Employee motivation Picture

Employee motivation

Employee motivation is an important concept in an organisation, when workers are motivated in an organisation their productivity rises and therefore the organisation realises various advantages associated with the rise in labour productivity. There exist various theories that explain employee motivation which include theories by Sigmund Freud, Douglas McGregor and Abraham Maslow.

Sigmund Freud formulated a theory that stated that people were lazy at work and that workers are very far from becoming optimistic, the workers have no ambition and they always avoid taking any responsibility and that all the workers want is security. Based on this assumption Freud stated that to get the people to work there must a reward system, they must be coerced, punished and intimidated. For this reason therefore the managers in any organisation according to this theory are viewed as taking the responsibility of policing workers who refuse to work and that they cannot be trusted. However his theory was based on some unrealistic assumptions.

Douglas McGregor also formulated a theory that explains employee motivation, according to his theory people always want to learn, and that work is viewed as natural and therefore the people will develop self development and discipline, this theory also states that rewards to employees is not so much in monetary form but the freedom to undertake difficult tasks and challenging tasks all by themselves. Therefore the manager's job in this theory is only a way to lead workers into self development and also achieve efficiency in the organisation, the managers work is viewed as soft and simple.

Abraham Maslow theory of need also in a way describes employee motivation. He formulated the theory of needs whereby he states that human beings have a hierarchy of needs whereby they first satisfy lower needs before satisfying the higher needs, human needs include physiological, emotional support needs, esteem need and the need for self actualization. According to this theory therefore human beings are dominated by their unsatisfied needs because when one need is met then he aspires for the other higher needs.

The three theories by the theorist helps us to understand human beings at work, although some theories are based on some drastic assumption it is true that each theory is based on some assumption and therefore they all help explain employee motivation. Other studies show that effective communication, increased confidence, job security, team work, appropriate recognition of employee contribution and the provision of training programs in an organisation improves motivation in an organisation; there are therefore various methods by which an organisation can increase effectiveness and productivity of labour.

This paper focuses on a study undertaken on employee motivation which involved 160 employees from the ministry of education, however only 80 questionnaires and therefore they were the only ones considered in this study.

The sample:

The data was collected from 64 males and 16 were female, the total sample was 80 respondents, the research was aimed at finding out management tools that can be used to gain employee satisfaction and performance. There were no respondents aged below 20 years, 20 respondents aged between 20 to 29 years, 24 respondents were aged between 30 to 39 years, 26 individuals were aged 40 to 49 years and only ten respondents were aged 50 years and above.

The sample was from various departments where 8 respondents were from the directors' general office, 15 from planning department, 13 from the education department, 14 from the finance department, 18 from the administration department and 12 from the supervision department. The respondents also had different educational backgrounds where 12 had secondary certificates, 18 had a degree in diploma, 28 had a bachelor's degree, four had a master's degree and none of the respondents had a PHD.

The questionnaire was also aimed at finding out how many years the employees have worked in the ministry of education, 8 respondents had worked for 1-3 years, 12 had worked 4 to 6 years, 25 had 7 to 9 years, 23 had worked for 10 to 12 years and only 12 had worked for over 13 years in the ministry.

Employee view regarding motivation:

According to the respondents view regarding motivation majority agreed that motivation and job satisfaction was a way to achieve staff loyalty, motivation and job satisfaction data can be summarised in a chart as follows:

The chart shows the role played by motivation in enhancing workers loyalty

The question was aimed at checking the employees view regarding motivation and the role it plays in promoting employee loyalty, according to the data majority of the respondents agreed to the statement that employee motivation and job satisfaction contributed to the increase in employee loyalty.

Motivation and employee performance:

In the question there was also a question aimed at collecting data that was aimed at reporting whether motivation leads to improvement of employee performance, according to the data collected majority of the respondents agreed that motivation increases performance and efficiency in an organisation. The chart below shows the percentage of those who agreed to the statement that employee motivation improves job performance:

From the 45% agreed that employee motivation led to improvement at the workplace, however only 14% disagreed to this statement, therefore according to this study we can conclude that employee motivation leads to improved employee performance.

Monetary rewards as motivation tool:

The study also aimed at finding out whether money rewards led to motivation in an organisation, according to this study the majority agreed to this statement with only 14 employees disagreeing to this statement, the data can be summarised in the table and chart as follows:


strongly agree












strongly disagree



From the response of this question it is clear that when monetary rewards are increased this result into increased employee motivation, from the data collected 81% of the respondents agreed that monetary rewards result into increased motivation in the organisation.

From the results of this statement aimed at finding out whether money leads to motivation it is clear that if an organisation increases or offers monetary rewards this will increase motivation to the workers, for this reasons therefore the organisation whose objectives is to increase motivation must increase its monetary rewards to its workers.

