Motivational Theories

For any business; success is dependent on how motivated its employees are and the top three motivational theories that can help us are the Maslow’s hierarchy of needs theory, Carrot and stick approach and motivation-hygiene theory. Lets’ look at each one in turn;

Maslow developed the hierarchy of needs theory and placed the needs of a human being into 5 categories such as basic survival needs of food, water, shelter and air to self-actualization. If we apply Maslow’s hierarchy of needs theory to work than an organization needs to understand what motivates an employee. For example, if a worker has been unemployed for several months than the need to work and the survival instinct would be his or her basic need.

Another motivational theory is the carrot and sticks approach by Jeremy Bentham and dates back to the industrial revolution. Just like to make a donkey work for long hours unstopped, we dangle a carrot in front of him and he keeps on working same is the case with employees, if Mr XYZ wants to motivate Bob who is a lazy individual to complete his work on time then he needs to use the stick with him to achieve results.

The third motivational theory that I am going to talk about is Herzberg’s two-factor theory which states that how motivated an employee is depends on his job satisfaction or dissatisfaction hence the hygiene factors. For example, eXACT which is a software company motivates its employees by providing them with recreational facilities inside their workplace. (Liopis, 2012)


Liopis, Glenn. (2012). The Top 9 Things That Ultimately Motivate Employees to Work. Retrieved from Web.

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