Motivation: Definition, Features, Objectives

Motivation: Definition, Features, Objectives

What is Motivation?

Motivation is the processes that account for an individual’s intensity, direction, and persistence of effort toward attaining a goal. The main features of motivation are a goal-oriented continuous process and a psychological phenomenon that converts abilities into performance.

The word “motivation” comes from the Latin word “movere”, which means move.

Human motives are based on needs, whether consciously felt. Sonic are primary needs, such as the physiological needs for water, air, food, sleep, and shelter.

Other needs may be regarded as secondary stitch as self-esteem, status, affiliation with others, affection, giving, accomplishment, and self-assertion. Naturally, these needs vary in intensity and over time among individuals.

“Motivation” is a general term applying to the entire class of drives, desires, needs, wishes and similar forces.

To say that managers motivate their subordinates is to say that they do things that they hope will satisfy these drives and desires and induce the subordinates to act in a desired manner.

Motivation may be defined as the act of stimulating someone to take a desired course of action.

It is the art of inducing employees to work diligently and sincerely to the success of the enterprise. It is the intensification of the desire of the workers or employees to work more cordially, carefully and consciously.

In the words of L.A. Allen,

Motivation is the work of a manager who performs to inspire, encourage and impel people to take the required action.

Motivation is often referred to as the “dynamic of behavior”.

The term ‘dynamic’ means energies or forces which produce motion in physical bodies. In psychology and administration, it means the mental engaging force or motive that activates the organism.

Many people incorrectly view motivation as a personal trait—that is, some have it and others do not. Motivation is the result of the interaction between the individual and the situation.

The 3 key elements of our definition are intensity, direction, and persistence:

  1. Intensity

Intensity is concerned with how hard a person tries. This is the element most of us focus on when we talk about motivation.

  1. Direction

The direction is the orientation that benefits the organization.

  1. Persistence

Persistence is a measure of how long a person can maintain his or her effort. Motivated individuals stay with a task long enough to achieve their goals.


Motivators are things that induce an individual to perform. While motivation reflects wants, motivators are the identified rewards or incentives that sharpen the drive to satisfy these wants.

A manager can do much to sharpen motives by establishing an environment favorable to certain drives.

For example, employees in a business that have developed a reputation for excellence tend to be motivated to contribute to this reputation.

A motivator, then, is something that influences an individual’s behavior. It makes a difference in what a person will do.

Obviously, in any enterprise, the manager must be concerned about motivators and also inventive in their use. Also, he has to use such motivators as will lead the employees to perform effectively for their employees.


Motivating is the management process of influencing people’s behavior based on the knowledge of what cause and channel sustain human behavior in a particular committed direction.

Simply, the term motivation indicates a noun whereas motivating a verb. Motivation refers to a state of mind to work willingly, whereas motivating is the process of influencing behavior.

Features of Motivation

Motivation is a captivating concept. It is a fascinating but complex phenomenon.

The main features of motivation are as follows:

  • Motivation is goal-oriented;
  • Motivation is a continuous process;
  • Motivation may be positive or negative;
  • Motivation may be monetary or non-monetary;
  • Motivation may be considered in totality, not in piecemeal;
  • Motivation is a psychological phenomenon that converts abilities into performance.

Objectives of Motivation

The objective of motivation is to create conditions in which people are willing to work with zeal, initiative, interest, and enthusiasm.

It also creates conditions in which people work with a sense of responsibility, loyalty, discipline and with pride and confidence so that the goals of an organization are achieved effectively.