Numerous techniques and aspects play an essential role in the business’s flourishing and success, and the people are crucial elements. The impact of employee motivation strategies on organizational performance is a widely studied research topic due to the need to know which processes can boost workers’ effectiveness and lead to long-term competitive advantage. A widespread hypothesis is that the more employees are motivated to accomplish their tasks, the more likely they will bring high organizational performance and success levels. The studies available on the topic range from systematic literature reviews to full-blown controlled experiments, and the evidence provided is instead in support of motivational strategies because of their positive impact on engagement and retention and thus, high performance.
The paper observes specific plans for employee motivation, such as material bonuses and verbal encouragement and the role of a positive working environment. In addition, the review will present a motivational strategy by identifying the needs and stimuli directly from the employees. Leadership approaches are another significant theme of the work because they include broader scope on the stimulation of productivity in the company. Different styles contain various methods of management, as some of them might not be beneficial for the corporation’s purposes. Since employees are the driving force of any organization and an extremely valuable human resource, their emotional well-being is strongly connected with the outcomes of their work. In the review will be a discussion on how the feelings and perception of the people in the workplace increase and decrease their motivation. Moreover, there will appear the demonstration of the combined approaches to the encouragement and connection between extrinsic and intrinsic motivation. Therefore, the aim of the current literature review is to analyze relevant academic literature on employee motivation strategies and demonstrates the critical factors that can positively and negatively serve to reflect on organizational performance.
Review of Literature
Studies carried out through the scoping review are widespread in organizational management as they gather literature on a particular topic and identify key concepts, types and sources of evidence, and research gaps, which could be used in future studies as theoretical frameworks. In their research, Kalogiannidis (2021) identified that employee motivation directly affects organizational performance positively. Combining material and verbal encouragements, such as financial bonuses, gifts, and recognition from the managers, the company stimulates productivity and overall work results.
Because of the high methodological standards and the rigorous definition of inclusion and exclusion criteria, the study by Kalogiannidis (2021) has high levels of validity. Berberoglu (2018) contributes to the findings of the previous article by discussing the importance of the organizational climate and its influence on corporate outcomes. There is a strong correlation between the work environment and the employee’s involvement in the company’s performance. In the example of public hospitals, Berberoglu (2018) recognized that a healthy atmosphere in the workplace functions as one of the main motivational aspects for the staff. While Kalogiannidis (2021) offers a broader perspective and cites the various factors that could either enhance or limit organizational performance, the second study focuses on the positive corporate environment as a stimulus for employees.
Motivational strategies can take different forms depending on the organizations’ nature and expectations. Thus, studying the impact of leadership can be of value to the current topic because it may reveal whether some adjustments should be made in organizations’ leadership to develop more effective strategies for boosting employees’ motivation. Besides, research has shown that effective and authentic leadership has an immense impact on organizational performance on a long-term basis (Nasab and Afshari, 2019). In their study, Tesmer and Oxenford (2020) explored the effect of a competitive leadership approach on employee motivation with the help of a literature review. It was found that employees’ feelings of competence and inspiration can be elevated when their leaders consistently set clear goals, recognize accomplishments, and offer challenges that workers can overcome. Thus, effective leadership that considers the specific organizational climate can be instrumental in developing motivational strategies that will be the best fit for their workers. Combined with other theoretical studies, the research offers a comprehensive look at the multidimensionality of employee motivation and its dependence on multiple factors.
In contrast to the studies that have approached the topic of the impact of employee motivation on job performance from the theoretical stance, Forson et al. (2021) experimented with primary school teachers in Ghana. Using ANOVA and multiple regression analysis, the researchers found that the job design, performance management systems, compensation package, and work environment were the most effective strategies influencing employees’ motivation. These findings align with the conclusions made by Kalogiannidis (2021) and Berberoglu (2018), whose concepts of motivation and better organizational performance emphasized a positive environment and bonuses. The study fits with the current research topic as it shows the specific elements that organizations have to consider to keep their employees motivated.
