Employee Motivation - Overview

Overview of this guide for managers, supervisors and students.

The goal is to bring together a collection of resources that describe and comment on key variables in the organizational environment that relate to employee motivation and productivity. We study the principles of employee motivation, in order to achieve higher productivity in our workplaces. We apply the appropriate (to our workplaces) mix of theories in a common sense approach that engages the needs and aspirations of the people who we seek to motivate.

Supervisors roles when seeking to improve employee productivity and motivation Supervisors guide to productivity improvement

The intention is to provide a resource-set on how such variables can be viewed and approached in terms of improving those business processes that are impacted on or by employees.

Some warm-ups

Before you jump in, try the warm-up exercises to get you thinking about the subject of employee motivation. Don't just skip through this part, there may be some important lessons to be learnt and applied. These exercise may have a slow fuse in terms of your approach in the workplace. More about: Some mental warm-ups to get you thinking about employee motivation, the organizational enviroment and productivity

Historical Perspective

Some lessons from history. The search for better ways of doing things is, was and will forever be a preoccupation. You cannot escape the need to constantly improve. More about: Historical perspective on productivity, its measurement, and the constant search for productivity improvement


Productivity can be said to be the raison d'être of you to management. Yet how well do you and indeed all your employees fully understand the concept and consider all the components that it comprises? More about: Productivity its definition, measurement and improvement

Basic Approaches to Improving Productivity

There are three basic approaches to engineer productivity in an organization, scientific management approach, financial management approach and the human relations approach. All three approaches are inter dependant. More about: Basic approaches to the improvement of organisational productivity.

Employee Motivation - Theory and Practice

Different cultures, levels of existence, needs, wants, and background experiences require careful consideration, with regular evaluation and refinement as time goes by. More about: Section on employee motivation in the workplace, theory and practical approaches.

Employee Rewards

Appropriate, fair and commensurate with contribution to the bottom line. More about: Section article on employee rewards as part of a motivation and productivity strategy.

Informal Group Dynamics

They exist, at all levels and have to be managed successfully, with groups and individual goals aligned with departmental and organizational goals. More about: Explaination of informal group dynamics and a suggested practical approach to harnessing them.

Leader Perceptions

Individuals, organizations, communities, and countries all under–perform because of poor perceptions from leadership. The no-cost way to magical improvement in individuals and groups. More about: Gain an understanding of the importance of leader perceptions (known as the pymalion effect or self-fulfilling prophecy) in motivating employees.

Job Design

A practical framework for you to think about, collect information on, analyze, then integrate the specifics of your organizational environment and goals, into the jobs your people do. More about: Practical application of job design principles.

Functions of Human Resource Management

"People are our most valuable asset" so develop your HR systems to develop, reward, enthuse and motivation them, all of them! More about: Explaination of the functions of human resource management (HRM).


The key to worker productivity, make work easier, make it quicker, make it safer and make it fun! The role of ergonomics, fitting the work to the worker! More about: Explaination of gaining an appreciation of the important role ergonomics has in both motivating employees and engineering productivity in workplaces.


‘Spin’ less and communicate more. Engage hearts and minds through, listening and other informal communication techniques. The ways to lead and influence followers. Another no-cost way to performance improvement. More about: The importance of good business communications.