5 theories of psychological motivation to increase productivity (2023)

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We all want to be more productive, but getting motivated enough to get things done can feel impossible.

Social scientists have studied motivation for decades, trying to figure out what motivates our behavior, how, and why.

Over the years, dozens of theories of motivation have been proposed. Here are 5 popular motivation theories that can help you increase productivity in the workplace...

1. Hertzberg's two-factor theory

oTwo Factor Theory of Motivation(also known as the dual factor theory or motivation-hygiene theory) was developed by psychologist Frederick Herzberg in the 1950s.

By analyzing the responses of 200 accountants and engineers who were asked about their positive and negative feelings about their work, Herzberg found 2 factors that influence employee motivation and satisfaction...

1.Motivating factors– Simply put, these are factors that lead to satisfaction and motivate employees to work harder. Examples might include liking your job, feeling recognized, and advancing your career.
2.hygiene factors– These factors can lead to dissatisfaction and demotivation if they are not present. Examples include salary, company policies, benefits, relationships with managers and co-workers.

According to Herzberg's findings, although motivation and hygiene factors influenced motivation, they seemed to function completely independently of each other...

Although motivating factors increased employee satisfaction and motivation, the absence of these factors did not necessarily cause dissatisfaction. Likewise, the presence of hygiene factors does not seem to increase satisfaction and motivation, but their absence causes an increase in dissatisfaction.

How to apply it in the workplace.

This theory implies that for the workforce to be happier and more productive, it is necessary to work to improve motivational and hygienic factors.

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To help motivate your employees, make sure they feel appreciated and supported. Give plenty of feedback and make sure your employees understand how they can grow and progress within the company.

To avoid job dissatisfaction, make sure your employees feel that they are being treated fairly by offering them the best possible working conditions and fair pay. Make sure you pay attention to your team and build supportive relationships with them.

Remember that all your employees are different and what motivates one person may not motivate another.Paul Hebert of Symbolist Creedthat benefit packages should not be one-size-fits-all...

“For true engagement to happen in a company, you must first eliminate the problems that cause dissatisfaction: the basic benefits offered by the company that meet the employee's hygiene needs. So you have to focus on the individual and what they want out of their association with your company.”

2. Maslow's Hierarchy of Needs

ohierarchy of needsThe theory was coined by psychologist Abraham Maslow in his 1943 paper "A Theory of Human Motivation".

The core of the theory is that individuals' most basic needs must be satisfied before they are motivated to pursue higher-level needs.

The hierarchy consists of 5 levels:

1.Physiological– These needs must be met for a person to survive, such as food, water, and shelter.
2.Safety– including personal and financial security, health and well-being.
3.love/belonging– the need for friendships, relationships, and family.
4.We are– the need to feel safe and to be respected by others.
5.self-realization– the desire to achieve all you can and become the best you can be.

According to the hierarchy of needs, you must be in good health, safe and secure with meaningful relationships and trust before you can be the best you can be.

How to apply it in the workplace.

chip conley, founder of the Joie de Vivre hotel chain and director of hospitality at Airbnb, used the Hierarchy of Needs pyramid to transform his business. According to Chip, many managers struggle with the abstract concept of self-actualization and therefore focus on the lower levels of the pyramid.

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Conley found that one way to help at the highest levels was to help his employees understand the meaning of their roles during a team retreat...

“In one exercise, we gathered groups of eight housewives around a table and asked an abstract question: if someone from Mars came and saw what you're doing as a maid in a hotel, what would they call you? They created "The Serenity Sisters", "The Clutter Busters" and "The Peace of Mind Police". There was a feeling that people were doing more than cleaning a room. They were creating a space for a traveler away from home to feel safe and secure."

Conley's team could see how important their work was to the company and the people they helped. By showing them the value of their roles, the team could feel respected and motivated to work harder.

To get the most out of your team, you also need to support them in other aspects of their lives outside of work. Perhaps you could offer flexible working hours so employees have time to focus on their families and ensure they are paid fairly to help them feel financially stable.

3. Hawthorne Effect

oHawthorne Effectit was first described by Henry A. Landsberger in 1950, who noticed a tendency for some people to work harder and perform better when observed by researchers.

The Hawthorne effect takes its name from a series of social experiments on the influence of physical conditions on productivity at the Western Electric plant in Hawthorne, Chicago, in the 1920s and 1930s.

