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Factors for Motivation in Banking Employees




Understanding human behavior in workplace has been one of the most prioritized tasks for any organization. This is due to major changes like globalization and technological advancement that change in the structure of the business done, the workforce behavior and management of employees. To keep up the business state of the art and become successful, the organizations should acclimatize with these changes (Vercueil, 2001). So, it has become important for employers to know what motivates their employees rather than emphasizing them to increase productivity. The environment, in which the employees work as a team, should be created and sustained so that they are themselves driven towards achieving the common goals. Hence, motivation is given more attention in the organization to know employees and their behavior. In any organization, every staff is unique and performs the task based on their mental abilities and the extent to which they are applied at work (Mullins, 2007). Some people tend to work really harder than others. If a staff is appreciated for his/her hard work, he/she is more likely to be motivated to high performance.

Herzberg et al 1999 explained that employees show different attitudes depending on the nature of jobs assigned to them at workplace. Furthermore, they argued these attitudes towards their jobs have a significant influence on the survival of the organization. there is a famous saying which is based on Herzberg’s thought that if an organization wants its employees to do a good job, give them a good job to do (Giancola,2010). To illustrate this, during the hard times of the organization, the morality among the workforce determines its success or failure provided that they are made feel as the essential resources of the organization and are given appropriate chances to prove themselves. Thus, motivated employees are more likely to contribute for the success and survival of the organization.

In earlier days, motivation was considered as only a force that drives individuals to become committed in the job of their choice. The early approaches of motivation emphasizes on the needs of the individuals explaining their tendency to be motivated and the efforts exerted in order to satisfy those needs. There were some other approaches which highlighted on the employees’ goal setting. Modern approaches of motivation draws attention towards the values and long term goals set by the employees. Simons and Enz (2006) says now the employees perform the task not only to fulfill the basic needs but also to increase their values, become successful and satisfied from their performance.

Motivation has been one of those areas which gained lots of interests from organizational psychologists and many scholars since 1930s. Yet, the in-depth understanding of motivation has been considered as a tough task (Locke and Latham, 2004). Thus, this research work is aimed to identify what motivates employees of Bank of Kathmandu by applying the concept of existing theories.

1.2 Background of the organization

The organization chosen for research work is Bank of Kathmandu BOK, one of the renowned commercial banks of Nepal. BOK commenced its operation in 1995 with an aim to contribute in the economic development of Nepal. BOK is in a position to become “Bank of Choice” through serving and supporting its customers financially. Considering this vision, the bank has a total of 39 branches, 6 extension counters and 50 ATMs across the country. It has helped not only in promoting economic development but also it reduces unemployment problem to some extent by providing opportunities to local people. The basic reason behind selecting this particular bank is due to its distinct uniqueness and growing success and secondly, the researcher had an easy access to this bank. The research is carried out based on the responses given by the staff working in two branches of the bank.


Employee commitment has been a matter of focus for companies to be successful and the committed employees are considered as the most important factors of organizational effectiveness (Robertson, et al. 2007). However, retaining committed employees within organization is not an easy task. The employees of modern era work to satisfy the needs as well as achieve their individual goals (Drake and Kossen, 2002). Gubman (2003) pointed out the increasing trend of employees doing many jobs at a time in their career and have become more mobile. Employees are no more working in organisations for a long term basis. Thus, it needs a proper understanding of what motivates and satisfies them at work to generate such commitments.


Motivation needs vary on individuals based on their level of needs, backgrounds, expectations and personal traits. In simple words, two different employees working in the same environment may have different level of satisfaction. Furthermore, human needs are always dynamic and change over time becoming sometimes stronger or weaker. According to Simons and Enz (2006), while attempting to motivate the employees, the managers make mistakes assuming wrongly that they understand the employees and their needs and expectations they want from their work. This research work, therefore, focuses on the factors motivating employees and helping managers to understand their employees. In this context, the questions related to the research are:

  1. What are the critical factors that motivate and satisfy employees in BOK?
  2. How do the factors of motivation influence staff satisfaction in BOK?
  3. What are the motivation strategy adopted by BOK for better management and performance of the staff?

1.5 Research aim

The purpose of this research is to investigate the factors that motivate workers and their impact on organizational performances in Bank of Kathmandu (BOK), Nepal.

The study aims to analyse the factors that motivate employees to encourage them to give their best performances in order to increase the organizational effectiveness and achieve its goals. It also aims to know the extent to which BOK is successful in making its employees satisfied and committed.

1.6 Research objectives

The study is an explanation about the employee motivation in Bank of Kathmandu BOK, one of the leading banks in Nepal. Hence, the objectives of this research can be listed as:

  1. To investigate factors of motivation and their impact on the performance of BOK.
  2. To critically analyse the factors of motivation and its effect on staff satisfaction in BOK.
  3. To develop motivation strategy for better management and performance for the staff in BOK.

The research work would be significant to students, other researchers and the bank itself which can be taken as a source of reference.

