Motivation Theories You Should Know for the PMP Certification Exam
Motivating people is a large part of the project manager’s job. You should know the motivation theories for the PMP Certification Exam. Motivation can be difficult because not everyone is motivated by the same type of reward.
Theory X and Theory Y
As proposed by Douglas McGregor, Theory X and Theory Y describe two different types of workers and how they should be managed. Theory X states that management believes that workers will do as little as possible to get by, and thus need a great deal of direction. Theory Y states that management believes that workers are interested in doing their best and, given the freedom, will perform well.
|Theory X||Theory Y|
|The average worker has an inherent dislike of work and will
avoid it if possible.
|The average worker wants to be active and finds the physical
and mental effort on the job to be satisfying.
|Because of their dislike for work, most people must be
controlled before they will work hard enough.
|The greatest results come from willing participation, which
will tend to produce self-direction toward goals without coercion
|The average worker prefers to be directed and dislikes
|The average worker seeks the opportunity for personal
improvement and self-respect.
|The average worker is not ambitious, and desires security above
|Imagination, creativity, and ingenuity can be used to solve
work problems by a large number of employees.
Frederick Herzberg believed that the two aspects to the work environment are hygiene and motivation. He stated that hygiene factors don’t motivate a worker to perform. However, the way they are implemented — or not implemented — can lead to employee dissatisfaction. On the other hand, motivation factors lead to higher individual performance.
|Hygiene Factors||Motivation Factors|
|Status||Interest in the job|
Maslow’s Hierarchy of Needs
One of the most well-known of all motivation theories is Maslow’s Hierarchy of Needs. This theory states that human beings have basic needs and that people need to meet lower-level needs before they can move onto the next level of needs. This theory is shown as a pyramid.
ERG Theory is similar to Maslow’s Hierarchy of Needs, but it focuses on existence, relatedness, and growth needs.
Existence includes the needs for food, drink, shelter, and safety.
Relatedness needs include the need to feel connected to other individuals or a group. Relatedness needs are fulfilled by establishing and maintaining relationships.
Growth needs are fulfilled by personal achievement and self-actualization.
McClelland’s Theory of Needs
David McClelland posited that people are motivated by power, achievement, or affiliation, and that how you manage a person is different based on what motivates that individual.
|Power||These people like to organize, motivate, and lead others.
Rewards should be focused on giving them more responsibility.
|Achievement||These people are result oriented. They like to reach a goal and
be recognized for it. They like challenges that are
|Affiliation||These people seek acceptance and belonging. They like being
part of a team.
Vroom’s Expectancy Theory
Victor Vroom states that “intensity of work effort depends on the perception that an individual’s effort will result in a desired outcome.” Employees are motivated when they believe the following:
Putting in more effort will yield better job performance.
Better job performance will lead to organizational rewards, such as an increase in salary or benefits.
These predicted organizational rewards are valued by the employee.
The theory supports the concept of the reward being tied to performance, and ensuring that the reward is what the employee wants. It emphasizes the links between behavior, rewards, and the organization’s goals.