Employee motivation is the pillar of strength behind every successful workforce. It is the holy grail of employee management and the most difficult part to achieve in any organisation. Hiring the best talent, providing engaging projects and building strong team dynamics are just the tip of the iceberg. 

To truly understand employee motivation, we need to understand where it comes from. If we are taking a guess – the need for approval and validation. But the human psyche is much more complex than that. 

So even if employee motivation is talked about a lot in human resources, not many know where it can originate from. A trusted HRMS for companies globally helps nurture their employee motivation. 

In the blog, we are going to look at the origins of employee motivation, how we can use this information to our advantage and what role a leading HRMS can play in all of this.

3 Origins Of Employee Motivation 

The need for success 

The most generic point on this blog, but it’s not as simple as you think. There is a general idea of success that exists, and then there is a personal idea of success that every individual has. This is also known as extrinsic and intrinsic motivation. 

The general idea of success helps in giving people value in the society they are in, while the personal idea of success helps people be happy with who they are. Now general success can be easy to track, but personal success is based on the metrics a person has set for himself. 

With this in mind, HR teams can use this to their advantage to drive motivation by asking employees about their goals in the company. Questions around their goals can be tailored to identify general and personal goals. 

Once this information is collected, HRs can tailor their employee’s experience so that the employee can find their path to success. Now the challenging part is that there are a lot of employees to get this information from, and this can be tiring. 

This is where a centralised platform for human resource management can help. It can be done by conducting surveys so that HRs can collect information first-hand from the employees and tailor their journeys accordingly. 

This process in the HRMS will also help HRs identify if every employee is the right fit for the organisation. Later, they can diagnose the data to check possible ways to improve employee engagement along the path to the greatness of operational effectiveness. 

Frederick Hertzbergs’ two-factor theory  

There are two main components of Frederick Hertzberg’s theory, classified as motivation and hygiene. Hygiene refers to the quality and standard of the workplace. 

The following are examples of hygiene elements that lower employee motivation: 

  • Bad working conditions, 
  • Tedious administrative procedures, 
  • Unnecessary corporate rules, 
  • Low status, 
  • Lack of security, 
  • Delays in salaries, 
  • Toxic interpersonal interactions, and 
  • Constant supervision and micromanagement. 

People lose motivation when they are unsatisfied in any of these areas. Motivation is the purpose and driving force behind why employees work. 

The quality of work, growth opportunities, recognition, advancement, achievement, and responsibility are all motivating aspects. 

Employee motivation rises when they have a sense of fulfilment in these areas. 

Fredrick Hertzberg’s two-factor theory teaches us that employee motivation is directly influenced by employee hygiene or satisfaction and these two factors are interdependent to have a motivated workforce. 

Many companies can give their employees proper working conditions, but how can they get rid of factors affecting their employee hygiene, like tedious administrative procedures and constant supervision? 

This is where smart HRMS help your company flourish. With these tech tools, everything is on one platform for the convenience of the workforce, so companies can benefit from features like workflow automation. 

Employees are given their space to bring in quality work while also helping HR teams automate time-consuming administrative tasks. uKnowva is the prime example of such HRM tools in India. 

David McClelland’s theory of needs 

Every person, according to David McClelland, has a craving for affiliation, power, or achievement. Among these three, one serves as your employee’s primary motivator. Affiliation is wanting to be part of a collective or a group of people so that the employee can feel valued. 

The need for power comes from longing for recognition, status and respect. With power comes influence, and that is the primary reason why people seek power, according to Mcclelland’s theory of needs. 

The last is the need for achievement. It makes human efforts tangible. With it comes recognition and respect. David McClelland’s theory suggests that employee motivation is bound to come from these three places. 


In an era where employees are not known for sticking to just one job, employee motivation is extremely important. 

Companies that have highly motivated employees have higher retention rates. uKnowva helps remove all obstacles that hinder employee motivation by helping employees find better processes for their work and stay connected to the organisation as a whole.