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Motivation Tips

Employee Motivation and Career Development
By:Jafar Iqbal Russell

Career Development

Career is all the jobs that are held during one's working life" "Career development comprised of those experiences and personal improvement that one undertook to achieve a career plan. - Werther & Davis

The word Career came from a French word ‘Carreiere'. The term has number of meaning. Popularly, it means advancement, a profession or a lifelong sequence of jobs. However, we can define career as "a sequence of positions occupied by a person during the course of a lifetime". Also, any work paid or unpaid pursued over an extended period of time, can constitute a career.

Career Panning & Career Stages

Career planning is a process where an employee plans, utilizes, and exposes his opportunities, skills and development.

Many HRM experts recognizes five career stages that most of us gone through or will go through during a career. The career stages are depicted in the following figure based on age and performance of an employee. They are:

1) Exploration 2) Establishment 3) Mid career 4) Late career 5) Decline

1) Exploration (18-25): This stage ends for most of us in our mid-twenties as we make the transition from Universities/colleges to work. From our organizational context this stage start in early twenties, therefore, has the least relevance, since it occurs prior to employment. It is, of course, not irrelevant because the exploration period is a time when a number of expectations about one's career are developed. However, in this stage, it is expected that we all should be conscious and careful about selecting the right career rather than unrealistic expectation.

2) Establishment (25-35): The establishment period begins with the search for work and includes getting your first job, learning the job and gaining the first success or failure in the real world. It is also a time that begins with uncertainties and anxieties, since, there would be many mistakes, and we will learn from mistake from a new environment and realities. Hence, in this stage, we gradually learn how to undertake increased responsibilities.

3) Mid-Career (35-50): In this stage, the employees face severe career dilemmas. This is the time where individuals may continue their prior improvements in performance, level off, or begin to deteriorate. At this stage, the first dilemma is accepting that one is no longer seen as ‘Learner'. Mistakes carry greater penalties and thus at this point of career, one is expected to have moved beyond apprenticeship to journeyman status. Many make successful transition and get rewarded while, many went on reassessment and think of change over career or pursue an alternative life-style.

4) Late Career (50-60): This stage of career is usually a pleasant time where one is allowed the luxury to relax a bit. It is the time, an individual no longer learning nor continues to improve their level of performance like previous stages. However, their value to the organization lies heavily in their prudent judgment, built up over many years of experiences and knowledge they have gained. Late career brings the reality to many people who have stagnated and deteriorated during mid career that they will not be able to succeed any longer and employee begin to look forward to retirement or the opportunities of doing something different.

5) Decline (60 above): The final stage of career is difficult for everyone, but, ironically, is probably hardest on those who have had continued successes in the earlier stages. After several years of continued achievement and high levels of performance, it is the time for most of us to take formal preparation of retirement. The regimentation that work provided will no longer be there, responsibilities will be fewer, and life would be less structured. Therefore, it is a difficult stage for anyone.

Motivation of Human Resources

The job of a manager in the workplace is to get things done through employees. To do this the manager should be able to motivate employees. Motivation practice and theory are difficult subjects. In spite of enormous research, the subject of motivation is not clearly understood. To understand motivation one must understand human nature properly and there lies the problem! Human nature can be very simple, yet very complex too. An understanding and appreciation of this is a prerequisite to effective employee motivation in the workplace and therefore, effective management and leadership. There are variety of motivators in life occur because the forces and objects that motivate us are often very distinct and numerous. For instance, you may exhibit one type of behavior in order to acquire money or a related reward while exhibiting a completely different type of behavior in other circumstances.

While studying the theories of motivation, it is observed that motivation can be either positive or negative. Working a few extra hours to earn money, so our family can go on a great vacation is a form of positive motivation while negative motivation is said to occur when we undertake a task out of fear or a desire to avoid a given outcome. For instance, we may attend classes and study hard out of fear of failing a given course rather than a desire to succeed in the course. It is also important to keep in mind that neither positive motivation nor negative is inherently bad or good. These dual poles simply point to two classifications, which can help us to answer the question: What is motivation? Also, it is likely that you will experience both negative and positive motivating factors throughout the course of your life. Also, at one time or another, you will likely encounter a loss of motivation as well. Incidentally, we can improve our motivation, taking action on our goals.


Motivation is the word derived from the word 'motive' which means needs, desires, wants or drives within the individuals. It is the process of stimulating people to actions to accomplish the goals. Motivation can be -

    desire for money
    team work, etc

Therefore, we can say motivation is the driving force by which we achieve our goals and objectives. Motivation is the willingness to do something and is conditioned by the ability to satisfy some need of an individual. Motivation may be intrinsic or extrinsic.

