The following is the latest of the current series of Blogs. This blog is written by Mr. Maaz Khan, Tax Associate. Please read this blog and provide valued comments.

The myth of motivation

Formally, motivation describes the reason or reasons one has for acting or behaving in a particular way. This in turn impacts the general desire or willingness of someone to do something. In simple words motivation is “a state of mind”. Motivation is an integral factor at workplace. It adds value to our physical actions and act as a stimulator for our thoughts and ideas. However, motivation itself is affected by certain internal and external factors. Understanding those factors will help us “How to motivate others”.

Let’s have a brief discussion of those factors

Needs: Understanding needs of an employee will help us to understand his sources of motivation. Some people believe that the same things motivate everyone. Rewards will satisfy a need and individuals will be motivated to obtain those rewards. A US psychologist Abraham Maslow developed a theory of the motivation of individuals at work based on needs. He identified seven in-built needs of which two are needs of a ‘higher order’ that must be met before the other five needs can be satisfied.

Higher Order

Need for freedom of inquiry and expression:

Need for knowledge and understanding

Lower Order


Self esteem,

Social needs,


Physiological needs (basic needs)

Job satisfaction: Job satisfaction refers to the attitudes and feelings that individuals have in relation to their jobs. The extent of positive and favourable attitudes towards the job indicates the level of job satisfaction. Job satisfaction is an important external motivating factor.

Valence: Valence is the strength of the individual’s need for rewards. Motivation depends partly on valence. Managers should therefore try to find out what their employees do want. Rewards can be intrinsic or extrinsic.

Expectancy: Expectancy is the strength of the individual’s belief that by putting in more effort, he will improve his performance. Some individuals do not believe that they are able to achieve better performance by trying harder. They may lack self-confidence, or lack training. Management must consider ways of trying to increase the expectancy of their employees, for example by providing training and development, giving them the resources they need to do the job, or by providing supervision and guidance.

Proper communication and better relationship in organization: Motivation is affected by the relationship between management and workers. Managers need to communicate with workers.

Maaz Khan