A common assumption about work motivation is that the key to producing enhanced performance is to create the conditions where employees will have a high level of commitment to the organisation. If commitment is high, a whole series of positive benefits will flow from this. People will respond positively if they are given more power over decision making in the workplace. Equity is another important aspect since it is the perceived fairness of what a person does and what the person receives. Individuals judge equity in compensation by comparing their effort and performance against the effort and performance of others and against the rewards being received. Equity is concerned with the perceptions people have about how they are treated in comparison to others. Equity involves feelings and perceptions and is always a comparative process and is mostly important in relevance of morale.

The importance of the Human Resource Management Team:

Findings by the research carried out by Maresceaux, E. et.al. (2012) show that employees who are subject to developmental and empowering HR practices are more likely to experience a general feeling of autonomy and relatedness satisfaction which is associated with higher work engagement, higher affective organizational commitment and a lower intention to leave the organisation. The researchers argued that next to the mere presence of HR practices, the quality of their implementation in terms of taking into account individual talents, interests, and expectations while implementing them may additionally contribute to satisfying the basic needs and HRM outcomes.

Rewarding the employee:

Motivation can occur when employees motivate themselves by actively seeking out and performing work that satisfies their needs or leads them towards achievement of their goals. Another way that motivation may occur is through the organisation’s reward system such as pay, promotions, benefits and recognition. This means that motivation can be intrinsic; driven by the self and internal factors and desires, or extrinsic; driven by others and external factors. The latter is relatively short-term even though it can be quite powerful and immediate. However, the former is more long-term since it is tied to something deeper within the individual and is not imposed from the outside. (Trunk Sirca, N. et.al. 2013)

Motivation is only likely when a clearly perceived and usable relationship exists between performance and outcome, and the outcome is seen as a means of satisfying needs. The basic requirements for job satisfaction may include comparatively higher pay, an equitable pay system, real opportunities for promotion, considerate and participative management, a reasonable degree of social interaction at work, interesting and varied tasks and a high degree of autonomy: control over work pace and work methods. The degree of satisfaction obtained by individuals, however, depends largely on their own needs and expectations, and the working environment.

The importance of feedback and treating the employee with respect:

Motivation and performance are higher when individuals are set specific goals, when goals are difficult but accepted, and when there is feedback on the performance. Participation in goal setting is important as a means of getting agreement to the setting of higher goals. Difficult goals must be agreed on and their achievement reinforced by guidance and advice. Feedback is vital in maintaining motivation, particularly towards the achievement of higher goals.


Trunk Sirca, N. Babnik, K. Breznik, K. (2013). Towards Organisational Performance: Understanding human Resource Management Climate. Industrial Management & Data Systems, Vol.113 (3), p367-384.

Marescaux, E. De Winne, S. Sels, L. (2012). HR Practices and HRM Outcomes: The Role of Basic Need Satisfaction. Personnel Review, Vol.42 (1), p4-27.

Abigail Church is a Humanistic Integrative Counsellor who works with adults and children through counselling with Willingness. She can be contacted on abigail@willingness.com.mt or call us on 79291817.