Intrinsic motivation refers to motivation that is driven by an interest or enjoyment in the task itself, and exists within the individual rather than relying on any external pressure. Intrinsic motivation has been studied by social and educational.

-psychologists since the early 1970s. Students, intrinsically motivated are more likely to engage in the task willingly as well as work to improve their skills, which will increase their capabilities.

-Extrinsic motivation refers to the performance of an activity in order to attain an outcome, which then contradicts intrinsic motivation. Common extrinsic motivations are rewards like money and grades.

Theories of Motivation

There have been many theories of motivation available so far for the last few decades.
Four of them were formulated during 1950s that received considerable attention and are frequently offered as approaches to human motivation. The theories include ‘Hierarchy of Needs' from Abraham Maslow, Two-factor theory from Herzberg, McGregor's XY Theory, and Expectancy Theory. Maslow's theory is one of the most widely discussed theories of motivation.

Maslow's Hierarchy of Need Theory (theory of motivation)

The best-known theory of motivation was proposed by American psychologist Abraham
H. Maslow in his 1943 paper ‘A Theory of Human Motivation'. Maslow subsequently extended the idea in his 1954 book Motivation and Personality.

Maslow hypothesized that within every human being there exists a hierarchy of five needs as follows:

Self-actualization Needs

Esteem Needs

Social Needs

Security Needs

Physiological Needs

    Physiological needs- These are the basic needs of an individual which includes food, clothing, shelter, air, water, etc. These needs relate to the survival and maintenance of human life.

    Safety needs- These needs are also important for human beings. Everybody wants job security, protection against danger, safety of property, etc.

    Social needs- These needs emerge from society. Man is a social animal. These needs become important. For example- love, affection, belongingness, friendship, conversation, etc.

    Esteem needs- includes internal factors such as self-respect, recognition and respect from others.

    Self-actualization needs- These are the needs of the highest order and these needs are found in those person whose previous four needs are satisfied. It is the drive to become what one is capable of becoming; includes growth, achievement and self-fulfillment.

Maslow separated these five needs into higher and lower levels where Physiological and safety needs were described as lower-order needs love, esteem and self-actualization as higher-order needs. According to him when a lower order need is substantially satisfied it is no longer motivator and the next level need becomes dominant.

Herzberg's two-factor theory (Hygiene Theory)

Frederick Herzberg investigated the basic question, "What do people want from their jobs?" His two-factor theory concludes that certain factors in the workplace result in job satisfaction, but if absent, they do not lead to dissatisfaction i.e. according to his findings, the opposite of satisfaction is not dissatisfaction and two factors are in separate dimension. He argued that job intrinsic/content factors, such as achievement, accomplishment, recognition, the work itself, responsibilities and advancement, if present, people get motivated and, seem to be related to job satisfaction. On the other hand, extrinsic/job context/Hygiene factors such as company policy, administration, supervision, working conditions prevent employees from dissatisfaction. According to him, the factors leading to job satisfaction are separate and distinct from those that lead to job dissatisfaction.

Two-factor theory distinguishes between:

Motivators (e.g., challenging work, recognition, responsibility) that give positive satisfaction, arising from intrinsic conditions of the job itself, such as recognition, achievement, or personal growth.

Hygiene factors (e.g. status, job security, salary, fringe benefits, work conditions) that do not give positive satisfaction, though dissatisfaction results from their absence. These are extrinsic to the work itself, and include aspects such as company policies, supervisory practices, or wages/salary.

Contrast between Maslow's Need and Herzberg's theory

Both Maslow and Herzberg talked about the same ground i.e. about "Motivation"/Satisfaction –but yet it has some basic distinctions which can be explained as under:

1) Maslow's theory is classified into hierarchy of human need of five categories where as Herzberg's theory is classified into two factors: hygiene and motivators.

2) Maslow's theory argued that as soon as one level of need is satisfied, they are no longer motivators where as two factors basically satisfies employees at work.

3) Maslow's theory deals with basic needs of individuals, while Herzberg theory tells about employ satisfaction and dissatisfaction.

4) Maslow's theory is universal and well practiced, where as Herzberg's theory has many limitations.

5) Maslow's theory highlights about motivation factors while Herzberg's theory highlights satisfaction and dissatisfaction.

6) Maslow's theory focuses on basic needs of an employee while Herzberg's theory concerned about social and behavioral needs.

7) Maslow's theory is applicable to all industries where as Herzberg's theory extends to manufacturing industries specifically.

8) In Maslow's theory, motivation factors have hierarchy where Herzberg's theory does not rather having two factors, which satisfy/dissatisfy employees.

Jafar Iqbal Russell
BSc (Computer Science), Bangalore University, INDIA
Commonwealth Ex. MBA (COL)
Head of Financial Aid, North South University, Dhaka
Visiting Asstt. Professor, Southeast University, Dhaka

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