Motivation in Todays Work Place

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Date Submitted: 09/17/2012 08:48 AM

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Research Quarterly

Published by the Society for Human Resource Management

Motivation in Today’s Workplace: The Link to Performance


Motivation in Today’s Workplace: The Link to Performance


In today’s hyper-competitive marketplace, understanding what fosters and forwards employee motivation—and, thus, organizational performance—is critical. Based on theories, studies, best practices, case studies and resources about motivation, this solutions-focused research article presents valuable information for the senior HR leader seeking competitive advantage.


In today’s marketplace, where companies seek a competitive edge, motivation is key for talent retention and performance. No matter the economic environment, the goal is to create a workplace that is engaging and motivating, where employees want to stay, grow and contribute their knowledge, experience and expertise. Motivation is generally defined as the psychological forces that determine the direction of a person’s level of effort, as well as a person’s persistence in the face of obstacles. The direction of a person’s behavior refers to the many possible actions that a person could engage in, while persistence refers to whether, when faced with roadblocks and obstacles, an individual keeps trying or gives up.1 The responsibility for motivation is three-fold: it falls on the senior leadership, the direct manager and the employee. Numerous factors are involved, from trust, engagement and values (individual and organizational) to job satisfaction, achievement, acknowledgement and rewards. Motivation is essential for working autonomously, as well as for collaboration and effective teamwork. The ultimate focus of the organization is to successfully retain talent, meet goals and

go beyond expectations. It is the role of HR and organizational leaders to foster an environment for excellence. Through a foundation of research, theory, studies and practical examples,...