Types of Motivation: 7 Ways to Influence People

Have you ever wondered what kinds and types of motivation are best in the workplace? Or how motivation differs between people?

Motivation is a necessary tool when it comes to engaging your career. Don’t get me wrong, having a 9-5 job has its perks, but when you’re having trouble performing at higher levels for the company this can make all the difference.

This tool is such a powerful resource and is so important in all aspects of life, even if it doesn’t seem like it. Motivation comes in a few different forms. 

In this article, I’ll examine the different types of motivation techniques used in the regular workplace and business world.

What Is Motivation?

An individual’s motivation is the force that initiates, guides, and maintains goal-oriented behavior. Also, it is what causes you to take action, whether by grabbing a snack to reduce hunger or enrolling in college to earn a degree.

Essentially, motivation is the reason for your actions, desires, and needs. It is also your direction to behavior, or what makes you want to repeat a behavior.

An individual’s motivation may come from others or events (extrinsic motivation) or from within the individual (intrinsic motivation).

Furthermore, motivation involves the biological, emotional, social, and cognitive forces that activate behavior. 

Also, in everyday usage, the term “motivation” is often used to describe why a person does something. For example, your reasons for going back to school or completing a task.

What Are the Classifications of Motivation?

Research across domains of psychology has shown that there are different types of motivation including intrinsic motivation and extrinsic motivation.

Intrinsic motivation

Your intrinsic motivation stems from your desire to seek out new things and new challenges, analyze your abilities, observe, and learn. Rather than relying on external pressures or considerations, you get them by an interest or enjoyment in the task itself.

Extrinsic motivation 

This motivation involves the drive to perform a certain behavior to receive a reward or avoid punishment. Also, this type of motivation relies on external factors rather than internal factors.  

Examples of extrinsic motivation include; 

  • Trying to acquire money, experience, or fame in order to gain happiness or avoid anxiety.
  • Working to obtain rewards such as a pay raise or promotions. 

What Are the Types of Motivation?

Motivation affects all aspects of our lives, from the cradle to the grave. It determines your moods, your performance, and how your workplace perceives you. Intrinsic and extrinsic motivation are both factors that motivate everyone in their own way.

Listed below are the various types of motivational techniques and their utilization in our daily lives.

1. Motivation through Fear 

Motivation through fear is an attitude change that occurs when a person gets threatened with negative consequences. Also, this technique often gets used by parents, teachers, and bosses to keep their children, students, or employees in line. 

Among the various types of motivation, motivation through fear occurs when a person has to do an undesirable task to avoid punishment.

Also, fear is a powerful emotion that can affect human behavior in negative as well as positive ways. Fear can also act as a motivator used by some employers to get their employees to perform at higher levels.

For example, fear has worked as a political motivator for hundreds of years. From convincing people to vote for or against candidates to motivating citizens to go to war. 

2. Motivation through Incentives 

Incentives are external stimuli that provoke the desired behavior and are used in organizations to maintain a high level of productivity.

Through incentives, managers can adapt their incentive system to optimize the performance of employees.

Motivation through incentives is a way to show appreciation for your hard work and motivate you to perform better at your job. They are how you get persuaded to achieve organizational goals. 

This method is a common feature of workspaces that relies on ideas such as rewards and punishments. For example, a salesman gets offered a trip to the Bahamas if he can increase his sales by 10%. In these situations, employers use them to elicit the desired behavior.

3. Motivation through Achievements

This relies on the satisfaction gained from attaining real or imagined goals and achievements. It helps explain why people enjoy competitions, such as sports, card games, or board games.

When you’re motivated by achievements, your goals are personally significant to you and are worth the work required to achieve them.

Achieving small goals can fuel further progress, as each accomplishment provides additional incentive for subsequent achievements.

4. Affiliation Motivation

Affiliation Motivation is one of the types of motivation that refers to a need to associate with others and form stable, long-lasting interpersonal relationships

This motivation comes into effect when certain situations stimulate people’s desire for acceptance and occurs mostly when they are afraid of rejection or abandonment.

Also, individuals with high affiliation motivation tend to focus on social acceptance and how they can avoid conflict with others. It motivates individuals to create a favorable impression on others to establish and maintain interpersonal relationships.

5. Competence Motivation

This refers to intrinsic pleasure that comes from feeling a sense of mastery. It can also refer to the drive to master difficult tasks as well as demonstrate proficiency.

Competence motivation refers to a motivational state in which people work to master whatever opportunities for self-expression arise within the environment.

One consequence of competence motivation is that it leads individuals to feel more satisfied with their job and their organization, thus creating a more positive organizational experience.

Also, competence-oriented people tend to set high goals for themselves and enjoy activities that challenge them.

6. Motivation through Power 

Power motivation relies on a need for control or dominance over other people. People who like to be in charge of others are often motivated by power. 

This motivation can cause problems when used in excess, but it can also have positive results if your desire to lead others allows you to organize and direct activities successfully.

Also, the desire to be influential can drive a person to become an effective leader.

7. Motivation through Charisma and Attitude

Out of all the different types of motivation, this might be the most essential. A charismatic person appears to be more attractive, attracting more people to work with them. Hence, you will do better in business as well as in life.

Also, a charismatic personality has the ability to inspire devotion and loyalty from others.

These types of people become great leaders and role models for others due to their “charisma” and take on any situation. Charismatic leaders provide long-term vision and goals to their followers as well as benevolence and strong self-concepts.

Why Is Motivation Important in the Workplace? 

Motivation is a goal-oriented characteristic that helps you achieve your objectives. It pushes you to work hard at achieving your goals. As an employee, you need motivation in order to boost your productivity. 

In addition, when employees are motivated they put more effort and time into what is expected of them by their employers.

Also, motivation is important in the workplace because it directly impacts a worker’s efficiency, productivity, and performance.

Managers should understand how different motivational techniques can produce desired results and use them to improve their relationships with employees.


Why does motivation fail?

There are many possible answers, including wrong incentives, poor implementation of well-conceived plans, and the persistence of bad habits. Motivation also tends to disappear when you don’t see the results of your actions or get praised for accomplishments. 

Also, failure of motivation can most often be attributed to four major sources: ‘Lack of skills, lack of goals, lack of vision, and lack of commitment.’ These are the four key sources of low motivation that may limit your ability to succeed.

What happens when motivation is low at work?

If workers and managers lose motivation, it can negatively impact productivity and result in serious consequences. Workers with low motivation can be ineffective and even hinder the performance of highly motivated employees.

How do you improve low motivation at work?

Recognizing it, and managing it can help you find the right balance of support, challenge, and freedom to keep people motivated. Before you can improve motivation, you first need to understand what it is. 

Motivation is all about what makes people feel and act in the way they do. Working toward goals to earn a bonus, praise from a supervisor, or that sense of accomplishment can help inspire workers to do their best.

What is the difference between motivation and determination?

Motivation is a psychological aspect that drives you to take action toward a desired goal, while determination is a decision or resolution concerning a goal. 

Determination is also the trait of being resolutely or dutifully purposeful and unwavering. It is when you have decided to do something and you continue doing it no matter what. 


Motivation comes in many forms and each has a specific purpose. Maybe you need an extra push to discover new things. When you’re looking for something different to stay fresh and motivated, knowing the types of motivation makes all the difference.

Furthermore, allowing yourself to use the right type of motivation in the right situation will help you become more productive and also save you from wasting effort.

Finally, motivation is important not only for yourself but in your interactions with other people and how they perceive you as a leader or team player. Find out what it means to be a charismatic leader and how it can impact your organization’s growth.

I hope you found this article helpful. Thanks for reading.