9 Types of Motivation: A Comprehensive Overview

Understanding Types of Motivation is critical for managing a team to managing a successful career. Motivation is everything. Full of life or feeling lethargic? We may not notice the reason why these things occur if we don’t understand the emotion. Motivation, for starters, is what pushes us to do daily tasks like having breakfast and brushing our teeth. It sustains us through difficult moments in life like enduring pain from a broken heart or motivation can help push us to achieve goals in various aspects of life such as school, sports, and work.

What does Motivation mean?

Motivation is the driving force that drives people to achieve their goals. It is what causes people to take action and persist in the face of difficulties. Motivation can be internal or external. Internal motivation comes from within oneself, while external motivation comes from outside sources.

There are many different types of motivation. Some common types include intrinsic motivation, extrinsic motivation, and self-motivation. Intrinsic motivation is driven by a desire to do something for its own sake. Extrinsic motivation is driven by external rewards, such as praise or money. Self-motivation is driven by a belief in oneself and a desire to achieve one’s goals.

What is the science behind motivation?

Householders are motivated by different stimuli. For example, walking on the beach could trigger a person to work harder, while someone else may need to set an alarm clock

Humans are triggered by dopamine releases, which signal between cells. When the signal reaches the nucleus accumbens, it elicits feedback to determine whether the event is good or bad.

Dopamine rewards the nucleus accumbens when employees predict their new task successfully and receive the expected outcome.

Hence, Motivation can be considered a set of biological, social, behavioral, and situational factors which determine the intrinsic desire to do a particular task or activity. Hence identifying types of motivation is the most important task for a manager if you are looking to enhance team performance

Why is motivation important?

Motivation is important because it helps people to achieve their goals. It is the driving force that allows people to overcome obstacles and achieve success. When people are motivated, they are more likely to persist in the face of difficulties and to put in the extra effort required to achieve their goals.

There are different types of motivation. Some people are self-motivated and driven by a strong desire to achieve their goals. Others may need external motivation, such as rewards or praise, to stay on track. Some people may respond well to positive reinforcement, while others may need negative reinforcement, such as punishment, to encourage them to change their behavior.

It is important to find the right type of motivation for each individual. What works for one person may not work for another. The most important thing is to identify what motivates each individual and to use that knowledge to help them achieve their goals.

What are the various types of Motivation?

Types of Motivation Infographic
Types of Motivation: See what motivates you

Lack of motivation is commonplace. There is always another task to complete, another project, and yet another meeting, so it can seem impossible to perform at an optimal level.

Different Types of Motivation as per Situation

  • Extrinsic Motivation
  • Intrinsic Motivation
  • Introjected Motivation
  • Identified Motivation

Different Types of Motivation as per Personality

  • Achievement
  • Power
  • Affiliation
  • Security
  • Adventure

To have a successful organization, you need to understand what drives each of your employees. Use these strategies to reward and incentivize your employees based on their individual needs.

Types of Motivation: Case 1: Extrinsic Motivation

If an employee is motivated to succeed based on financial gains and/or promotions, they are considered extrinsically motivated. While this is ideal in competitive environments where commission or promotions rely on success, extrinsic motivation doesn’t work consistently. Eventually, intrinsic motivation will overcome the compensation and promotion factor, causing a downturn at some point in time.

Types of Motivation: Case 2: Intrinsic Motivation

Intrinsic motivators are a good way to get employees to succeed, even if external rewards don’t always matter. Employees who are intrinsically motivated by feelings of self-actualization and exploring themselves place a high value on their boss by saying something like “good job”. These kinds of comments are more rewarding for these types of employees than bonuses at the end of the year.

Case 3: Introjected Motivation

Introjected motivation is a form of internalized motivation like intrinsic motivation. With the introjected approach, the person wants to please those who are important to them, such as bosses and parents. The other side of introjected motivation is introjected avoidance, which has a person undertakes tasks because they feel that people important to them want or expect them to.