Another quantitative design study on employee motivation was carried out by Rahaman et al. (2020). The study provides the perspectives of real workers on what motivates them and what does not, which allows for making inferences about effective motivational strategies. Similar to Forson et al. (2021), Rahaman et al. (2020) found that the quality of work environment, job certainty, and opportunities to advance one’s career were the most significant motivation factors. The study’s findings, which relied on employees’ feedback, can be used to formulate practical motivational strategies and test their impact on performance.
Although all the aspects mentioned before are significant to the motivation of the employees and overall organizational performance, one more factor plays a critical role in it: leadership. There are several types of leadership, but in this case, specifically transformational style facilitates the structural management of all the processes and exciting features. Para-González et al. (2018) studied the connection between transformational leadership and the corporate outcomes of the work. Eventually, the implementation of specific human resources strategies such as professional training, innovative solutions, and opportunities for promotion induce overall productivity. When the employee recognizes the possibilities for development and receives encouragement from the management to clearly understand the benefits, it becomes an additional motivation.
As a contribution to the findings on transformational leadership, Al Khajeh (2018) explored the impact of other styles on the employee motivation and organizational performance. This article supports the theory of the positive effects of qualitative management on work results and adds new insight to the theme. Not all leadership approaches serve the purpose, and some of them negatively influence the company’s results. The research states that “charismatic, bureaucratic and transactional leadership styles […] have a negative impact on the organizational performance, as it does not provide opportunities and freedom to employees” (Al Khajeh, 2018, p. 2). While democratic and autocratic approaches provide workers with opportunities for professional growth and give the stimulus to achieve higher results which is beneficial for the organization.
The qualitative research methodology has also been applied to studying the relationship between employee motivation and performance. This area of research is relevant to the current topic because it can show that employee motivation does not occur independently, and the strategies implemented must result in positive emotions and not negative ones (Vansteenkiste et al., 2020). Reizer et al. (2019) found that positive emotions and job satisfaction could contribute to the improved relationship between performance and autonomous motivation. In contrast, negative emotions decreased employees’ satisfaction with their work and contributed to negative associations between motivation and job performance. The limitation invalidity of the study was linked to the survey only addressing the within-subject and between-subject analysis of emotions and behavior, which means that in future research, higher levels of analysis are needed to boost validity and reliability.
Deressa and Zeru (2019) did research on the impact of work initiative on organizational outcomes based on the findings they received from the medical facilities, specifically interviewing nurses. The findings align with Forson et al. (2021) found that compensation packages were highly popular elements of motivation in their study. From the qualitative data, it was revealed that participants perceived motivation as “doing one’s work with full interest, doing good things and sacrificing yourself […] for others” (Deressa and Zeru., 2019, p. 213). These findings suggest that personal qualities and a desire to bring value could be significant motivational factors. The mixed-methods study offered high validity and reliability because of the combination of different instruments for enhanced data collection and representation in analysis.
Previous studies suggest a limited understanding among organizations’ management as to how employees can be effectively motivated to show high levels of performance. In their mixed methods research, Engidaw (2021) explored the effectiveness of extrinsic and intrinsic motivation on workers’ inspiration and engagement. The study aligns with the current topic because it helps differentiate between the outcomes of extrinsic and intrinsic motivational approaches, thus helping determine which strategies will be the most effective for boosting motivation. The findings revealed that extrinsic motivation exceeded intrinsic motivation in terms of the strength of its impact on motivation. This suggests that effective motivational strategies will instead consider the outside approach to boost performance.
To conclude the literature review, it can be stated that there is no one specific motivational strategy that will lead to the improvement of organizational performance. The initial factor that determines the success of any strategy is the people’s satisfaction with the working conditions. When the workplace has a healthy atmosphere where the employees can feel safe and valued, they feel more urged to support the corporation’s goals and aspirations. Career opportunities and possibilities for professional development contribute to that feeling of involvement in the process, and eventually, the company demonstrates greater results. It is possible to achieve this by paying attention to the employee’s needs and requirements regarding certain aspects of the working process. Usually, dissatisfaction with the management, salary, or inflexible schedule negatively affects the atmosphere, and people do not see the need to try harder. However, if the workers feel heard and valued and see the actual interest in their well-being from the management, they are ready to put more effort into their duties.
