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Types of motivation in the workplace

Motivation in your workplace or career can take various forms depending on your personality and the work environment. Being motivated is an important part of excelling as a professional, it can help you perform better and engage with the responsibilities you hold in your job position.


Knowing different types of motivation can help you identify the things that you need to be incentivized to do your best work. There are two main types of motivation, extrinsic, that refers to the motivation you get from external sources and intrinsic, that refers to the motivation you get from internal factors. Inside of these two big categories, we have more types of motivation, defined by the factors that stimulate it. Here are a few of them:

Competence and learning motivation: this kind of motivation depends on the need of a person to feel competent or capable of doing certain tasks. This is beneficial as an employee because it means that fulfilling a task is not only motivating because you want to do your duty, it is also motivating for the desire to feel capable of fulfilling it. Individuals who have this kind of motivation, seek out learning and growing opportunities.

Attitude motivation: employees with this kind of motivation are very interested in making people around them happy and satisfied with their work. They want to influence the way other people think or feel into a more positive outcome. This is a special type of motivation for people who work in a certain field, like volunteering or any kind of social work.

Creative motivation: this motivation comes from the desire to express yourself. You want to put your creativity in something tangible and your workplace can provide you with the way and the means to do so. Creative jobs that require ideas, proposals, solutions and critical thinking are excellent for people with this kind of motivation.

Achievement motivation: people with this kind of motivation require recognition for their good work. They thrive in the motivation of having goals to achieve and the recognition that comes from the achievement, keeping them engaged with their upcoming projects. A company that rewards their employees for their good work and outstanding performance is the best option for a professional with this kind of motivation.

Affiliation motivation: the employees driven by this kind of motivation are moved by the desire to be part of a team or an organization in particular. They like to contribute to common efforts to get something done and they want to be considered a valuable member of the team. This kind of motivation is usually embodied by professionals who have great communication skills, are good at working with a team and negotiating with other people’s skills and their own. It can be a good start for leadership skills.

Incentive motivation: this type of motivation comes from the idea of receiving an award for the outstanding work done. This moves people to work extra hard and look forward to performing above the average in the company. This type of motivation is especially helpful when you are working in a business of a competitive nature.


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