3 Common Motivational Theories And Their Applications

It is a common understanding that we do a certain thing. For the reason that we want to achieve or to avoid something. We want to be more productive and be inspired to all the work we that do. However, getting motivated at times seems difficult in getting the task done properly.

Throughout history, various philosophers and scholars have been studying extensively. Unlocking the reason why we have the motivation and what motivates our actions. These experts have come up with different theories that answer to the questions we have.

Here are the 3 most common and important theories of motivations that can raise our productivity in any given task.

Abraham Maslow’s Hierarchy Of Needs Theory

3 Common Theories Of Motivation and Their Applications
3 Common Theories Of Motivation and Their Applications

Abraham Maslow proposed this theory in his 1943 paper “A Theory of Human Motivation”. Basing it from his experience and observations. He portrayed that all human needs are classified according to its necessity. Furthermore, it is stated that the most essential needs should be prioritized first. Secondly followed by focusing on the accomplishment of a higher need.

Hence, by this theory, one can easily realize the importance of a task and how it should be done. It can also map out the needs of a person in order for them to get the basics as their first priority. And also to get motivated to continue in moving forward after finishing a milestone towards the goal.

Maslow depicted this according to order.

  • Psychological Needs – These are the basic necessities that should be carried out first.  Basically connected to our survival needs. Such as water, food, shelter, and stability.

  • Safety Needs – This includes personal, health, emotional and financial safety.

  • Social Belonging / Love – Mostly it has to do with social aspects in life. Such as family, friendship, and intimacy.

  • Esteem – Either ego needs or status needs. Such as getting recognition, importance, and respect from others.

  • Self – Actualization – Is to what a person’s full potential and the realization of it.  Includes such as pursuing a goal, talent and ability utilization, mate acquisition and looking for happiness.

Frederick Herzberg‘s Motivation-Hygiene Theory (Two Factor Theory)

3 Common Theories Of Motivation and Their Applications
3 Common Theories Of Motivation and Their Applications

In this theory, there are 2 factors that affect motivation especially in the workplace:

Hygiene factor – This factor do not provide a positive gratification. Or increase in one’s motivation. Although, if these are not fulfilled completely. This may lead to discontentment and unhappiness. These include salary, work insurance, work conditions, and vacations.

Motivator – This factor is the one who motivates people to do better at their work. Though without this, it will not cause any discomfort or exasperation on the job. These include such as challenging work, a sense of importance, and an opportunity to do something significant.

Knowing and balancing each factor can greatly increase our confidence and motivation in order to achieved what we really wanted. Understanding these can lead us to better opportunities and personal performance.

David McClelland’s Three Needs Theory (Human Motivation Theory)

3 Common Theories Of Motivation and Their Applications
3 Common Theories Of Motivation and Their Applications

David McClelland identified 3 motivators that he believes all of has had:

Need for Achievement – This classification involves people who choose to work on the task with average difficulty. These people prefer to do the tasks alone. In which it relies solely on their efforts. Mostly also they like to receive regular feedbacks of their achievement.

Need for Affiliation – These people tend to spend time creating and preserving social relationships. They are known to be friendly. Working together in a team as often as possible. These people much favor with cooperation over rivalry with others.

Need for Power – In this category, people like to take high-risk tasks and puts great emphasis on discipline. McClelland defines this too as either to control people for personal goals or to control others for the benefit of everyone. People under this enjoys competition and has the urge to manage and guide others to their goal.

With this, one can measure out how to motivate a particular person differently. For according to McClelland, all people have these 3 motivation drivers, and one of it is dominant.

Gaining the mastery to this will result in a much better and peaceful workplace with highly motivated colleagues together with you.

3 Common Theories Of Motivation and Their Applications
3 Common Theories Of Motivation and Their Applications

To sum it up, these three common theories of motivation that we can apply can help increase our motivation. Not only in our workplace but also to any task that we may have in the future.