BUS 318 Final Paper – Motivation


BUS318: Organizational Behavior


One of the most important aspects of being a leader is the ability to inspire and motivate. When it comes to motivation in the workplace, there are several things to consider, and they will be discussed at great length in this paper. What is motivation? Why is motivation important within the work place? And how do you successfully motivate others? Knowing this is crucial to being a successful leader.

What is motivation?

Motivation refers to the level of effort and commitment one puts forth in completing a task or obligation. . If one doesn’t see the benefit of performing a task or if they don’t believe they can accomplish it, then their level of motivation will not be sufficient .

I manage a team of door to door sales reps. What we do is far from glamorous. It isn’t fun; we aren’t petting ponies or saving lives. The work is hard, it isn’t physical labor, but it is exhausting both physically and mentally. When it comes to knocking doors, sometimes the hardest door is the car door. It is a barrier between you and getting started. Levels of motivation change on a daily basis and it feeds our success. If we start the day unmotivated, the result is a poor day of performance. This can create a snowball effect. Now our attitude and level of motivation will be negative or low tomorrow. If we can keep attitudes positive and motivation high, we get out there and quickly make a sale. The best time to make a sale is right after the first one. Motivation is through the roof, the pressure is gone, and the success continues to compound. So when my sales reps are doing well, it is my responsibility to keep them riding the wave, I have to help them maintain their high level of motivation. When motivation is low, I have to help them break the cycle, kick-start their motivation engine and get them moving in the other direction.

One of the hardest parts of being a door to door sales rep is that personal issues weigh heavy on the mind. If you can’t fully commit and get yourself in the zone, then your head will be full of distractions. I primarily try to motivate through incentives. But now that I know about the ERG theory, I can do better for my team by identifying what is causing their issue, existence needs, relatedness needs or growth needs . Trying to motivate a rep with growth concerns by offering a free lunch incentive probably isn’t the most effective way of motivating someone. So in this situation, identifying the problem and then giving them more responsibility or exposure would increase their motivation and this would result in better performance.

Why is motivation important in the workplace?

Organizations with a highly motivated workforce are high performing, efficient and have high morale. This is a win, situation. Stakeholders appreciate the high performance because it leads to solid results. The workforce benefits in many ways, achievement, recognition and monetarily. These things are all motivators, which encourages the workforce to continue the same successful behaviors so they can continue to get the same reward. Promotion opportunities, financial gain and higher rates of employee retention are all direct results of high motivation within an organization .

I work for Comcast, we utilize NPS (Net Promoter System). It is a tool for feedback, we send every customer a survey for every interaction they have with us. It is an opportunity for them to share their opinion and overall satisfaction with us. We also do an eNPS, employee net promoter system. As employees, we are encouraged to participate in a monthly survey. There are three questions. 1- Would you recommend Comcast as a good place to work to your friends and family? Why? 2- How do you feel about our products and services and would you recommend them? Why? 3- What is your level of motivation? Why? Comcast ranks 33 on the list of fortune 500 companies . They know that continued growth and success hinges on the workforces level of motivation.

I see the results from my team when they take these surveys. Going forward, I will be paying closer attention to the two-factor theory. I will do a better job identifying and planning for the hygiene factors, and I will celebrate and push more for motivator factors . The key here is knowing your people. The surveys are anonymous, but if you really know your team. You can probably narrow down who is giving what feedback. You would never use this for retaliation or special favors. But you could really adjust how you interact, your coaching style and what you do to motivate the individuals on your team.

How do you successfully motivate others?

First, you have to remember that employees are individuals with unique personalities. They aren’t all motivated by money, raises, status or recognition (Burand, 2005). So you can learn through trial and error, or you can provide your employees a voice. You can give them the platform to share what motivates and inspires them . If you build the relationship, you can learn what lights their fire, what drives them to do more and to be more.

The best way to motivate your employees is to hire the right ones. It is important to develop a culture where people are highly motivated and committed to working hard. Working in the door to door sales industry you learn that this profession is like a revolving door. We are constantly trying to make up for employee churn. I conduct interviews every week. I am not looking for extremely talented salespeople, I am not looking for experience, and I am not looking for degrees or references. I am looking for attitude. Sales skills can be taught, work ethic and motivation are on a completely different level, these attributes, in my opinion, are instilled during one’s youth. I am not saying you can’t motivate someone or convince someone to work hard, but you are better off hiring someone that has a strong work ethic and is naturally motivated internally .

Another tactic is through incentives. Incentives can have both positive and negative effects. To have a positive effect the reward must be worth the work and can’t be looked at as a gimmick. If done correctly, incentives absolutely increase performance. Rewards can be pay raises, stocks or tangible items . In my industry, this is the most common tool used to motivate. We have given away cars, four wheelers, trips and pretty much anything you can buy at best buy. What I have found is that this has created the most ridiculous, unappreciative and entitled group of people I have ever seen. They are never satisfied, always complaining and full of drama. The culture is terrible, and it has been that hardest part of my role since I accepted it last year. What I have learned is that we don’t have to overdo it. Giving a new car away may motivate a few of the top performers, but it can do quite the opposite for those that are middle of the pack. Even worse, it may completely demoralize those that don’t have a shot. So if not done correctly, it can be counterproductive. Keeping the winnings small and relevant to each individual is key. There should be multiple winners, where everyone has a chance to win, this keeps everyone engaged and focused on the goal. It is amazing how splitting my team in two and then tasking them to compete for lunch or a drink, and a candy bar seems to be the most effective.

The best way to motivate is through transparency and cooperation. People want to be involved; they want to see and understand the big picture. It is the leader’s responsibility to explain why something needs to be done. We are the artist; we must share the vision so we must paint the picture for them. Once we have explained and they understand why we move to what has to be done and how to do it. We have to give them the proper tools and ensure they are trained. As a leader, it is our responsibility to ensure they know what is expected . In my experience, I have found that if you earn your employees respect, then you are most of the way there. People that appreciate their leaders are naturally motivated, not because they fear for their job, not because they want to win a car, but because they don’t want to let their leader down. I have been able to do by getting involved with my team. As cliché, as it sounds, leading by example, is the best way to earn respect. I have no door to door sales experience what so ever. I have never seen my team as motivated as they were the weak we had our civil war. It was the leaders vs. our door to door sales professionals. We started a competition, whoever sold the least had to cook the winner’s breakfast. The competition was scheduled to last a whole week. All of our sales reps thought it was a joke, no way could we compete with them. At the end of day one, leaders had more than doubled the sales agents output, and I led the way. Well let’s just say, this competition did what it was supposed to. It motivated our reps; it lit a fire under them. The leaders lost, and we cooked the reps breakfast, but we earned their respect, and we had the best week of performance that I had ever seen.


I have learned that people are different, some are naturally motivated, some need some coercing and others to serve as good examples of what you want to avoid hiring because they are negative and unable to be inspired. It is imperative to a team’s success that the leader has the ability to inspire and motivate. I have explained what motivation is, why motivation is important in the workplace and how to motivate others successfully. With this information, you can develop and lead a successful team.