1.7 Limitations of the research

Motivation is a concept with a broad area of research. It contains a wide range of theories on factors that motivate people (content theories) along with theories that describe how behaviours are initiated, directed and endured (process theories). The research work focuses only content theories which identify the particular needs that drive the human behaviour to perform better or worse.

The researcher has tried to present the impact of motivation and job satisfaction on employees’ mental health, social life, and family life in order to show the significance and scope of the research topic. However, they are only considered in the theory but not clearly shown on the observed part of the research.

Apart from these limitations, there are some other limitations for the research as

  1. There was time constraint to complete this research work as the researcher has to complete the work within three months’ period.
  2. The budget allocated was less due to the researcher is a student.
  3. The data analysis is done based on the employees randomly selected from only two branches.

1.8 Outline of the study

Chapter 1: introduction: The first chapter deals with the research topic, an overview of the company selected for research work followed by statement of problem, purpose of the study and limitations.

Chapter 2: Literature Review: this chapter contains reviews of various theories of motivation and job satisfaction. The researcher has showed the relationship between motivation and variables like rewards, job satisfaction, job performance, trainings, behaviour and conflict. It also explained how positive motivation lead to

Chapter 3: methodology: this chapter deals with the methods, different tools and techniques used in the research work for data collection, analysis and interpretation.

Chapter 4: data analysis: the chapter covers the ways the collected data were compiled and analysed. The analysis is based on the literature review and survey done via questionnaires in order to best serve the purpose of the study.

Chapter 5: conclusions and recommendations: this chapter contains three parts namely findings, recommendations and conclusion.

1.9 Conclusion

In this chapter, the researchers has discussed about the introduction of employee motivation and its importance in organisations. The main reason behind conducting this research work, the problem area, and the limitations are clarified. A brief introduction of organisation is given on the basis of which this study is done. The basic knowledge of the contents of the research work is also discussed.

Chapter 2

Literature review

2.1 Introduction

This chapter explains about the facts, theories and models of motivation. Theories of motivation e.g. Maslow’s Hierarchy of Needs, Pr. McGregor’s Theory X and Y, McClelland’s theory of needs, etc are discussed in depth to increase the understanding of the area under research. The introduction and importance of motivation, job satisfaction and opinions of various authors are elucidated by reviewing various academic books, magazines, journals and articles. The information presented below serves as foundation to the analysis of this research.

this new era, every organisation treats its workforce as an important source of its competitive advantage. Employees are no more seen as only loyal members of the company but they like to be treated with respect and they want their companies to give them opportunities to prove themselves. Hence, Lawler (2003) says that it has become necessity for any company to treat people in a right way in order to success and survive in the business world. An organisation can increase productivity and improve performance only when it invests in employees (Gitman and McDaniel, 2008).

For this reason, the company should be able to attract, retain and develop talented employees (Pittorino et al., 2005). Understanding the factors that motivate employees and maximize productivity has become a crucial job to be performed by managers.

2.2 Definitions of motivation

Motivation is one of the highly complex but misunderstood concept. Mills and Forshaw (2006) supported this statement as though there are an abundance of motivational theories; the organisations are unable to apply the best theory of motivation due to human beings complexity and various factors influencing their behaviours. Nevertheless, the main concern of the study of motivation is with why people behave as they do (Mullins, 2007).

Motivation is the drive to do something (Tileston, 2004); it can be defined as the direction and intensity of one’s effort to satisfy his/her needs (Weinberg, et al, 2010). According to Jones and George, (2004), motivation is considered as the psychological force that shows a person’s level of effort applied in order to persist with obstacles and achieve his/her target and the way he/she behaves in an organisation. Furthermore, Latham 2007) describes motivation as a process of cognitive resource allocation where a person allocates his/her efforts as per importance of motives or tasks. To support this statement, Robins (2005) says that individuals have various level of motivation varying times and situations.

2.2.1 Need and expectation at work

No individuals are same and they perceive the same thing in different ways. Individuals have different needs and expectation which they strive to fulfil in different ways. If these needs and expectations are not fulfilled, it will make them dissatisfied and the consequences are turnover, absenteeism, etc. so motivating employees has been a tough task for managers provided that employees react in different ways in the jobs assigned (Beardwell and Claydon, 2007). Since managers are solely responsible for motivating employees, they should be capable of giving employees reasons to believe in themselves as well as organisation where they are working (Baldoni, 2005). Employees become dissatisfied and less motivated when managers fail to make employees know their driving forces.

According to robins (2003), there are three relationships where employees are less motivated when their needs and expectations are not fulfilled. First relationship explains about the effort and performance of employees. Managers should make their employees believe that maximum effort exerted leads to the recognition in performance appraisals. This is not always correct as in some cases, employees do not believe that their effort will result in recognition and they are less motivated to perform.

The second relationship is about the employees’ performance and organisational reward. The employees are made believe that they will be rewarded for their outstanding performance or performance appraisal. But there will be lack of motivation because employees know that they will not be rewarded by the organisation just for the performance.

