Motivation can define behavior, orientation, activity and final achievements of a person in all spheres. As a psychological aspect, it plays a crucial role by searching for the most effective forms of organization and human resource management in different business areas. The retail sale is one of the most widely spread forms of business activities within the free market economy worldwide. Consequently, the deeper analysis of the motivation process with regard to motivation theories offered by Maslow, Herzberg and McClelland can contribute to the rise of effectiveness of the business including the retail sales by means of the efficient stimulus to work, initiative in combination with good organization and self-discipline.
Although all three theories are different, they carry essential ideas on structure and methods of the motivation process, and support each other. If motivation is a force that prompts an individual to “satisfy his needs or wants,” mainly the level of needs is what should be analyzed for the proper decisions (Maslow, 1943). According to Maslow (1943), a number of unsatisfied needs are “the only source of motivation.” Overviewing the theory offered by Maslow, one should mark out the deficiency and growth needs. While the first category includes physiological, safety and social needs, the higher-level needs appear to be the esteem and self-actualization. The next theories overlap with the second category of Maslow’s needs. According to the second theory that was offered by McClelland, there are three most important categories that define motivation. Among them are achievement, affiliation and power (McClelland & Burnham, 1976). With regard to the Maslow’s hierarchy, these needs would be classified as ones of the higher level. Moreover, the need of achievement could be placed between Maslow’s categories of respect and self-actualization. The same location can be chosen for the need of power. The need of affiliation, which implies close and friendly relations with others, is the need of social interaction described by Maslow. In contrast to both, Herzberg (1968) concluded that dissatisfaction and satisfaction with work depend on separate factors that are called motivating and hygiene ones. Therefore, he believed that only the higher-level objectives can be as motivation at work. The first group includes achievements and advancements, recognition and individual growth, responsibility and work . The factors that serve as dissatisfiers are relations between employees, policies of the company, conditions of work, personal life, status, supervision, job security, and wages. Although the two-factor theory offers the concepts that are quite difficult to grasp, it is important to emphasize the crucial role of the intrinsic motivation and employee’s commitment to the job as the most effective way to improve the results.
In the sphere of retail sales, the motivation of the employees is not less important than in any other sphere. Considering McClelland’s theory, one should pay special attention to the importance of the affiliation and friendly relations among sellers. In such a way, teamwork is important. Although various people await different things from their jobs, the position they obtain and the possibility of promotion is a good motivation for the workers as it is closely interconnected with the reward they get. Better performance leads to higher reward. The recognition can be manifested in different details like feedbacks and bonuses while the power can be obtained mostly with promotion.
To sum it up, motivation is a process that encourages people to work for the common or individual goals. Moreover, they all are efficient to explain how the reward systems can induce satisfaction or dissatisfaction of the workers. Maslow with his hierarchy of needs, McClelland with his emphasis on need for achievement, affiliation and power, and Herzberg with his two factor theory are the foremost theorists, who have contributed to understanding of human motivation, and connection of the reward systems with human needs on different levels.
- Herzberg, F. (1968). One more time: How do you motivate employees? Best of HBR, 87-96.
- Maslow, H.A. (1943). A theory of human motivation. Psychological Review, 50, 376-396.
- McClelland, D.C. & Burnham, D.H. (1976). Power is the great motivator. Harvard Business Review, 3, 100-111.