How Employee Motivation Is Different From Personal Motivation

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How Employee Motivation Is Different From Personal Motivation

Employee motivation is different from personal motivation because it requires different tools and depends on what the employer has to offer to an employee as part of his or her company. The focus here is on what the employer is doing to motivate the employees to perform well and to be satisfied with their jobs.

Employee motivation is defined by Gary Johns in his book ‘’Organizational Behaviour’’ as the extent to which a persistent effort is directed towards achieving a goal. It implies effort, the persistence of the effort, and a goal of the company towards which the persistent effort is directed.

Because the goal is not a personal goal, the employee is making consistent efforts in the company’s interest. He/she pursue it as a means to achieve his/her personal goals. The more the fulfilment of workplace goals leads to the fulfilment of personal goals, the more employees are motivated by their jobs.

Personal goals include professional goals

Let’s be clear here. Personal goals can include working in a happy and healthy work environment, having good relationships with co-workers, having great work conditions, having certain responsibilities and tasks, and so on. Because work is part of most people’s lives, they have personal goals related to that. However, personal goals are not limited to work but include other areas of a person’s life, such as family, health, travelling, free time, etc.

Although it’s each person’s responsibility to have a motivating job, people have little control over how a company operates. What they can control is how they choose a job, whether they try to change the things that are not motivating for them or if they stay in the company.

Misconceptions About Employee Motivation

As I observed the conversations during the ”quite quitting” phenomenon, I realized that some people think that it is an employee’s job to be motivated by his or her job and to behave as a motivated employee. They encouraged employees to be more engaged and to work harder. Every human resources person who learned and experienced employee behaviour knows that this is not how things work.

If you are one of these people, I’m sorry that I’m contradicting one of your beliefs. I promise you that reconsidering this belief, questioning it, and learning about what experts in the human resources field say about this will bring you many benefits in your business.

This confusion may arise from the fact that employee motivation has to take personal motivation into consideration. You cannot develop employee motivational strategies without knowing the motivational drivers of each employee and in general, what motivates human beings.

Employee motivation depends on what the company does to motivate its employees

Employee behaviour and motivation have been studied for hundreds of years, starting with Frederick Taylor in the late 19th century and early 20th century. The field has continued to develop with more evolved theories, such as the Equity Theory developed by J. Stacy Adams. The equity theory focuses on perceptions of fairness in the workplace. Another significant theory is the Expectancy Theory by Victor Vroom, which posits that motivation is influenced by the expectation that effort will lead to performance and performance will lead to desired outcomes or rewards. Albert Bandura’s Self-Efficacy Theory is another important theory that emphasizes the belief individuals have in their own ability to succeed in specific tasks or situations. There are many other theories that add value to this field. The study of employee behaviour and motivation will continue to evolve as new research is conducted and social conditions change.

You don’t have to reinvent the wheel and spend time in trial and error to see what motivates your employees. You can study this field and collaborate with experts in the field to guide you in your business. I’ll always be happy to help you with this.

What Companies Can Do To Have Motivated Employees And Maintain Their Motivation


Asses your candidates motivation

First, make sure that your hiring processes include questions that assess the candidates’ motivation for the job you offer. Even if you collaborate with an external agency to hire new employees, have at least one interview with each selected candidate and ask these questions. The external agency has limited data about your company in terms of work environment, relationships, values, standards, conditions, etc. It cannot make an accurate assessment if the candidate is a good fit for the company, not just to accomplish the job tasks.


Check your new employees motivation during the integration period

Once you have hired a person who is motivated by the job as a whole experience, check that person’s motivation during the integration period. Have meetings with them to see what they think about the job after they have had a chance to experience it. See if their expectations were met and if there are any issues, concerns or worries. Discuss them and work towards resolving them.


Maintain your employees' motivation

Just like you investigate a candidate’s motivation for a job, you can also investigate your employees’ motivation. People change over time, and what motivated them last year or two years ago may have changed. For example, the salary an employee received last year might not be motivating this year, especially when he has gained more skills in his tasks and achieved greater results. Additionally, the company itself might have undergone changes that impact employee motivation. For instance, new employees can alter the dynamics and qualities of employee relationships, and new offices in different locations can change work conditions. Also, a new leader can enhance or diminish employee motivation, among other factors.

To find out what motivates them, you need to ask them about how they perceive their current jobs, touching on different aspects of these, and then ask about their expectations regarding these aspects. The smaller the gap between what they have or receive in their current jobs and what they expect, the more motivated they will be.

My online program, How To Motivate Your Employees So They Care For Your Business And Help You Grow It, will assist you in analyzing seven aspects of their jobs and creating personalized motivational plans for each one of them. It will also help you elevate your general motivational plan. Learn more about the program and enrol HERE.

In conclusion

Understanding the distinction between employee motivation and personal motivation is crucial for businesses seeking to create a motivated workforce. While personal motivation is the responsibility of each individual, employee motivation relies on various tools and factors provided by the employer to drive performance and job satisfaction.

Let me know what are your thoughts about this blog post. If you have questions I’ll be happy to answer them at:

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Also, check the online program below. You can increase your employee motivation on your own, enrolling in this program.


How To Motivate Your Employees So They Care For Your Business And Hel You Grow It