permanent factor, and I am sure all will agree with this point. In fact not all the motivation factor will not remain the same should behaviour change drastically. And at times, we need to differentiate motivation source and motivational tool. Example, Good Education for the Children is a motivation source, Money because the motivational tool. or Wanting a to be known + a benelovant personality (motivation source) thus, performing healing, charity works, teaching can be come the motivational tool. Any a millions combination but all still comes from the ultimate source, Behaviour.

How then do we monitor? We now have a lot of tools, like DISC, INNERVIEW, MYER-BRIGGS and many more to help with defining behaviour and work preferences. It is a good guide to have, but at the same time, we need to ensure that we do not begin to discriminate with the information available. "Oh, his profiles says he is like this like that....he's not fit for the new project". People CHANGE.

All these profiles are guides, and MUST remain as guides. What we should try to do is feel or look out for behaviour changes. To me this are strong indicators for monitoring motivational factors, of course, it is assumes that we have already a certian map of the person's behaviour available. Even a person change in preference of eating can indicate changes in motivation. Eg. A young man 30 years old, changing his habit from meat base to vegetarian. Question, religious impact, change of diet? if religious impact, temporary for a certain festival or permanent change? Temporary can the motivation be because he wants to appeace certain deity in return of granting him something? what is that something? A motivational source?.....If its a diet change? Changing to vegetarian? temporary or permanent? temporary due to wanting to look good? Vanity a motivational source?......permanent, a honest change in eating behaviour due to life changing impact? benevolent begins to be a motivational source?

Some food for thought.


don't know if this is the right string to post this in but here is smthg abt overcoming negetive beliefs ...

Overcoming Negative Beliefs

- By Dr. Steve Taubman

In India , the method for training an elephant is the following: When the elephant is very yoüng, its leg is tied to a small post with a thin piece of rope. At that age the elephant hasn't the power to break the rope or dislodge the post. It tries for a while and then gives up. As the elephant grows, there's no reason to increase the girth of the rope or the post. The elephant of course reaches such size and strength that it could, if it wanted, easily break free from the restraint. But having tried and failed earlier, it stops trying, convinced that it's entrapped ... Doesn't that sound like us?

Nothing has such a direct impact on our success in life as our beliefs. Napoleon Hill, author of Think and Grow Rich, says "What the mind conceives and believes, it achieves." Joseph Chilton Pearce , author of Magical Child, says "Belief effects perception." Our beliefs affect what we see and what we accomplish.

If you're to succeed in achieving your life's dreams, you must begin to adopt what motivational speaker Wayne Dyer calls "No Limit Thinking." What you can't do is only what you can't do yet. You are equipped like every other human being with the capabilities necessary to accomplish your goals. Author Richard Bach says: "Nobody is given a dream without the power to make it come true."

Unfortunately, our beliefs are resistant to change because of the method we use for applying evidence to substantiate them. Sometimes we develop a

negative belief which starts as a misinterpretation of an event in our lives. That misinterpretation is reinforced by subsequent misinterpretations to the point that the original misinterpretation is now seen as incontrovertible fact. We make our beliefs into reality.

When I was five years old, my family moved into a new neighborhood. The neighborhood kids had been friends with the previous occupants and weren't

open to newcomers. The day I arrived, half the neighborhood kids were in my backyard on my swing set. When I went out there to join in, they wouldn't let me. They told me I didn't belong there and that I was stupid and ugly. The wound was substantial. In that moment, I decided that I was undesirable.

From then on, I carried that scar with me. Each new interaction was colored by my decision that I was undesirable. Somehow, I would telegraph my undesirability to others who would use that information, received unconsciously by them, to hold me at a distance. I'd sense their distance and would use it to prove to myself that my notion of my undesirability was accurate. Each new interaction would reinforce my belief, and my belief would recreate the types of interactions which proved the belief true. Further, the inner feeling, which I'd been trained to trust as accurate, would deepen my conviction about my own undesirability. But was I really undesirable or was I just the victim of my misunderstanding of the original situation?

