Why It Matters: Motivation

Why does a manager need to understand employee motivation and motivational theories?

In a parking lot, a sign that reads AIG Employee of the Month Reg Reporting

There are many different ways to motivate employees

Carol is a new manager who was recently given responsibility over the financial reporting team for her division. She is having lunch with Sam, who is a more experienced manager, and she starts to share some of her recent frustrations.

“Let me tell you what happened today, Sam,” she begins. “I had a meeting with my VP at 9:00 a.m. to review our monthly financial results. I needed to go over some of the information with Bill on my team, and he showed up late again. As a result, my monthly review did not go very well.”

Sam asks, “Is this the first time Bill has been late?” Carol responds, “No, it’s been happening a lot lately. In fact, several individuals on my team are starting to be late more frequently. It seems like they don’t care about getting to work on time.”

“Well,” Sam pauses before continuing. “It sounds like the team’s motivation levels are low. You need to do something about that quickly.”

Carol is concerned and asks Sam, “Can you help me out? I agree this needs to be addressed now.” She and Sam agree to get together soon to brainstorm ideas.

Motivation is a key factor impacting performance, so it’s an important concept for leaders to grasp. In this module we will be covering key theories of motivation, and you’ll learn how managers can establish goals for their team to increase the odds of success.