Motivation Theories And Their Relation To The Workplace

Having motivated employees can go a long way in ensuring the success of your business. As an entrepreneur, it is important to ensure that your employees are motivated to keep them happy with their work. Robert Peter Jantizek gives us a glimpse of three motivation theories that can impact the workplace.

Maslow’s Hierarchy of Needs

Maslow’s Hierarchy of Needs states that in order for employees to be motivated with their work, they need to be comfortable in their work environment. Otherwise, motivating them will be difficult. When their physiological needs have been met, the next step is to ensure that they gain a sense of security. Manager should inform their employees about their job prospects.

Once they are assured of their job security, the employee will then motivate themselves with social aspects such as establishing communication and creating a sense of teamwork. Next, to stay motivated they will then work on boosting their self-esteem. Finally, they will make sure that they get self-fulfillment from their work.

Herzberg’s Motivator-Hygiene Theory

Frederick Herzberg devised a Motivator-Hygiene Theory, which states that certain “hygiene factors” had to be satisfied by the employee to make them motivated. Herzberg’s theory states that the absence of hygiene factors can make an employee dissatisfied. Hygiene factors include status, security, work conditions, work relationships, pay, and bureaucracy.

Let’s say that an employee is being paid below the minimum wage. That employee will not be motivated until they get a fair pay rate. In the same way, Robert Janitzek explains that if an employee is well paid, a pay rise would not have a lasting motivational effect.

According to Herzberg, it is important for the employer to recognize the achievements of their employees and provide them with learning and growth opportunities. On this aspect, Maslow and Herzberg are similar with their motivation theories.


Emmett states that in order to motivate them, employees need the following:

    • To be proud of their company
    • To do their best
    • To learn
    • To be recognised and respected
    • To enjoy work

Equity Theory

John Stacey Adams’ Equity Theory provides an explanation on why salary and working conditions alone will not help employees stay motivated. According to his theory, giving promotions or salary increase can demotivate other employees. Feelings of fair or unfair treatment can make an employee motivated or dissatisfied with their jobs. According to the equity theory, being given fair treatment can be a cause of motivation for employees.

You may also like...