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Motivation in the Workplace

Discussion for motivation in the workplace dealing with the publice sector like the US federal government.

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The Nature of Motivation

Motivation is generally defined as "a driving force that initiates and directs behavior. In other words, motivation is a kind of internal energy which drives a person to do something in order to achieve something." http://ezinearticles.com/?Define-Motivation&id=410696. This drive maybe for achievement , affiliation, competence, power or simply an intrinsic attitude. Factors which energize motivation are called Motives which must be aroused in order to move the person to act accordingly.

In Personnel Management, whether public or public, motivation is important. Studies have shown that given the right motivation, employees are driven to effectively perform. Thirst and hunger are examples of homeostatic motives; while non-homeostatic motives may include seeking shelter and curiosity about the environment. Desire for novelty, power, achievement, social affiliation, and approval are learned motives or social motives. The understanding of these specific motives is necessary to motivate an employee and in leading him/her to the attainment of both individual and organizational goals. In both private and public sectors, leader-managers should be expert in motivation techniques to promote unity and cooperation between them and their subordinates, thereby improving productivity.

Motivation and Leadership

"Leadership is about getting things done the right way; to do that, you need people. To get people to follow you, you need to have them trust you. And if you want them to trust you and do things for you and the organization, they need to be motivated. Motivation is purely and simply a leadership behavior." (John Baldoni, http://govleaders.org/motivation_secrets.htm) A leader's two most important functions are to develop and motivate their employees in order that they shall perform according to the organization's Vision-Mission. Motivation and leadership go together. Though one may motivate another without being a leader, a leader who does not know how to motivate can never effectively lead.

James A. Trinka, Ph.D., Chief Learning Officer, FBI , in the article entitled "Action Plan to Achieve Breakthrough Improvement in Employee Productivity and Leadership Effectiveness, advised to "establish a performance management based organizational culture, although not from a command and control perspective, but one that involves a coaching environment and conscious attempts at continuous dialogue within work teams to achieve breakthrough improvements in manager-employee relationships and on-the-job results." (http://govleaders.org/action_plan.htm). He discussed desirable leadership behaviors as the leader plans, execute and ...

Solution Summary

The solution is a lengthy narrative that provides discussion on the topic of motivation inthe workplace with a focus on the public sector.