What are the psychological states that help employees feel motivated?

By Warren Patterson5 min read · Posted Apr 13, 2024


For a business to meet its goals, employees must be motivated enough to carry out their day-to-day tasks and deliver with expectations. One helpful factor for achieving this is their state of mind. This article explores the psychological states that help employees feel motivated and what they entail. Want to learn more about it? Keep reading to find out.

Psychological States That Help Employees Feel Motivated

Three main psychological states fuel employees to work better, harder, and with more efficiency. They are:

  • Knowledge of results
  • Experienced meaningfulness
  • Experienced responsibility

Let’s look at each of these in turn and see how they help employees become motivated.

Knowledge of Results

One main core job trait, feedback, is important here. That’s because it promotes feelings of growth, progression, and personal assessment. To become happy with one’s work, motivation is gained through understanding what they’ve succeeded in and how they’ve succeeded.

If an employer recognizes great quality work they should give objective feedback on what’s been done well and how it can be improved. Then, they can be set up better for success.

When end goals are set, they can more readily be reached with the right kind of feedback. There are numerous ways feedback can be given to ensure employees gain a sense of motivation for their work. Here are some of them:

  • Recognition of great performance

    If an employee continually meets work goals and tasks on a regular and consistent basis, it’s right for employers to praise them for performing so well. This acts as both a confidence and motivational booster and pushes them to maintain a high standard of work.

  • Understanding the growth of the employee

    Through making great efforts to grow, an employee shows that their work is centrally important to them, as well as the success of their business. A desire to delve into new business ventures, jump the career ladder, and face new feats can help the business thrive. It’s important that development is noticed by employees so that they can give the appropriate feedback which in turn can result in even greater growth.

  • Encouraging work creativity

    Success can be met when new, innovative ideas are brought to the table. When this is encouraged by employees, creativity is improved and can result in the business exceeding the success of its competitors. Morale and motivation of the employee can also be increased in response to this.

  • Appreciation of a hard work ethic

    Employees who work above the duties they are regularly assigned and perform more than what they’re asked of should always be commended for performing above and beyond expectations. When this is realized by employees their high standards should be recognized with positive feedback which only fuels motivation even more.

  • Praise of effective teamwork skills

    When work teams have a strong relationship and everyone understands what’s expected of them to reach targets, then these goals can be met timely and with efficiency and quality. What’s the response? Praise to the team from employees for collaborating effectively together for the benefit of the business.

  • Realization of great communication abilities

    Strong communication skills are of central importance for getting the job done right. When employees are able to collaborate well together, the standard of work generally improves and tasks are completed to the best quality possible. Celebration of positive outcomes should be followed by employees so that the self-esteem of the employees remains high while keeping them motivated.

Experienced Meaningfulness

Experienced meaningfulness is attained when task significance, task identity, and skill variety exist. Each of these results in employees feeling that the work they’ve achieved is meaningful.

So, how do each of these dimensions help employees feel motivated? Let’s find out.

Task Significance

Task significance refers to the effect that work has on those both inside and outside of the workplace. Therefore, it’s not just employees that are important when it comes to staff significance, it’s the customers too. When a job is done to the highest standard, increased morale is spread around the office, while employers and customers are satisfied. Naturally, motivation increases for the employees.

Task Identity

Task identity relates to the extent the worker notices the results of their efforts. When outcomes are good, the employee feels positive about what they’ve achieved. This in turn can lead to enhanced enthusiasm for the work they do.

Skill Variety

Skill variety is all about the expertise one uses to complete a task. When skill levels are high, especially in various areas of business, a greater scope of success can be achieved. Think about it: if an employee has abilities in more than one section, they can contribute more to the business or spread their knowledge and skills to help other teams that are struggling. You can bet that in the end, the feeling is often one of inspiration.

Experienced Responsibility

With experienced responsibility, a feeling of accountability is intrinsically motivating for employees.

Here are some ways employees use accountability to find motivation.

Remembering Integrity Is At Stake

Living up to what you preach is important in business. You have to show that you’re accountable to yourself in the first place. Employees must always deliver on what they say to ensure that integrity is upheld. The outcome? Enhanced motivation.

Goal Setting

When employees set goals, they’ve something to work towards. Having an end target in mind can help them plan work better and deliver with efficiency. In the end, this can boost morale.

Make Goals Public

Publicly expressing goals can help employees stay on the right path to goal achievement and continue to strive to meet them. This can induce support from others which can then feed into a better chance of success. Then, employees can feel more inspired to work hard in the future too.

We’ve shown the psychological states that help employees feel motivated: knowledge of results, experienced meaningfulness, and experienced responsibility. Now, you know what’s involved in each of them so that your work ethic and quality can remain high while helping the business you work for to flourish.

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