The key difference between motivation and morale is that morale is a feeling of enthusiasm and encouragement that comes from an individual, whereas motivation refers to an individual’s drive to get a task done.
Motivation and morale are two concepts for establishing a positive work environment. Both these can ultimately contribute to high productivity, and low staff turnover. However, it is important to understand the difference between motivation and morale in order to make use of these concepts.
What is Motivation?
Motivation is the process of stimulating people to actions to accomplish goals. In other words, motivation involves stimulating desire and energy in people so that they show continuous interest and commitment to a job or role or to make an effort to achieve a goal. Human Resource models describe two types of motivation: intrinsic motivation and extrinsic motivation.
Extrinsic motivation refers to motivation that comes from external factors. For instance, you can motivate employees by offering incentives or promotions. In contrast, intrinsic motivation refers to motivation that comes from self-satisfaction. It is important to note that intrinsic motivation is more favourable than extrinsic motivation.
Factors that motivate people differ from one person to another. However, motivation is something that needs to be activated within the individual. There are different theories that describe motivation and factors that affect it.
In a workplace with high motivation, employees are willing to work beyond the boundaries of their job description. Enthusiasm, interest or commitment make someone to work beyond his responsibility. Moreover, the employees think in a proactive manner for the betterment of the company. This will increase productivity, efficiency, and quality of work and. Thus, when the staff is highly motivated, businesses are usually geared towards success.
What is Morale?
Morale is a psychological condition or a feeling of a person that determines his or her willingness to cooperate.
There are two states of morale as high morale and low morale. High morale indicates determination at work, which is essential in achieving management objectives. You can see the following features in a workplace with high morale.
- An enthusiastic team
- Organizational commitment
- Proper conflict management
- Healthy and safe work environment
- Sense of belonging in the employees’ mind
- Effective communication in the organization
- Increase in productivity and efficiency, fewer customer complaints and claims
- Greater motivation
In contrast, you can note the following features in a workplace with people having low morale.
- Too many conflicts in the organization
- A high rate of employee absenteeism and turnover
- Job dissatisfaction and frustration among employees
- Poor working conditions.
- A decrease in productivity, efficiency and high number of customer complaints and claims
- Lack of motivation
What is the Relationship Between Motivation and Morale?
Both morale and motivation are a fundamental part of creating a positive working environment. Sometimes, both morale and motivation go hand in hand. When employees have high morale, they work harder, and are motivated to achieve goals; there is also an increase in production and quality of work. At the same time, when employees have low morale and low motivation, they tend to work slower; there is a decline in production and low quality of work. However, there are exceptions to this case.
In certain instances, there can be highly motivated employees who work harder to achieve the goals, but with low morale. Negative factors such as job insecurity and fear of supervisor may drive these employees to work harder. In these instances, motivation is high, while morale is low. You can also note cases where morale is high, but motivation is low.
Difference Between Motivation and Morale?
Morale is a feeling of enthusiasm and encouragement that comes from an individual, whereas motivation refers to an individual’s drive to accomplish a task. So, this is the key difference between motivation and morale. Higher motivation can often lead to higher morale of employees; however, high morale does not essentially result in highly motivated employees as their attitude may not encourage them to work more efficiently. Thus, high motivation leads to higher productivity, whereas higher morale may not lead to higher productivity. Moreover, motivation is considered as an individual concept, whereas morale is a group concept. Therefore, this is another difference between motivation and morale.
Below infographic presents more comparisons regarding the difference between motivation and morale.
Summary – Motivation vs Morale
Although morale and motivation are fundamentals for a positive work environment, there is a distinct difference between motivation and morale. Morale is a feeling that comes out from an individual to cooperate, whereas motivation refers to an individual’s drive to get a task done. Thus, motivation is considered as an individual concept, whereas morale is a group concept.
1. Juneja, Prachi. “What Is Motivation.” MSG Management Study Guide, Available here.