Employee Motivation Theories

Employee Motivation Theories

The Expectancy Theory

In this theory, both Maslow’s and Herzberg’s motivation theories presents that motivations is triggered by expectations. Though this is true in some points, by generalising it both theories are criticised. It is obvious with many other recent researches that the same people are motivated by different things at different times and that different people are motivated by different things at the same time. Therefore, there is no certain category of motivation. Expectancy refers to the subjective probability that one thing will result in another. Individual perception is, therefore, an essential part of Expectancy theory…

Expectancy Model Design

With this theory, an expectancy model was designed and here determined that one’s motivation is strengthened as their perceived effort-performance and performance-reward probabilities increase. It may seem quite complicated, but we can discuss it through examples.

For instance, how strong can you be motivated to study if you expect to score poorly on your tests no matter how hard you study (low effort-performance probability) and when you know that the tests will not be graded (low performance-reward probability)? In contrast, your motivation to study will increase if you know that u can score well on the tests with just a little hard work (high effort-performance probability) and that your grades will be significantly improved (high performance-reward probability).


Employees and staff are no different from students or any other people. They are simply motivated to do and work harder if it will give them better and more valuable rewards.

With this, an employees contribution is determined on their rewards expectation. With this said, managers and leaders can create strategies to try to push them to work harder by making favorable expectations for their employees. When people can expect personally valued rewards, they will undoubtedly work harder to try to accomplish their tasks.

This is where one qualities of managers must have that will help; listening. One must listen to his/her employees, remember what they experienced as an employee and discover what rewards certain employees value. So the manager can potentially enhance their employees willingness to put more effort into their work.

The Goal Setting Theory

Another theory is the Goal Setting Theory wherein as stated and developed both by Lotham and Locke in the year 1979 that a certain level of motivation and performance is higher when the individual has specific objectives established and when these objectives, even with a high level of difficulty, are accepted and are offered performance feedback. The employees must participate in the process of goal setting in order to obtain their approval when setting higher and higher targets and the human resources people can help them to understand the consequences of these targets over their entire activity. Feedback is also vital to maintain the employees motivation, especially when targeting even higher objectives.

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Thanks for Reading!

The @BuildaUKBusiness Recruitment Team

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