10 Misconceptions About Employee Motivation


The Employee motivation in the company is a strategy management that a leader must manage every day. Without Employee motivation,  employees will not flourish and, like the company, will not develop, because if the motivation is zero the result will be … zero!

For a leader motivation must remain a permanent concern, he must continually work to motivate his teams. Everyone knows Employee motivation is the key to success and, if it does not guarantee, on its own, the performance of an employee, there can be no lasting performance without it.

Many staff managers, however, tend to base their management strategy on ideas about employees’ motivational factors. The blog of the leader presents a list of 10 received ideas on this management.

1The reward is an indisputable motivator

This seems surprising at first glance, but this idea is not always correct.  Indeed, psychologists have highlighted the fact that too many rewards diminish employee performance. Thus, men and women do not work so much by envy but more by duty or competitiveness.

The healthy emulation between employees, rather than the competition that reduces the prospects to a short-term vision, is, therefore, an important factor for Employee motivation. It allows you to measure yourself, to achieve goals, to surpass yourself in a reasonable way, in short, to be proud of what you do.

2A directed work with a shared rhythm is more motivating than an imposed task

This idea is true, an employee who can himself choose the conditions of execution of a task will be more motivated to achieve it than if strict deadlines and instructions are imposed on him.

He will not necessarily choose the optimal solution because he has less hindsight or elements of comparison than a manager, but he will make a point of honor to prove that he was right. In the end, by empowering and guiding employees, ie by sharing the rhythm, we involve and motivate our employees.

3It is easy to identify the needs of its employees

No, because people are all different, but with a little sense of observation and communication, it is possible to get an idea about his work motivations; like to distinguish those who need encouragement, to act, to progress or if their main work motivation is money.

4A happy person is more motivated to work

This is not systematic,  a happy person will be more motivated if his work is a source of his happiness and fulfillment.

The employee who finds an interest in an element related to his work  (being in a team, obtaining social benefits …) can be content with it but his satisfaction will not be enough to motivate him for his mission … Will then lack conditions extra for the booster.

5Only concrete actions increase work motivation in a sustainable manner

Even if it seems surprising, it is not a truth. The salary increases, leave, working conditions have a short-term effect on an employee while statistically, it is rather abstract acts as the responsibilities or individual increases the effects settled in the long term. .. unless the monotony is established.

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6Limited motivating factors

Some managers or service managers will think that to increase Employee motivation to work, it is necessary to act on leave, remuneration and working conditions …

But be careful not to confuse the missing elements that will create dissatisfaction, those of motivation.  Good remuneration will not be a source of work motivation, but its inadequacy triggers dissatisfaction. Elements that should not be neglected knowing however that they do not allow, on their own, to trigger the Employee motivation of the employee.

7Some tasks are not motivating

If it is true that some tasks are difficult to motivate, it is often possible to modify them or to put them in perspective to make them more interesting, sometimes by simply adding a more rewarding task.

8The main motivation of an employee: money

The various studies conducted on this point show that a salary that is too low can be a source of dissatisfaction, but not necessarily a factor of demotivate, especially if the employee considers the remuneration “correct”.

Lassitude is a major factor of demotivation, and one can be well paid and tired of one’s work. To be motivated, you have to feel recognized, and the compensation is part of the recognition, but you also have to see yourself feel driven by the project of the company.

Being able to “get into project mode”, to have perspectives, to share goals, to be able to measure oneself is part of the Employee motivation, even if it is often scary… But we are going into another debate …

9Employees are responsive to the same motivational factors

No, each employee is different and the needs vary from one individual to another, or from one period to another for the same individual.

Some people look for a good atmosphere in their daily work, others expect recognition, sometimes simple but rewarding as a thank you, others still seek a certain autonomy in their position.

Motivating factors are never the same for everyone, that’s all the subtlety of good management.

10The job is to make a living

The standard of living of Westerners makes it possible to satisfy material needs relatively well. The employee is encouraged by other needs such as to feel useful, to be recognized for its value,  to receive recognition, esteem, all human needs as demonstrated by the pyramid of Maslow.

It must be recognized that if money were our only driver, no voluntary work association would exist, blatant proof that a job can be another source of pleasure and work motivation than money.

In summary

It is important and necessary to correct misconceptions, sometimes well-entrenched, about work motivation.

Remuneration is the reward for a job well done and is not a motivator.

To motivate its employee’s companies must build relationships, seek to address the underlying expectations of employees to channel energies and, through a common vision and confidence, placing performance at the highest level.


Also published on Medium.