Tools of Employee Motivation

My Motivators

My major motivators are good compensation and recognition for my work. Reflecting on my career, I felt highly encouraged when I accomplished tasks and was recognized for my achievements. Additionally, I felt highly motivated when I was given a chance to grow and advance my career. My personal career goals include career development and personal growth. However, spending too much stint on the job can sometimes leave me with little time to carry out other personal tasks, including spending time with family and friends. Such is a period when my motivation significantly declines and I fail to fully commit to my job. Maslow’s hierarchy of needs theory and Herzberg’s two-factor theory can be applied to my situation. For example, Herzberg’s motivation factors such as responsibility, recognition, and the possibility for growth apply tend to motivate me. Additionally, the main reason for working or actively seeking employment is to get paid to afford basic needs as per Maslow’s hierarchy of needs.

Motivation Tools, Maslow’s and Herzberg’s Theories

Herzberg’s two-factor theory (or motivation-hygiene theory) consists of several motivation tools that can be used to motivate employees. The theory is founded on Maslow’s hierarchy of needs (Alshmemri et al., 2017). The two concepts of this theory are motivation and hygiene factors that can be used as incentive tools for the managers and organizations. Maslow’s hierarchy of needs theory classifies human needs into different levels and claims that humans are motivated when they pursue their interests. On achieving one level, employees will no longer be motivated by the same needs, but those on the upper level.

The first motivation tool is workplace credit where workers get acknowledged for accomplishing something. According to Alshmemriet et al. (2017), positive workplace recognition entails the employees being praised and rewarded for their accomplishments such as meeting set goals or producing work of high quality and standards. On the other hand, negative acknowledgement can happen when the personnel get criticized or blamed for work done. Workplace recognition is derived directly from Herzberg’s two-factor theory, meaning it addresses workplace appreciation as a motivation tool.

The second motivation tool is job enrichment, a concept that involves giving employees additional responsibilities or extra dimensions to the current tasks as a way to motivate them. For example, workers can get more enthusiastic about managing new tasks than about handling monotonous and routine jobs. Maslow’s needs theory perfectly addresses occupation enrichment as a motivation tool. Since work improvement offers the employees an opportunity to explore and attain their potential, job enrichment can be said to occupy the top of Maslow’s needs pyramid known as self-actualization. Maslow defined self-actualization as the process where individuals grow and develop to achieve their prospective (Pt & Low, 2018). It also involves people seeking to fully exploit their capabilities, talents and potentials. Offering workers an opportunity to pursue self-worth makes job enrichment one of the most important stimulus.

The third motivation tool is compensation, rewards, or financial incentives. Herzberg’s two-factor theory explains payment or salary as a hygiene factor, a class of elements that reduces dissatisfaction with the job (Alshmemri et al., 2017). Where reparation fails to meet the expectation of the employees, the result will be an increase in job dissatisfaction and declining worker productivity. As opposed to motivation, hygiene factors do not encourage employees directly. Even though, factors such as financial incentives make jobs less undesirable and more appealing to the employees. As a motivation tool, managers should use compensation to entice workers to get more productive and to commit to their jobs.

The fourth motivation tool is offering workers the possibility for growth. Herzberg’s two-factor theory classifies the possibility for growth as a motivational factor. According to Alshmemri et al. (2017), an employer can motivate employees by offering them with possibilities for growth, including individual and professional growth. Managers can create an environment where workers can learn new skills and techniques and obtain new professional knowledge. Since Herzberg’s two-factor theory is founded on Maslow’s needs hierarchy, some motivation tools such as the possibilities for growth can also be explained by Maslow’s theory. Employees seeking growth can be seen as pursuing personal esteem and the feeling of accomplishment (Pt & Low, 2018). A career offering growth opportunities to employees seeking personal and professional growth will motivate them to become more productive.

Lastly, work-life balance is a motivation tool addressed by Maslow’s needs hierarchy. According to Pt and Low (2018), employees classified as Generation-Y tend to consider work-life balance as a necessity. Generation-Y is also known as millennials who tend to be confident, self-expressive, overly tech savvy, liberal, and disloyal to a fault. Work-life balance allows workers to achieve a state of equilibrium between one’s job and personal and social life. The top priority of Generation-Y and Generation-Z employees is not to obtain work. Generation-Z has features like ethnical and racial diversity, are the most educated, and are digital natives who whole-heartedly embrace the new digital transformation. Generation-Y and Generation-Z employees are known to prioritize personal and social life. Such aspects fall within the third level of Maslow’s needs hierarchy that comprises love, friendship, social need, and the feeling of being accepted. In Herzberg’s two-factor theory, work-life balance can fit under the interpersonal relations, a hygiene factor that requires managers to create the right environment for employee’s social interactions (Alshmemri et al., 2017). However, the work-life balance extends beyond the workplace and into the social life.

CVS and Walgreens

Considering the reviews in Glass Door and other sources, I can work for a company with Walgreens’ type of employee motivation but not for a company with staff motivation similar to CVS. By comparison, CVS focuses almost exclusively on monetary incentives to make employees work harder. The financial incentives at CVS are not in the form of economic rewards and bonuses. On the contrary, the company structures the compensation packages in such a way that the more a worker works, the more he or she gets paid. Such a plan is undesirable, especially at a company where employees assert to be overworked or where the workloads are enormous. Some staff members at CVS claim to work for excessively long hours. Motivation tools such as work-life balance at CVS are lacking.

On the other hand, Walgreens performs better in employee motivation. The commentaries about the company reveal that the salaries are good, and job scheduling can be flexible. Paid holidays are additional employee motivation efforts by the company. Flexibility and good pay emerge as the most common motivation tools. A few challenges such as high expectations leading to high stress levels are also presented. Besides these challenges, the current employees working for Walgreens are happy and feel motivated. Work flexibility can allow workers to achieve a work-life balance.


The major tools for inspiring employees to commit to their jobs and become more productive include compensation and recognition among others. The tools described here can be explained by Maslow’s hierarchy of needs that posits that workers are driven by the needs that are not met. Herzberg’s two-factor theory explains motivation and hygiene factors, and is a perfect theory from which to derive the tools needed by a firm to encourage staff.


Alshmemri, M., Shahwan-Akl, L., & Maude, P. (2017). Herzberg’s Two-Factor Theory. Life Science Journal, 14(5), 12-16. Web.

Pt, W., & Low, A. (2018). Improving Workplace Productivity: Applications of Maslow’s Need Theory and Locke’s Goal-Setting. Psychology & Psychological Research International Journal, 3(8), 1-5. Web.

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