It’s always important for a business to keep their employees motivated in order to achieve best results for a company!

If employees are not motivated, chances are they will produce less product, not work as hard for their employer and absenteeism ,may rise – and just be generally grumpy in the office.

So to keep morale high in work there are a number of theories that a business can adopt in order to ensure their workers remain enthusiastic and motivated.

There are several different motivational theories. They include Taylor’s, Maslow’s and Herzberg’s.

The two-factor theory, known as Herzberg’s motivation-hygiene theory or dual-factor theory, argued that there are certain factors that a business could introduce that would directly motivate employees to work harder (motivators).

However, there were also factors that would demotivate an employee if not present but would not in themselves actually motivate employees to work harder (hygiene factors).

Motivating factors include interesting work, personal achievement, recognition of achievement, more responsibility and personal development.

Hygiene factors include company policy, supervision, working conditions, pay and relations.

Frederick Taylor developed scientific management theory. Taylor put forward the idea that workers are motivated mainly by pay. He also suggested that they should be paid in relation to their output, as a result workers are encouraged to work hard and maximise their productivity.
Thirdly, Maslow focused on the psychological needs of employees. He put forward a theory that there are five levels in a hierarchy of human needs that employees need to have fulfilled at work.

One of the key factors of Maslow’s theory was that only once a lower level of need has been fully met, would a worker be motivated by the opportunity of having the next need up in the hierarchy satisfied.

Unfortunately it doesn’t end there – whilst they may be the most well known, there are a few others that are also worth knowing about.

A guy called Elton Mayo developed the human relations theory of motivation. Mayo believed that employees are not just concerned with money but could be better motivated by having their social needs met whilst at work.

His theory focused on managers taking more of an interest in their employees, treating them as people who have worthwhile opinions and realising that workers enjoy interacting together.

More names coming up unfortunately. So Hackman and Oldham focused on job design for the worker. The Hackman and Oldham theory believes that job design is focused on the person not on the job, so that the person would then be motivated.

Final name to learn in motivational theories is McGregor. McGregor came up with theory X and Y. He stated that employees dislike work and need to be controlled. McGregor developed two theories of human behaviour at work: theory X and theory Y.

Theory X workers lack ambition, dislike responsibility and prefer to be led. On the other hand theory Y workers consider effort at work similar to that of rest or play.

Aside from these theories you can also consider how the structure of a business will impact the motivation of workers.

A decentralised structure can improve motivation as junior managers and other employees may be involved in making decisions. However, it does not allow for consistent policies across a business.

Tall structures can also improve motivation as it is considered that there is more opportunity for promotion. The opportunity for promotion can act as a motivational factor for some employees which can make them work more effectively.