The researchers changed several physical conditions over the course of the experiments, including lighting, work hours, and breaks. In all cases, employee productivity increased when a change was made. The researchers concluded that employees were motivated to work harder in response to the attention given to them, rather than the physical changes themselves.

How to apply it in the workplace.

Studies of the Hawthorne Effect suggest that employees will work harder if they know they are being watched. While I don't recommend staring at your employees all day, you can try providing regular feedback, letting your team know you know what they're doing and how they're doing it.

Showing your employees that you care about them and their working conditions can also motivate them to work harder. Encourage your team to provide feedback and suggestions about your workspace and development.

4. Expectation theory

expectations theoryproposes that people will choose how to behave based on the outcomes they expect as a result of their behavior. In other words, we decide what to do based on what we expect the outcome to be. At work, we may work longer hours because we expect a raise.

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However, expectancy theory also suggests that the process by which we decide about our behaviors is also influenced by how likely we are to perceive these rewards. In this case, workers are more likely to work harder if they are promised a raise (and therefore perceive the outcome as highly likely) than if they just assume they might get it (and perceive the outcome as possible but not likely). 🇧🇷

Expectancy theory is based on three elements:

1.Expectation– the belief that your effort will result in the desired goal. This is based on your previous experience, your self-confidence and how difficult you think it is to achieve the goal.
2.Mediation– the belief that you will receive a reward if you meet performance expectations.
3.Valence– the value you place on the reward.

Therefore, according to expectancy theory, people are more motivated if they believe they will receive a desired reward if they reach an achievable goal. They are less motivated if they don't want the reward or if they don't believe their efforts will result in the reward.

How to apply it in the workplace.

The key here is to set achievable goals for your employees and give them the rewards they really want.

Rewards don't have to come in the form of raises, bonuses, or all-expense-paid nights out (although I find that is often welcome!) Praise, promotion opportunities, and "employee of the month" style rewards go a long way toward motivating your employees.

Do you need some inspiration? look at these51 cheap ways to reward employeesDo autor de The Toilet Paper Entrepreneur, Mike Michalowicz.

5. Three-dimensional attribution theory

Attribution theory explains how we attribute meaning to our own and other people's behavior. There are several theories about attribution.

by Bernardo Weinerthree-dimensional attribution theoryassumes that people try to determine why we do what we do. According to Weiner, the reasons we attribute to our behavior can influence how we behave in the future.

For example, a student who fails an exam can attribute his failure to a series of factors and it is this attribution that will affect his motivation in the future.

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Weiner theorized that specific attributions (eg, bad luck, not studying hard enough) were less important than the characteristics of that attribution. According to Weiner, there are three main characteristics of attributions that can affect future motivation.

1.Stability– How stable is the assignment? For example, if the student believes they failed the test because they weren't smart enough, this is a stable factor. An unstable factor is less permanent, like being sick.

According to Weiner, stable assignments for successful achievements, such as passing exams, can lead to positive expectations and thus greater motivation for future success.

However, in negative situations, such as failing the exam, stable assignments can lead to lower expectations in the future.

2.checkpoint– Was the event caused by an internal or external factor?

For example, if the student believes that it is his fault that he failed the exam because he is not innately smart enough (an internal cause), he may be less motivated in the future. If they believed that an external factor, such as poor teaching, was to blame, they might not experience this drop in motivation.

3.controllability– How manageable was the situation? If a person believes they could perform better, they may be less motivated to try again in the future than someone who believes they have failed due to factors beyond their control.

How to apply it in the workplace.

Weiner's three-dimensional attribution theory has implications for employee feedback.

Be sure to give your employees specific feedback letting them know that you know they can improve and how they can do so. This, in theory, will help prevent them from blaming their failure on a lack of innate ability and seeing success as manageable by working harder or using different strategies.

You can also praise your employees for showing improvement, even if the result isn't quite right yet. For example, you can praise someone for using the right methodology, even if the results weren't what you wanted. That way, you're encouraging employees to attribute the failure to controllable factors, which, again, can be improved on in the future.

(Video) Dr. Anna Lembke: "Your behavior will reset 100%"

Contactzilla is simple and secure contact management that integrates seamlessly into your existing workflow. Share address books with colleagues, collaborate to keep contacts up to date, sync to your phone, and never be without the right phone number or email address again.To know more.

Photo byPawel CzerwinskionUnsplash


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