If I were to choose to change that belief, what would I have to face? Well, I'd have to face the feeling that the belief was true, and I'd have to face the voices in my head that would remind me of all the times that things happened which proved the belief to be true. To change the belief, I'd have to fly in the face of both historical evidence and bodily knowing in the form of emotions. That's a lot of power! What's the answer? Where could I find the strength to overcome such powerful evidence?

The answer is something known as reframing. Reframing is a technique for looking at a particular situation or set of circumstances and challenging oneself to find the most empowering, resourceful interpretation of that situation. It often requires creative thinking and is underlined by the idea that no situation has an inherently correct interpretation except that which we give it. In other words, there are many ways to view any circumstance and our charge is not to find the right interpretation but to find the most useful interpretation, the one that helps us meet our goals, the one that we will also accept as viable.

Suppose it's my goal to be happy. Which is a more useful frame to put around the story I told about my childhood? That I was, in fact, fundamentally undesirable or that I was a perfectly normal child who happened to stumble into an unfriendly situation? Which evaluation would have served me more in my growth?

There are probably some among you who, like me in my past, feel that reframing a situation is inherently dishonest. If you're one of them, let me suggest that you consider the underlying belief that your negative interpretation of a situation is correct. Just because it feels true and has a historic context, does that make it true? Is it not possible that your interpretation is really a misinterpretation? Perhaps you're holding yourself back from thriving because of outmoded adherence to an indefensible view. Whenever I feel that I must maintain my view of anything, I try to remember the words of Ram Dass, who says, "You're not who you think you are." If you're not who you think you are, how can you defend your position?

Here are some powerful reframes, which, once adopted by your deep subconscious mind, will activate your enthusiasm, creativity, and sense of possibility:

There are no problems, only opportunities.

Those who cause me emotional pain are my teachers, helping to point out the emotional addictions I need to overcome.

What I've failed to accomplish doesn't prove my incapability but my lack of adequate knowledge to this point.

There is no failure; only feedback.

When I share my pain, I become more truly human.

Take a few minutes to make your unconscious beliefs conscious. Ask yourself what you believe about yourself, about your role in society, about your capabilities, about the world around you, about family and friends, about men, about women, about your past, about your future, about God, about life and death, and about the role of belief in your future.

Take these questions one at a time and spend one minute writing as many answers as you can to each as quickly as you can, without pausing to reflect. Look for ways of reframing your unresourceful beliefs, finding empowering ways to look at your situation without sacrificing your hold on reality. Be as diligent as you can. With time, you will find your life becoming more satisfying and manageable, even before you've actually done anything to change your life circumstances.

About the Author:

Dr. Steve Taubman is recognized as the nation's "Starting over Expert." As a chiropractor, magician, hypnotist, pilot, speaker, coach, and author, Dr. Taubman has developed skills to reinvent his life and the techniques to help others do the same. In his groundbreaking book, UnHypnosis: How to Wake Up, Start Over, and Create the Life You're Meant to Live, Dr. Taubman lays out a clear five-step program for helping people set and achieve their goals. Dr. Taubman 's book encapsulates the principles necessary for one to reinvent one's life. He's coached many people to make major life changes through clarifying their inner-most desires, developing greater prosperity consciousness, and implementing powerful goal-setting techniques. You can visit his Web site at: <link no longer exists - removed>

"Goals are simply a way of breaking a vision into smaller, workable units."

- Nido Qubein

"The world would have you agree with its dismal dream of limitation. But the light would have you soar like the eagle of your sacred visions."

-- Alan Cohen

"Cherish your visions and your dreams. They are the children of your soul, the blueprints of your ultimate achievements."

-- Napoleon Hill



hi pallavi.
I think you've gone a bit away from the topic, but then it was a good post .
hi noel,
as i have also mentioned in my post, that I really found that that the factors for motivation change with the particular situations.
but do you guys think we as HR can apply this easily in the kinds of companies we are working???

hi, to add on the above, sometimes as an employee should we expect that our company should always fulfill all our motivation factors all the times and in every situation?????/ dips
Deepali, Superb post obviously. Attached is a presentation on how to motivate in tough times. Thanks Bala

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File Type: ppt motivating_employees_in_tough_times_208.ppt (90.0 KB, 347 views)

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