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James Quincey, CEO of Coca-Cola once stated “The more you can engage people and the more you can make the intermediate steps feel like they are steps forward, the better chance you have of being fast and comprehensive about managing change.” This notion of galvanizing employees is fundamental to understanding the principles of Motivation within the realm of strategic management.

Motivation isn't a straightforward product of salary increments or employee perks—it is far more nuanced and rooted deeply in human psychology. According to a McKinsey analysis, motivation is a primary determinant of performance and is more important than other influencing factors—such as capability or role clarity. Essentially, the more motivated individuals are, the higher their willingness to apply effort towards achieving organizational goals, resulting in increased productivity and higher corporate performance.

Fostering Motivation Through Leadership and Culture

Leadership greatly influences Motivation—through the establishment of an engaging organizational culture and strategic goal setting. As per Gallup’s 2020 State of the Global Workplace report, organizations with high employee engagement levels were 21% more profitable than those with low engagement levels—signaling the intertwining relationship between motivation, engagement, and organization performance.

Practical Approaches to Enhancing Motivation

Intrinsic Motivation Intrinsic motivation arises from the task itself – facilitating a sense of personal fulfillment, satisfaction, or pleasure. Including job autonomy, crafting intricate job roles, and incorporating learning and development focus can enhance intrinsic motivation.

Extrinsic Motivation Extrinsic motivation is derived from the outcomes associated with performing a task or behavior—such as rewards or recognitions. Adopting a balanced compensation strategy that incorporates non-monetary rewards can effectively enhance extrinsic motivation.

Enabling Innovation through Motivation

Innovation isn’t just a stationary concept residing in think-tanks or specific departments—it emerges and thrives in an environment where motivated employees are willing to explore and take risks. Motivation guides employees' innovative behavior and helps transform creative ideas into practical business solutions. Amid the Digital Transformation wave, motivated employees are undoubtedly key in leveraging technology solutions for problem-solving—thereby driving a culture of Innovation.

Incorporating Motivation in Change Management Strategies

In unprecedented times, organizations resort to Change Management strategies to better align with the evolving business landscape. Here, employees’ motivations need to be effectively managed to promote acceptance and accelerate the transition. A Deloitte study found that organizations that supported employees during significant change reported almost 15% more effective transformations. Thus, integrating motivation-management in Change Management strategies can significantly uplift their successful implementation.

Leveraging Motivation in the Era of Remote Work

With the COVID-19 pandemic reshaping work norms, remote working has become the “new normal”. However, this shift has posed challenges in keeping employees motivated without the traditional physical workplace environment. In this landscape, leaders need to employ emotional intelligence in tandem with effective Performance Management strategies to keep teams motivated and productive.


Navigating the multifaceted concept of Motivation, its impacts are far-reaching—from boosting individual and team performance to strengthening resilience during major organizational transformations. As leaders, embodying a motivational ethos can not only steer employees towards achieving organizational goals but also foster a culture of Innovation and excellence—ultimately paving the way for sustainable business success.


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