Job security and its significance:

The question was aimed at finding out whether job security is an important factor to the employees; however the number of respondents who strongly agreed to this statement was not as strong as the previous study of the importance of monetary rewards toward motivation, the data for this statement is as follows summarised by the table and chart below:


strongly agree












strongly disagree



Job security according to this study is also an important motivation tool, those employees who feel that their jobs are temporary may fail to be motivated and those who feel that they have job security will be more motivated, according to the respondents 68% viewed job security as very important to them while only 17% disagreed to this statement and 16% were neutral regarding this statement.

For this reason therefore because job security is an important motivation tool it is therefore the responsibility of an organisation to provide job security in order to motivate its workers to achieve motivation and labour efficiency in their organisation.

Confidence and motivation:

Confidence also plays a role in improving motivation in an organisation according to the study it is clear that confidence improves motivation whereby 86% of the respondents confirmed that confidence improvement leads to motivation, the following table and chart summarises the responses from the study:


strongly agree












strongly disagree




From the findings of this section of the study some of the motivation tools are highlighted, this includes monetary rewards, confidence level and job security. The study also highlights the importance of motivation in an organisation. From the study we will also determine what weaknesses and strengths the ministry of education posses in terms of employee motivation.

According to the responses motivation is an important tool in achieving employee loyalty, it also states that motivation improves employee performance, for this reason therefore to achieve these advantages associated with motivation an organisation should promote employee motivation in the organisation.

Of the three motivational tools identified in the study the confidence tool to increase motivation has the highest percentage of respondents agreeing to the statement, the percentage of agreement into the various tools is summarised in the table and chart that follows:




money rewards



job security






m this data therefore the strongest motivation tool is confidence followed by money rewards and finally the job security issues, despite their strengths in achieving motivation of workers they should all be used to achieve high employee motivation. Therefore this shows the significance of the various tools used in motivating workers in an organisation.

The ministry of education

This study was also aimed at financing out the efforts undertaken by the ministry of education to motivate its workers; these questions were aimed at finding out what motivation methods are used by the ministry and whether these methods were effective in motivating the workers, the research aimed at finding out the job security in the ministry, confidence level measured by pride associated with working with the organisation, skill improvement in the job, performance evaluation in the organisation and recognition and the flow of information.

Job security:

According to a measure of job security in the organisation majority of individuals felt that their working in the ministry was a long term job and therefore there existed job security in the organisation, the data is summarised in the table and chart below:


strongly agree












strongly disagree



According to the chart above 76% agreed that their jobs were secure, only 10% disagreed that their jobs were secure, however 15% were neutral about this statement, from our previous study on job security 68% stated that job security led to motivation and in this case 76% agree that there is job security in the job, for this reason therefore we can conclude that the organisation is efficient regarding provision of job security in the organisation, however there is need to improve this level such that more employees fell that they have secured a long term job in order to achieve employee motivation.

Pride as a measure of confidence:

The questionnaire also included a measure of pride possessed by the respondents for working in the ministry, many of the employees agreed to be proud for working in the organisation meaning that the ministry has boosted employee confidence in the workplace, the following table summarises the data collected:

From the chart 75% of the respondents agreed that they were proud for working with the ministry, our previous analysis also shows these levels of motivation from job security and therefore we can conclude that the organisations motivation strategy is even in terms of boosting confidence and also job security.

Methods used to motivate employees in the organisation:

A question was also aimed at finding out whether the ministry had many methods of motivating employees, according to the data it is clear that the organisation does not use many methods to motivate workers, from the data only 27% agree that the organisation has put in place many methods to motivate workers, 50% disagree that the organisation has not put in place appropriate methods to motivate workers, for this reason there fore it is clear that the organisation ahs to adopt other employee motivation strategies such as monetary rewards method of motivation.

Worker recognition:

From the study also there was evident that workers are not appropriately recognised for their contribution in the organisation, this is evident from the data collected regarding the organisations recognition for their contribution, also regarding the evaluation of their performance the workers do not really agree that they are properly evaluated fairly in the organisation, worker recognition data was as follows:

This data shows that the employees are not properly recognised in the organisation, also the ministry does not fairly recogniser the contributions made by its employees, and for this reason therefore this is a draw back into the achievement of motivation in the organisation. Therefore the organisation has a weakness in that it does not provide proper recognition of reward system to its employees, also that there only a few motivational activities in the organisation. In conclusion therefore regarding recognition the organisation should initiate programs that help in the fair recognition of contributions of the workers.

Skills and motivation:

The provision of training to workers is also a way of promoting empowerment and motivation, a large number of respondents agree that their skills match their skills and that they clearly understand their responsibilities in the organisation, the organisation also offers training programs to its employees, however a large number of respondents agree that their job needs more skills and therefore there is need to increase the training program in the organisation to motivate the workers and enable them to properly fit in their role played in the organisation.


