5 Psychological Concept You Must Understand About Motivation

Previously on our blog, we talked about how to motivate your sales team with the different motivational tool. Let’s take a deeper look on the motivation concept itself. There are many psychological theories to explain how motivation occurs, or where does it come from. Here are 5 psychological concepts you must know about in order to create a more successful work environment.

Maslow’s Hierarchy of Needs

Yes, it’s an old theory and we discovered much more things after this theory. But the hierarchy of needs is still a good place to start in order to understand how motivation is structured.  Unless we have our prioritize our needs,  motivation only remains as a distant wish.  

This theory aims to organise our basic needs in a certain order within a pyramid. It symbolizes that people are motivated to achieve certain needs in a certain order. It goes without saying that some of our needs are more important than the others. You can not expect your employees to work with a high performance if they don’t have their basic needs.

Adam’s Equity Theory  

Equality is one of the major elements we look for. Your employees want to feel that the contributions and the benefits are equally distributed. The core belief is that people value fair treatment and fair treatment always motivates us. If you look for specific examples, you can think of the shift scheduling or salary structuring in your work environment. Do you think your employees are satisfied and feel equal?

Ryan and Deci’s self Determination Theory  

The self-determination theory takes two elements as core values. The sense of achievement is very important in our lives. As humans, we want to be part of the society, contribute and reach to higher ranks in our fields. On the other hand, autonomy, the freedom we have is very important too. To a certain sense, people should be able to take their own decisions in order to feel that their contribution is valued.  In some situations, you have to trust your employee that they will take the right decision. If you won’t provide this environment, besides losing their motivation, they also can not improve themselves.

Locke And Latham’s Goal Setting Theory

A goal always encourages your employees to put an extra effort into their work. The specificity and difficulty level of the goal is the main key to the success. If you want to motivate your employees with a goal, remember to create something specific. It can’t be too strict but also not too flexible either (remember what we said above). The difficulty level of the target also affects how much effort your employees put into their work. When a goal is too hard, we tend to give up quicker, but also if it is too easy, we underestimate it and often get bored and underperform.

Positive Effect: The more we are happy, the more motivated we are. This is basically the main idea behind the positive affect theory. Pleasure and positive effects are the primary root causes of motivation. And this pleasure can come from our many different needs. Having a closer relationship with your employees can help you to find different ways to make them happy and motivated. Because remember, the main idea is that we should keep our employees happy!


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