Motivation can either be internal or external and depends on what needs people need filled.  Different employees may need different motivators depending on what is important to them or what they need. Finding the correct balance of rewards for motivation in an organization can be difficult because what each person needs is hard to determine. Intrinsic rewards are based on internal motivators such as feeling good about the job that you performed.  For some people going to work and knowing that you helped someone or that you completed a project is enough of a reward.  Extrinsic rewards are based on external rewards such as monetary, promotions, or recognition.

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The expectancy model, developed by Vroom, is based on three factors: valence or personal preference, expectancy or the belief that effort will result in task completion and Instrumentality or that a reward will be received for the completed task (Newstrom,2015). One of the disadvantages of this theory is that everyone’s perception is different, so even though I may think I have completed the task and done it well it may not be what the organization expects and therefore I will not be rewarded.

Another model, based around the expectancy model, is the emerging concept of Organizational Collective Motivation (OCM).  Hitchcock (2017) describes OCM as an opportunity to motivate employees as a collective group in the organization so they can learn to work towards success together. The idea is that when people feel that they are part of the organization and contribute to its success then they are either intrinsically or extrinsically motivated to perform well. “An organization whose workforce is both individually and collectively motivated will thrive because its members will be engaged and committed to organizational success (Hitchcock,2017).”

One of the companies I worked for offered a flexible schedule, the opportunity to telework, and monetary rewards based on annual performance appraisals. Although people like the monetary rewards there is always discussions about what other people got and why.  The problem with those type of rewards is that they are calculated based on supervisors’ perceptions.  Another organization that I worked for gave time-off awards which added more vacation time and that was well received with the organization.


One situation that comes to mind where motivation positively influenced an employee’s performance was when as a manager I was getting ready to go out on maternity leave. I began selecting an employee who could fill the spot in my absence. This process involved shaping this employee and priming her in order to motivate her to take on the task and succeed at it. The first task in stimulating this motivation was to identify the drive of the employee. Newstrom (2015) speaks extensively to the importance of this identification in motivation stating “Motivation also requires discovering and understanding employee drives and needs, since it originates within an individual” (p.116), “A manager’s job is to identify employees’ drives and needs and to channel their behavior toward task performance” (p.117), and “They can then deal with employees differently according to the strongest motivational drive that they identify in each employee” (p. 120). The employee exhibited tendencies toward achievement motivation. As Yilmaz and Kaygin state “Achievement motivation is…’the tendency to strive for success or the attainment of a desirable goal’” (p.2).

In knowing this I was then able to steer my motivaters to align with this drive. One of the first important factors was providing consistent and positive feedback. As Newstrom (2015) states “…Performance feedback leads to both improved performance and improved attitudes …” (p. 157). Once the foundation was laid, the employee was then told the plan, at that point mutual and clear goals were set in order to facilitate her transition into this new role. As each milestone of learning new tasks, building on her foundation of facility knowledge, and improvement in interpersonal interactions was attained, the employee gained confidence and was ready to meet her next challenge. “Meeting goals also help satisfy a person’s achievement drive, contributes to feelings of competence and self-esteem, and further stimulates personal growth needs” (Newstrom, 2015, p. 129).  Locke and Schattke (2018) reiterate this in stating [achievement motivation] …is not the doing or enjoyment of the activity as such but doing well and/or doing better than before, in other words improvement” (p. 4). In the end, the employee was fully ready and confident in taking over this role and was able to become a role model for other staff. She continued to be a role model even upon my return and in such motivated other staff members to take on challenges and improve their performance. Eventually she was also able to move to a different unit that brought new challenges and rewards.


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