Promotions in the organisations are not fair, this is according to the data collected regarding promotion, majority of the respondents disagreed that the promotion system in the organisation is satisfactory. For this reason therefore it is clear that this will discourage workers to be motivated and satisfied with their job. The data below summarises the responses:

From the above chart 46% disagree that promotion is satisfactory while only 38 state that promotion is satisfactory, for this reason therefore there is need to change the promotion system in the organisation to motivate more workers as a way of achieving productivity.

Managers' abilities:

From the study it was also evident that the majority of workers were confident and satisfied with the managers skills, over half of the respondents agreed that they were satisfied with the skills of their managers. Managers are promoted from existing workers and therefore this can support the promotion system of the workers, for this reason the organisation has not faired badly regarding promotion, the reason why the workers disagree on the effectiveness of the promotion system may be because they would all want to be promoted and therefore will disagree that other workers are more skilled than they are, for this reason therefore the choosing of managers in the organisation is more skilled and that they perform their duties effectively.

From the above discussion therefore it is evident that the ministry has its own strength and weaknesses regarding employee motivation, one of most observed strength regarding this subject is the promotion of employee confidence and job security, the majority of the workers are proud to work with the company and also that the majority of the respondents have a felling that they have secured a long term job and therefore there is job security.

The provision of training programs in the organisation is also a major strength in the organisation, this has helped improve the skills of workers although more workers still agree that their jobs need more skill, it is also evident that the workers skill fit their job description and that they are well aware of their roles in the organisation, this is a strength that has helped achieve motivation.

All the strengths associated with the ministry have aided in the promotion of the motivation of workers, however weaknesses such as the existence of few methods of promoting workers motivation have failed the organisation, majority of individuals agree that the promotion in the organisation is not fair and the system is not as appropriate as required.

From the interview with the manger which was a face to face interview the manager agreed that motivation is one way in which any organisation can improve the productivity of its workers, motivation and job satisfaction is a key to the success of any organisation, the manager also agreed that the organisation has motivational strategies put in place but this has been hindered by the ministries policies, as an organisation there are rules and regulations that must be followed in the workplace, for this reason the promotion and rewards system is determined by top executives in the ministry and therefore managers have little to do in order to motivate workers, however managers use verbal recommendations for workers who perform their duties effectively.

Employee rewards and motivation follows the instructions given from the ministry, this however has enabled the employees to be motivated and this has also been achieved through proper communication in the ministry, there is proper communication in the organisation and the employees are well aware of what is happening in the organisation, there also exist mutual relationships in the organisation and also training programs that aid in achieving motivation in the organisation

The interview with the manger also revealed that the ministry has many workers and therefore the rewards system may not be viewed as fair and appropriate by al its workers, for this reason therefore there is a need to reach all the workers in order to motivate them, this is because some workers are dissatisfied by the reward and promotional system in the ministry.


The paper reviews the theories of employee motivation which include theories by Sigmund Freud, Douglas McGregor and Abraham Maslow. Sigmund theory of employee motivation was based on the assumption that workers must be coerced to work, the theory by Douglas McGregor states that the workers are ready to learn and therefore there must be organisational learning that will motivate workers and finally Abraham Maslow introduced the hierarchy of need that every organisation should be aware of and which may be important in the determination of the level of motivation in any organisation.

From the above case study of employee motivation in the ministry of education it is clear that worker motivation is achieved through rewards systems, monetary rewards, recognition of workers, offering training programs to improve skills, improvement of confidence, job security enhancement and finally through proper communication.

In this study it is also clear that there is a difference between motivation strategies in the public sector and the private sector, this is because in the public sector the orders and instructions will determine the direction which these strategies follow. In the private sector however the motivation strategies may be more effective than in the public sector because the reward system in more flexible and does not follow instruction, the rewards in the private sector recognise all employees through performance and role played.

It is evident there exist some weakness in the motivation structure of the ministry, this is because the promotion strategy of the organisation is not satisfactory to all its employees, also there is a weakness where less individuals agree that there are many methods to promote the workers, for this reason therefore the ministry should adjust their motivation strategy and aim at rewarding all the workers who perform their duties effectively and also to put in place more motivation method in the ministry. The promotion system should also be changed into a more fair and appropriate system in order to motivate the workers.

However despite the various weaknesses that the ministry posses there is also evidence of strengths in the organisation and this is through their ability to provide a training program in the ministry, there is also proper communication channels between the workers and the managers and this motivates the workers. However the ministry does not reward its workers through monetary rewards and this is one of the draw backs in motivation, another problem is that the strategies and instruction are provided by the ministry and therefore they are not flexible leading to under recognition of role played by the workers.

Finally it is clear that there are many advantage associated with motivation of workers, one advantage is that worker loyalty is increased and also that there is increased productivity of the workers, therefore the motivation of workers in any organisation will increase competitive advantage over its rivals and lead to success of the organisation. However there is a need to undertake further research on other ministries and also other organisation that will help us determine the importance of employee motivation.


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