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Theories of Employee Motivation

The Unit 4 Assignment asks you to consider theories of employee motivation, as described in Chapter 11 of the text. As mentioned in the Unit 3 Assignment, VP of Human Resources, Philip Thomas, has delegated the task of drafting a new policy to his team, to be presented to him for final review. However, the team is not meeting the milestones Thomas has set, and Thomas has become aware that some of these employees are feeling disgruntled. He has asked you to prepare a memo detailing your analysis and recommendations as to how he could motivate his employees. Please use the Unit 4 Assignment template.

Assignment Checklist:

Using the assignment template, identify at least three reasons that employee motivation sometimes wanes.
Describe to VP Thomas how he might use either Goal Setting Theory OR Expectancy Theory in order to motivate his employees.
Summarize recommendations for two specific methods or incentives Thomas might use to motivate his team.
Utilize at least one external source as part of your research. This could be your textbook or another resource found in the university library.
Your submission should include a title page, memo, and reference list.
The paper should be at least two double-spaced pages in length using size 12-point font.

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Theories of Employee Motivation



TO: Philip Thomas, VP Human Resources

FROM: Student Name, Consultant

DATE: 19th April, 2021

RE: Employee Motivation


Lack of employee motivation puts the managers at a loss, thus it is important to first identify and understand the reasons why an employee loses motivation all of a sudden. In regard, it is also important to carefully assess the nature of employee motivational failure before taking any actions. However, the most prevalent reasons for the waning of employee motivation include lack of self-efficacy, disruptive emotions as well as attribution errors (Palm et al., 2020).


The goal setting theory of motivation is essentially linked to job performance. Therefore, this theory can be very practical in motivating your employees. Goal setting theory presents five principles that are deemed effective in motivating employees including clarity, challenge, commitment and feedback as well as task complexity (Asmus et al., 2015). In order to use the goal setting theory, you need to first identify the purpose of the goal then meet with the employee that has lost motivation. Here, you will then develop a plan through the incorporation of the SMART model. In addition, when doing this, ensure that you provide the employee with all the necessary requirements for the accomplishment of the identified goal. The final step is to ensure you provide regular feedback to build on the confidence and competence of the employee.

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The two recommended methods and incentives that can promote employee motivation includes the implementation of an employee reward program within the organization as well as giving regular feedback and recognition (Kvaløy, & Schöttner, 2015). The reward program can be monetary including employees bonuses, cash awards and paid time off. Typically, employees feel fulfilled through recognition. Therefore, sharing regular feedback and incorporating recognition can potentially make an employee feel as though their exceptional work has been recognized, thus promoting motivation.









Asmus, S., Karl, F., Mohnen, A., & Reinhart, G. (2015). The Impact of Goal-setting on Worker Performance - Empirical Evidence from a Real-effort Production Experiment. Procedia CIRP, 26, 127–132.

Kvaløy, O., & Schöttner, A. (2015). Incentives to motivate. Journal of Economic Behavior & Organization, 116, 26–42.

Palm, E., Seubert, C. & Glaser, J. (2020). Understanding Employee Motivation for Work-to-Nonwork Integration Behavior: a Reasoned Action Approach. J Bus Psychol 35, 683–696.

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