Introjected avoidance is an individual’s motivation that seeks to protect themselves by eliminating feelings of failure. Bosses may make comments about the person’s performance to induce feelings of guilt which then motivates them to perform better. Negative aspects of introjected avoidance include angering or confusing people with constant negative interactions, or from an inability to satisfy their own desires.

According to Assor and Vansteenkiste (2009), introjected avoidance motivation is pictured as undesirable because the individual focuses on avoiding feelings such as shame. This can reduce intrinsic motivation and self-confidence because the motive is to avoid failure.

Types of Motivation Case 4: Identified Motivation

Identified motivation is often a powerful form of intrinsic motivation, that prepares people to act. Often people believe the behavioral influencers such as a reward or punishment are enough to motivate action; however, more often, motivation is a building process. For example, if lung cancer’s risk could motivate someone to quit smoking, many people would easily quit smoking. The need and desire to quit smoking often takes time to actualize but this presents the problem of the person dying from lung cancer before becoming motivated enough to quit smoking.

According to research, the majority of employees are disengaged at work but the issue is not that they lack a driving motivation. The problem is often in how they were motivated outside of work. Hence an assessment of motivation according to personality is important

Types of Motivation: Case 5: Affiliation

Affiliation motivations seeks recognition from others. Achievement-motivated people set high goals for themselves. They are driven to meet new challenges and exceed expectations. While they enjoy success, it is the journey towards success that brings them satisfaction. Achievement-motivated people avoid easy wins because these struggles do not provide a sense of achievement. This motivation can be costly in day-to-day life since they often fail to stop and rest when they have met their goals.

Types of Motivation Case 6: Power

People who are driven by a need for power generally want recognition for their influence on the environment. They enjoy directing others and enjoy being given high-ranking titles because it helps them have more authority than others. The need for power also includes the idea of being revered and followed.

Types of Motivation: Case 7: Affiliation

People who need affiliation want to be in harmonious relationships with others; they want to feel accepted and enjoy being part of groups. These individuals are excellent team members. However, they can sometimes get distracted by social interactions and may not perform as well in customer service positions or client interactions.

Types of Motivation: Case 8: Security

Security-driven individuals prefer continuity and consistency. They may not like a job offer if it feels as though there are too many changes to the new position.

Types of Motivation: Case 9: Adventure

For those who are motivated by risk, change, and uncertainty, the work environment is constantly changing and there is a chance of failure. They enjoy challenges and may decide to be the first to do something new. However, those who are high adventure types may just be freelancers or entrepreneurs. They move from job to job often, which is at times due to boredom.

How Can Managers Use Motivation to improve performance?

There are many different ways that managers can use motivation to improve performance. One way is by setting goals and providing rewards for employees who meet or exceed those goals. This type of motivation is often called extrinsic motivation because it is based on external factors such as rewards.

Another way that managers can use motivation to improve performance is by providing employees with feedback. This type of feedback can be either positive or negative, but it should be specific and goal-oriented. This type of motivation is often called intrinsic motivation because it is based on internal factors such as the desire to do well.

Overall, managers can use both extrinsic and intrinsic motivation to improve employee performance. By setting goals and providing rewards, managers can encourage employees to work hard to meet those goals. And by providing feedback, managers can help employees stay focused and motivated to do their best work.


Managers can motivate their employees by understanding which type of motivation they work best with. If a manager notices that they’re working well with someone who is a little more easygoing, the manager should delegate tasks to them and create an incentive for finishing a task.

Give your employee tangible rewards for a job well done, like adding benefits after an end-of-year performance review.

Be communicative with your employees and be generous in complimenting them. Keep a positive work environment to make good workers stay motivated.

Be sure to apply positive feedback for your employee’s work, and critique as needed to improve their skills.

If an employee is struggling with motivation, sit down with them and ask what you can do to help.

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