Effective leadership is the key factor that aligns all the necessary points of the motivational strategies and ensures that everything responds to the corporate values and the culture. Specifically, the transformational approach is one of the best methods to stimulate employees to show high-quality performance in their duties and help the company achieve its goals. A leader is in charge of providing people with opportunities for personal and professional growth, innovations, and possibilities for self-realization. Such a method is the key to systematic positive outcomes and progress among all the specialists in the organization. However, not all leadership styles are great for that purpose, and, for instance, charisma will not help reach the desired performance level.
The literature review also identified that extrinsic and intrinsic factors of motivation provide a greater effect on overall employee stimulation. The connection between people’s motivation and organizational performance is strong and evident, which the academic research proves the conducted studies. Various theories and approaches altogether create a full picture of all the aspects that should be considered to achieve high results and overall productivity.
Since human resources are extremely valuable, the focus should always be on people’s needs and their satisfaction. Recognition and rewards are an inevitable part of the individual’s stimulus and urge to cooperate with the employer and create an exchange of work and efforts between the employer and subordinate. The findings from the sources supplement each other and add new perspectives on the way of dealing with the employees’ urge to try hard in their jobs. This topic is rather complex and contains a diverse number of strategies that are crucial and play their own specific roles in the positive results and organization’s performance. Therefore, the scope of the research is relatively wide, and it includes both the employee’s and management’s perspectives on the question. The literature review has contributed to the current research question by showing that motivational strategies can take different forms and that there are abundant opportunities for research in this area.
Al Khajeh, E. H. (2018) ‘Impact of leadership styles on organizational performance, Journal of Human Resources Management Research, 2018, p. 1-10.
Berberoglu, A. (2018) ‘Impact of organizational climate on organizational commitment and perceived organizational performance: empirical evidence from public hospitals’, BMC health services research, 18(1), 1-9.
Deressa, A. T. and Zeru, G. (2019) ‘Work motivation and its effects on organizational performance: the case of nurses in Hawassa public and private hospitals: Mixed method study approach’, BMC Research Notes, 12, p. 213.
Engidaw, A. E. (2021) ‘The effect of motivation on employee engagement in public sectors: in the case of North Wollo zone, Journal of Innovation and Entrepreneurship, 43. Web.
Forson, J. A. et al. (2021) ‘Employee motivation and job performance: a study of basic school teachers in Ghana’, Future Business Journal, 7(30). Web.
Kalogiannidis, S. (2021) ‘Impact of employee motivation on organizational performance: a scoping review paper for public sector’, The Strategic Journal of Business & Change Management, 8(3), pp. 984-996.
Nasab, A. H. and Afshari, L. (2019) ‘Authentic leadership and employee performance: mediating role of organizational commitment’, Leadership & Organization Development Journal, 40(5), pp. 548-560.
Para-González, L., Jiménez-Jiménez, D., & Martínez-Lorente, A. R. (2018) ‘Exploring the mediating effects between transformational leadership and organizational performance’ Employee Relations.
Rahaman, M. A. et al. (2020) ‘What factors do motivate employees at the workplace? Evidence from service organizations,’ The Journal of Asian Finance, Economics and Business. Korea Distribution Science Association, 7(12), pp. 515-521.
Reizer, A., Brender-Ilan, Y. and Sheaffer, Z. (2019) ‘Employee motivation, emotions, and performance: a longitudinal diary study’, Journal of Managerial Psychology, 34(6), pp. 415-428.
Tesmer, K. R. and Oxenford, C. (2020) ‘The key to employee motivation: a competitive leadership approach’, Journal of Student Research, 9(2), pp. 1-8.
Vansteenkiste, M., Richard, R. and Soenens, B. (2020) ‘Basic psychological need theory: Advancements, critical themes, and future directions’, Motivation and Emotions, 44, pp. 1-31.