Nature or Characteristics of Motivation


It is difficult to describe the nature of motivation. However, the following points about it deserve to be noted: 

1. A Psychological concept

Motivation deals with workers on the psychological plane. Even workers with extraordinary abilities will not be able to perform as desired until they are effectively motivated.

Effective performance on the part of workers can be said to be the result of their abilities backed by proper motivation. Thus, Performance = Abilities Opportunity * Motivation.

While motivation has the capacity to secure desired performance form workers, it _can be effective only upon an accurate analysis of workers needs for the satisfaction of which they may be induced to work in the desired manner. 

2. Motivation is total, not piecemeal

A worker cannot be motivated in parts. For successful motivation, he should be treated as an indivisible unit, taking into account all his urges and aspirations.

A motivational device which promises fulfillment of some needs of workers and not others will fall short of its objective of evoking total commitment of workers. 

3. Motivation is determined by human needs

A worker will perform the desired activity only so long as he sees his action as a means of continued fulfillment of his strongly – felt needs. Once a particular need is satisfied for good, he may lose the activity that provides him satisfaction of the said need. In such a case, he will have to be provided awareness of satisfaction of his other needs so that he continues to be inclined to pursue the said activity.

4. Motivation may be financial or non-financial

Motivation may be provided in several ways depending upon the needs, emotions and sentiments of workers. But broadly speaking, it may be classified as financial and non-financial.

Financial motivation seeks to satisfy physiological and security needs and it is by way of wages. allowances, bonus, prizes and other perquisites. On the other hand, non-financial motivation which seeks to satisfy social, recognition and creative needs may be way of appreciation for the work done, higher status and greater responsibility, or increased participation in decision – making.

5. Motivation is a constant process

Human needs are infinite. No sooner a person has satisfied one need than he seeks to satisfy another. As very aptly put by McGregor, “Man is a wanting animal – as soon as one of his needs is satisfied, another appears in its place. This process is unending…. ”

Motivation cannot be a time-bound process. Nor can it be a touch – and – go affair. To keep the workers continuously engaged in the planned activities, they must be kept in a state or continued animated tension by means of unfolding before them ever new avenues for the satisfaction of their limitless needs.