Why Employee Motivation Is Important In Small Business

Organisations apply employee motivation techniques to improve human behaviour and attitude towards work. Also, with a view in utilising available human resources more efficiently and thereby making man-management more effective. Here in this article, we intend to explore why employee motivation is hugely important in the small-scale industry.

The people of an organization are the most important asset in any company. Additionally, you can’t run or operate a company without knowledgeable, dedicated and highly motivated employees. Even after hiring the employees you can have problems if they are not properly motivated, happy, and taken care of. So, you must keep attention at the employee motivation to run the organization effectively.

Literally, motivation means incitement or inducement to act for more. In an industrial setting, it means to make a subordinate act in the desired manner. Obviously, desired implies as desired in the interests of the organisation or employer. People are not the machine. Motivation is what makes people do things.

Importance Of Employee Motivation

Survival and growth of an organisation considerably depend on the performance of its employees. And the performance of an employee depends on the basic two factors. These are his ability to work and his will to work. You can determine the first factor by the quality of education, training and experience that he or she has acquired. Even if you find any deficiencies, you can improve it through further training. However, the willingness to work is more difficult to manage.

A motivated workforce is essential for efficient working and optimum productivity, and thus for attaining organisational objectives. In order to make any managerial decision really meaningful, it is necessary to convert it into an effective action. Almost every human problem we face in the industry has motivational elements. In fact, every aspect of the personnel function is previously endowed with motivational attributes. So in small business, you must incorporate the principles and concept of motivation into the philosophy of management. An important part of an employee evaluation is to help the company determine where the employee is performance wise based on their expectations.

Different Types Of Employee Motivation

In the industrial setup, motivation may be intrinsic as well as extrinsic. Intrinsic motivation is related to the job one is doing. When a skilled operative performs a job well, he derives a sense of satisfaction. This is intrinsic motivation which satisfies the creative instinct in man.

Extrinsic motivation is external to the job or task. For example, financial incentives for doing a job well or giving higher production may motivate the workers. Other external motivations are praise from the superior for good work, recognition in the form of public citation and award. It also includes admiration of fellow workers, improved working conditions and other facilities.

Determinants Of Employee Motivation


To know what can motivate employees we must know their aims, objectives and values. Human needs are both numerous and complex, and often it is difficult to identify them. Motivation is not an easily observed phenomenon. First of all, we must observe individual action and behaviour at work. And we must interpret the same in terms of underlying motivation. Our interpretation may not necessarily reveal the individual’s true motivation, as some of the human need may be difficult to analyse.

Organisational Components

Some of the internal environmental issues of an organisation affect motivation. These are organisation structure, technological system, physical facilities etc. Some machines are more interesting to work with than other or certain kinds of work may be boring to many persons.

External Variables

An employee’s life outside company is also an important factor affecting his motivation or willingness to work inside the organisation. A life at work and life outside the work are bound together. If an employee faces troubles in the off-job life, it is obvious he or she will not able to work effectively. Additionally, you can play a strong motivational role through culture, customs & norms, images & attributes etc. If an individual finds his work commands a substantial degree of respect and social acceptance, he or she will be more willing or motivated to perform such work.

Characteristics Of Employee Motivation

Individuals Differ In Their Motivation

There is no single economic drive which determines behaviours. As the desires and goals of individuals differ, so do their motivations. One may do a job because it is remunerative. Another one may do it because it gives a sense of achievement. And a third one may do it because it enables him or her to serve a cause which is dear to him or her.

Motivation Is Highly Situational

A person may work very well in one organisation and poorly in another in the same position or type of the job. The performance may vary with working conditions and the type of supervision.

Motivation Change

The motivation of each individual changes from time to time. Even it changes if he or she may continue to behave in the same way. For example, a temporary worker may work more, in the beginning, to become permanent. And after getting the promotion, he may continue to work more to gain more promotions and so on.

Motivation Is Expressed Differently

Needs and the way in which they are translated into action may vary considerably between one individual to another. Different persons may also react different successful or unsuccessful  fulfilment of their needs. One may feel frustrated when he can not meet his or her needs. On the other hand, one may put more efforts to get the needs satisfied.

Again one individual with strong security need may avoid accepting the responsibility of fear of failures. However, the other with a similar need may seek more responsibility for fear of being fired for low performances.

Related: Why Employee Training Is Important In An Organization – Guide
Sometimes the employees himself or herself are not aware of his or her motivation. However, employee motivation plays an important role in every size of the organisation regardless the turnover or volume. And in the small business, if you don’t have an HR department, you must yourself play the role to motivate your employees. And it is highly essential to get the maximum effectivity from your employees.

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