Misconceptions about Employee Motivation

Employee motivation is among the prime concerns of the business organizations as it allows achieving higher levels of output and meeting the company goals. The commitment, level of energy and creativity the workers bring to their jobs has a strong influence particularly on small-scale businesses. Without the motivated workforce, companies could land in very risky situations. Unfortunately, many enterprises do not understand the importance of employee motivation and have disengaged employees with low motivation. The disengaged workers make business organizations suffer a loss of $300 billion each year. Only 13% of employees worldwide are dedicated to their jobs and expected to be making a positive contribution to their companies, according to Gallup. The management should recognize the risks to employee motivation and adopt ways to inspire and engage their teams. Regrettably, many managers hang on to the obsolete misconceptions about employee motivation that actually damage motivation, productivity and employee well-being.

Misconceptions about Employee Motivation

There are a few mistaken beliefs about employee motivation that actually put a negative effect on employee enthusiasm and output. Read on to know what these myths are.

Money is the driver of motivation

There are many studies that explain money is not the most powerful motivator of employees. Though the pay scale of a worker puts a significant influence on employee motivation and productivity it is not the top instigator. The factors of appreciation, independence, opportunities for development are considered to be more powerful drivers of motivation than the remuneration. The question that arises here is that why many administrators over-rate money as a motivator and employees keep asking for more money?

Money is easy to ask for and much easier to know if you are getting it. For instance, employees may ask for a 10% increase in their salary but they cannot demand a 10% increase in appreciation or 8% increase in development opportunities. Moreover, some administrators or business owners do such a poor job of showing appreciation, empowering employees and giving development opportunities that the workers give up asking for these things.

The employers usually have to pay more to attract employees but the extra pay will not motivate them to work harder, especially not to those who only came for higher pay. Ask yourself if you give each of your employees a blanket 10% pay increase, would they work harder and for how long?

Motivation is about ‘carrots and sticks’

If you are trying to motivate your workers by monitoring employees remotely, closely supervising them, forcing them to work hard or offering rewards, they would stop putting efforts every time you turn you back. To make the employees give their best to the job and care about the employees, you need to find the reasons they would really want to work for you rather than being afraid of punishment for mistakes and slacking off.

Treat your workers with respect and earn their trust and respect in return. Help them do the things in a meaningful and creative way. Provide them with opportunities to be successful in their job. These are the greatest ways to earn your employees’ loyalty and trigger their motivation.

Employees know what motivates them

People always need guidance from the leaders to focus on the right and meaningful things. The employers and managers should help workers develop an interest in work and find their talent. The frequent discussions about what is important to keep the workforce motivated and engaged help administrators to know how to get the best from the individuals and teams. Observing and mentoring the young workers can influence them and help them know what you see in their future.

Happy workers are productive workers

Many assume that happy and satisfied workers are more productive. The happiness and satisfaction can be influenced by many other factors such as flexible work hours, generous salary package, on-site childcare and entertainment facilities. However, these amenities are not really the motivators. There is not a strong correlation between job satisfaction and productivity. In the meantime here is how technology improves employee productivity. The studies suggest that productive workers who have a strong sense of meaning in their work are more likely to be happy than the reverse.


You can force your workers to give more time to their work but you cannot force them to be loyal and careful about your work or customers. Rather create an environment wherein they can motivate themselves and do big things for the prosperity and development of the organization.


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Written by Nicki Marie