Three Factors of Human Motivation in the Workplace

Mindtools.com has some excellent free and for-fee resources.  A freebie they are featuring at the moment is the Sirota Three Factor Theory on motivation at work.

These three factors are key, not only for managers and employers, but for anyone who is employed to better understand their motivation, or lack there of.

Preview of the Article:

To understand and appreciate Sirota’s theory, it’s important to recognize the starting point: that many, maybe most, people start a new job with high levels of motivation and enthusiasm, and that they generally want to enjoy what they do. He argues that this natural state of motivation is then reduced, over time, by bad practices and poor conditions within the company.

Sirota’s Three-Factor Theory of Human Motivation in the Workplace is based on three fundamental principles:

  1. The organization’s goals are not in conflict with the workers’ goals.
  2. Workers have basic needs that organizations should try to meet.
  3. Staff enthusiasm is a source of competitive advantage.

According to Sirota’s research, the three factors that, together, build enthusiasm, are as follows:

  1. Equity/Fairness – People want to be treated fairly at work.
  2. Achievement – People want to do important, useful work, and be recognized for this.
  3. Camaraderie – People want to enjoy good relationships with their co-workers.

Read the complete article here.

Most of the time, the same things that motivate you in your regular life also motivate you at work, so take some time to think about your biggest motivators.  At the same time, consider your biggest demotivators.  Now make two lists of work-related tasks and situations that fulfill both of those areas- motivation and demotivation.  Which list is longer?  If you’re seeing the demotivators piling up on one side, it’s time to think of how you can remedy your work situation. 

Your employer might be unaware that they’ve created an environment chock-full of demotivators, so if some of them can be fixed by your employer, it might be a good idea to discuss them with your supervisor.  And don’t neglect the motivators too- telling your supervisor, and in some cases showing them, what really motivates you can be the key to a solid working relationship and enjoyable working life.