Motivation Theory

Understanding how to motivate workers will help a company grow. There are many motivation theories that can be used to achieve this goal. The most popular of them are Taylor and Maslow’s theories. Technically, both of them are effective, but only one can allow a business to succeed today.

Taylor’s theory is based on the assumption that all workers are lazy and don’t like their work. The main motivation factor in this system is money. Managers play an integral part in a company that uses this system. They divide the production process into small, simple parts and designate them to different workers. People are paid for every produced item. Thus, the core of this motivation theory lies in the belief that people will work more in order to get more money. This approach was adopted and proven to be effective by many renowned manufacturers, including Henry Ford.

Abraham Maslow based his motivation theory on a structured hierarchy of human needs. The hierarchy has five levels:

  1. Physiological (hunger, thirst, shelter)
  2. Security (secure job, safe workplace)
  3. Social (sense of belonging, love)
  4. Esteem (self-esteem, recognition)
  5. Self-actualization

According to Maslow, a worker can be motivated to have a higher level need satisfied, only when his or her basic physiological needs are fulfilled. This means that in order for a business owner to succeed in motivating his or her employees using this theory, they will need to personalize their approach to every member of the staff. A company will require a manager or a department that will monitor every employee, and determine the most effective motivation tools on the basis of their personal situation.

Offering incentives is the best way to make people work harder and increase the company’s revenue. Taylor’s theory offers direct motivation, but it is rather limited because workers require more than money. The poverty level today is not as low as it used to be in the middle of the twentieth century. People understand that they can get more than money from work, so they will choose a company that can recognize them for their achievements and offer praise along with monetary benefits. This is why Maslow’s motivation theory is more efficient today.

Both Taylor and Maslow’s motivation theories are effective under specific circumstances. However, people’s needs are complex, and must be satisfied on different levels. This means that Taylor’s theory revolved around giving workers simple tasks and piece-rate pay, loses to Maslow’s approach that personalizes every employee and offers them a chance of recognition for their hard work.

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