Motivation at Work

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There is no secret to having motivated employees. However, there are theories that can help managers to successfully motivate employees. These theories are divided into two general categories. The first category is made up of the content theories and these focus on the basic needs and drives of individuals and how they contribute to motivation.


The first motivational theory that will be considered is Maslow's hierarchy of needs theory. This is a content theory that states that there are five levels of needs that an individual moves through. The first level is physiological needs, which refers to the basic need for food and shelter. The second level is safety needs, which includes having job security. The third level is belongingness needs, which refers to an individual's need to feel like they are part of something and to feel that their contribution is important. The fourth level is esteem, which refers to an individual's need to feel good about themselves, including feeling that their work is appreciated. The fifth and final level is self-actualisation, which refers to the individual feeling that they are realising their potential. This final level represents the individual being at their most motivated. At this point, the employee works to be the best that they can be, while feeling maximum satisfaction and while also feeling that their contribution is valued. The important thing about the hierarchy is that individuals cannot achieve any stage without first progressing through the earlier stages (Daft 1997, p. 529). ...
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