All of us have had a job where its seemingly impossible to get motivated. Maybe you’re not getting paid enough, not seeing success, or not getting recognition from your boss. Motivation is essentially the underlying drive of individuals to accomplish tasks and goals. There are many factors that can influence employee motivation including organizational structure, integrity of company operations, and company culture. In the workplace, it is especially important to motivate employees so that they meet their full potential. Whether you’re a manager with decades of experience or a new hire finishing their first week on the job, motivation is a vital element that can help retain good employees and let them reach their full potential.

Hierarchical vs. Flat Structures

For starters, we’ll look at how organizational structure affects motivation in the workplace. There are two basic categories that an organization can fall into: a hierarchical structure or a flat structure. In recent years, many notable companies have been moving to a flatter structure – Google and to name a couple. A flat structure enables individuals to work independently and with greater decision-making power. Because employees in this model are more likely to benefit from their own decisions and take credit for successes, this often leads to heightened motivation.

organizational behavior

Hierarchical structures, on the other hand, have long been in place and are the go-to platform for many large companies. This structure is shaped like a pyramid, with chief executives at the top, and low-level employees at the base. This is a tried-and true structure, but often employees can feel undervalued and trapped in roles. As a manager, it’s encouraged to analyze your company’s organizational structure and act on any issues that you may see with it. A simple employee survey about feelings towards a company’s organizational structure can bring to light a lot of potential fixes. In the end, employees can become much more motivated if they feel their company’s structure acts in their best interests.

What Influences Employee Motivation?

Integrity of organizational operations is another large factor that influences motivation. Have you ever worked for a company that said they would do one thing but settled for something else? Us too. If left unchecked, hypocrisy and false claims can disappoint employees and lessen trust in an organization. Managers should avoid making grandiose promises only to fail come crunch time. Be transparent with employees, let them know the truth about company operations. And if you as a manager can’t keep promises, it’s best not to discuss them in the first place. Following these rules of thumb can have great effects on employee morale, further motivating them to trust superiors and coworkers.

Company culture can also play a huge role in encouraging employees and management alike. Drab, uptight offices are being phased out and replaced with upbeat, vibrant environments where collaboration is celebrated. Some overarching factors that influence company culture include the level of play, company’s purpose, employee potential, and interaction amongst peers. Since so much of our days are spent at work, it is imperative to have a culture that employees want to be in. Hold a meeting, see what your employees have to say about your company’s current culture. Maybe your employees want Friday pizza to be a thing. Maybe they want to aid in community events to broaden their purpose. Maybe they want a portion of Monday’s meeting to be dedicated to asking about everyone’s weekend. Overall, these small adjustments to one’s organizational culture can vastly benefit employee motivation.

While not an exhaustive list by any means, this overview highlights some of the actions that can be taken to increase motivation in the workplace. At the Nevada Association of Employers, we know what goes into making a company run more efficiently. Let our HR professional help your company obtain its goals and encourage employees to work at their full potential. To contact the Nevada Association of Employers and see our training calendar, visit