Isn’t getting the best out of people a factor of motivation? Simple, isn’t it? Unfortunately, for most managers, motivation is not that easy.

Here are some basic principles which affect motivation:

  • We human beings are basically selfish. We do things for our reasons not for that of others.
  • You cannot motivate others because motivation comes from within a person.
  • People exert effort to attain what they consider is important for them.
  • Our motivation changes all the time as a result of changing priorities.

    Victor H. Vroom (1964) propounded an Expectancy theory of Motivation which explains choice of work, job satisfaction, and job performance.

    According to Vroom, motivation is a product of Valence, Expectancy & Instrumentality.

    Valence (Reward)x Expectancy(Performance) x Instrumentality(Belief) = Motivation

    • The amount of desire for the goal is valence. How much does that promotion mean to me?
    • Expectancy is the strength of the belief that work related effort will result in the completion of the task. How hard will I have to work to reach the goal ?
    • Having achieved the goal, will I actually get the reward? This is called Instumentality. Will they notice the effort I have put in?

    This example illustrates how motivation is a product of valence, expectancy, and instrumentality. Motivation can be thought of as the strength of the drive towards a goal.

    For a career growth minded professional, promotion could have a high valence. If he believes that high performance will result in good reviews, then the employee has a high expectancy. However, if he believes the company will not promote from within, then he has low instrumentality, and he will not be motivated to perform better.

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    This is the 74 th of the “A Step A Day “series : To provide perspective and provoke thought to facilitate self-development across a wide spectrum of issues- big and small- crucial for executive success.