The four motivating factors (2023)

24 January 2019

von Brian Tracy

There are four motivating factors that are present in any organization or business. These factors determine employee motivation, whether positive or negative. Fortunately, each of these ingredients can be changed for the better, usually when a manager or supervisor replaces an executive whose leadership style hasn't helped bring out the best in each person.

The four motivating factors (1)

The basics: What factors influence motivation?

Let's start with the four fundamental factors to motivate everyone in any organization. These four factors are

(Video) Five types of motivation factors

  1. management style,
  2. the reward system,
  3. the organizational climate
  4. the structure of the work.

The influence of leadership on motivation

This is a major factor in how people interact with the company and how motivated they are. When there is a change in management in a company, the psychological climate of the company changes and with it the performance of all employees.

The appropriate leadership style depends on the goals of the organization, the people within the organization and the external environment. Your leadership style should be focused on the long-term success of your business, as Dr. William Schulz III in his article"Leadership for Long-Term Success"

In a SWAT team or fire department, the appropriate style would be more direct and dictatorial, with the person in charge telling people what to do quickly, regardless of personal sensitivities. This style is also found in business organizations, many of which are struggling to survive. In most cases, however, the traditional bottom-down leadership style is no longer acceptable to today's class of employees who expect to speak up, be heard and be able to have a clear impact on their operations.

Different styles for different people.A second leadership style is the collegial leadership style, where one person can be responsible for a department but work at the same level and with the same knowledge and skills as their peers. In this type of organization, people are respected for their knowledge, skills, and ability to get the job done.

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Other leadership styles identified are telling, selling, persuading and participating. Each of these styles is appropriate depending on whether the employee is new or experienced and whether there is sufficient time or urgency to complete the task. Sometimes the manager needs to apply different leadership styles to different people in different circumstances. Do you want to determine your management style? Take our AMA Skills Assessmentdiscover.

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Motivate with intrinsic rewards

Every work environment is characterized by a compensation structure that often differs from employee to employee and department to department.

As author Michael LeBoeuf says in his book:The greatest guiding principle in the world, "What is rewarded is done." If you expect more from a company, simply offer bigger rewards for that behavior. If you want less activity in the workplace, simply reduce the rewards or increase the punishment or disapproval for that behavior. People respond to incentives.

It is quite common for companies to identify their most profitable products and services and then increase the commission percentage of employees for sales of those specific products and services while keeping commissions lower for less profitable items. Employees and managers react very quickly to increasing or decreasing financial incentives for certain behavior or the achievement of certain goals.

Creation of a motivating organizational climate.

Is your company a "wonderful place to work"? The organizational climate is consciously created and maintained by the management. It consists largely of the way people treat each other in every way. It starts at the top, with leaders who inspire and set the tone for the rest of the organization. These leaders have a significant impact on the overall culture of the company.

When Thomas J. Watson, Sr., founded IBM, he laid out the company's three core values. These values—great products and services, excellent customer service, and respect for the individual—would define IBM's future and ultimately make it the largest and most respected make computer companies in the world.

The principle of "respect for the individual" is practiced nationally and internationally at all levels of the company. You were free to make mistakes at IBM, but you were not allowed to disrespect, demean or insult anyone or anyone. Mistreatment of people, especially those under his responsibility, was grounds for termination no matter how long he had been with the company.

Because of this, people were motivated to compete just to get accepted into IBM, but once they got there, they became the happiest, most productive, and creative workers in any company or industry.

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The structural factor of motivation

Some jobs are inherently motivating and require creativity, imagination and a high level of energy. Work that involves communicating, negotiating, and interacting with others to gain their cooperation and get the job done quickly and well brings out the best energies in individuals. It's exciting and challenging. It's also usually very rewarding.

However, a tremendous amount of work needs to be standardized, made routine, and made relatively tedious in order to be done efficiently and profitably. Factory workers working 24/7 on a production line, whose activities are carefully monitored and regulated to ensure peak productivity, are difficult to motivate.

Good organizations always try to structure the work so that the nature of the work matches the nature of the employee and the work is as interesting and enjoyable as possible.

Learn how to increase employee productivity7 ways managers can train employees to increase productivityWebinar

The leader can make an immediate difference

Compensation structure, organizational climate and work structure can be changed, but usually slowly; Everything must be thought out carefully and in detail. However, an organization's leadership style is the only factor that can be changed quickly, and that change can make a big difference almost overnight.

There is the story of a factory whose managers were very political and cared more about their own rewards and privileges than the morale of the workers. Demoralized with low productivity and many defects, the factory was on the verge of being shut down by headquarters.

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Instead of closing the plant, the parent company sent in a new general manager and completely replaced the existing management. On his first day on the job, the general manager was waiting when the first shift of workers arrived that morning, parked their cars in the dirt lot, and walked through the mud to the factory entrance.

When the entire shift was assembled, the new manager introduced himself and walked ahead of everyone to the reserved parking spots at the front entrance where executives used to park when they came to work. An assistant handed him a can of paint, and the new manager went around the entire wall and painted the names of the executives who had reserved parking spaces. “From now on, first-come-first-come-first-served has the best parking spot,” he told workers.

With the right education, you can develop the qualities of a good leader. Check out our varietyLeadership training and courses.

Taken from with permission of the publisherMotivationBy BrianTracy. Copyright 2013, Brian Tracy. Published by AMACOM. Visit for more information

Learn more about motivation by registering for our webinar to learn howMotivate and reward your overworked team during tough times.

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  • How to improve your team's morale
  • Create a sense of teamwork among team members

about the authors)

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Brian Tracyis President and CEO ofBrian Tracy International, a company specializing in the training and development of people and organizations. Today he is one of the world's leading public speakers and business experts, having consulted more than 1,000 companies and speaking to more than 5,000,000 people in 5,000 lectures and seminars in the United States and in more than 60 countries around the world. He has written 65 books and produced over 500 audio and video tutorials on management, motivation and personal success.


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