The last one is the relationship between reward received and reward expected. They are motivated only when they get what they desire for. If opposite happens, they become dissatisfied with the job. So It is managers who should know if the reward given matches with the one employees expect for.

Hence, managers should keep these relationships as essential factors for employees to keep motivated and long lasting retention. Strengthening these relationships , the managers can motivate their employees and boost productivity. Sutherland and Canwell (2004) says it is the primary responsibility of managers to maintain motivation by creating such a work environment where employees will show positive attitude and become committed and loyal and where they believe that they are valued and the organisation gives crucial interest in them.

2.2.2 Sources of motivation

Motivation is the driving force that comes within an individual to satisfy his/her unsatisfied needs. Needs and expectations are drivers that motivate an individual to achieve those needs. These motivators are often considered in terms of being internal or external. According to Mac and Sockel (2001), the internal motivators are related with intrinsic needs that satisfies an individual while external motivators are environmental factors brought up to individual by organisation. intrinsic motivation makes a person to be productive as it comes within him/her while extrinsic motivation results once the unmet needs have been achieved(Marquis and Huston, 2008). A person is intrinsically motivated when he/she engages in the activity that gives pleasure and satisfaction (Deci and Ryan, 2004). On the contrary, Deci and Ryan (2004) explained extrinsic motivation as an external control over a person who gets engaged in the activity, not for pleasure or satisfaction but for attaining a positive outcome or avoiding a negative outcome.

Hence, a manager should strive to stimulate an employee’s intrinsic motives to complete a task given. Intrinsic motives can be satisfied by the work itself. Since the task given to an individual provides interest, challenges and opportunities for personal growth and development, it has been considered as the main source of motivation (Molander, 1996).

2.5 classification of motivation theories

The main concern of all theories of motivation is the understanding of human behaviour. Drafke and kossen (2002:273) explains that “these theories provide the basis for both managers and employees to understand how to motivate others; how others are trying to motivate and how that person can engage more in his/her own motivation effort and others’ efforts in trying to motivate him/her.”

In late 1930s, the Hawthorne study carried out by Frederick Taylor drew attention towards the study of motivation. (Locke and Latham, 2004). The purpose of this study was to examine how working conditions affect productivity (Hindle,2008). The study concluded working condition had no effect on the employee productivity and it was employees who were concerned with their work (Hindle, 2008). This result of this study made many managers and researchers focus on employees’ needs and motivation.

According Robbins (2005), the development of the concepts of motivation was mostly seen in 1950s. during that time, several new models, referred as content theories, were emerged that mainly focused on identifying the factors related to motivation. (steers, et al. 2004). Maslow’s hierarchy of needs, Model of Herzberg’s two-factor theory and McClelland’s achievement motivation theory are the content theories. The main focus of these theories is on the needs of people for which they direct their behaviour to satisfy them (smit,2007).

2.5.1 Needs:maslow’s hierarchy of needs

Abraham Maslow developed a motivational theory named hierarchy of needs (Pride, et al, 2009). A need is required by every person. An individual fulfils his/her needs to get satisfaction and motivation is an effort to satisfy a need (Aldag and Kuzuhara, 2002).

Maslow postulated that humans always seek to fulfil a variety of needs which are in sequential order as per their importance (Pride, et al. 2009). when one need is satisfied, it drecreases in strength and the higher need then dominates behaviour. The underlying needs for all human motives can be organised on five general levels depicted as a pyramid (diagram) listed from the lowest to the highest level of needs.

Physiological and safety needs are on the lowest level of the pyramid as they are satisfied externally. The other three needs are internal and are therefore considered as higher-order needs. Di Cesare and Sadri (2003) state that the need must be met from the lowest and then move upward to satisfy the peak of the hierarchy.

While implying Maslow’s Needs Hierarchy in management practice of BOK, it has various opportunitites to motivate its staff depending upon the needs. Some of them are listed below:

Physiological needs: provision of sufficient breaks for lunch and recovery and payment of salary for fulfilling the basic essentials of life.

Safety needs: provision of job security, conductive safety environment and threats freedom

Social needs: generating a feeling of acceptance, belonging and community by reinforcing team dynamics.

Esteem needs: recognition of achievement, assignment of projects and providing status to make employees feel valued and appreciated.

Self Actualisation: offering challenge and meaningful work assignment that enable innovation, creativity and progress.

2.5.2 Herzberg’s two factor theory

Herzberg put forward the view that productivity of an employee is based not only the job satisfaction but also on work motivation Pattanayak(200). Robbins(2003) elucidates that according to herzberg, an individual’s relation and attitude towards work can determine success or failure. People have two sets of needs that are related to job satisfaction and others to job dissatisfaction (Nelson and Quick,200). Elements of the job that led to job satisfaction are labelled as motivators and elements to dissatisfaction are labelled as hygiene factors. Intrinsic factors or motivators such as achievement, recognition, advancement, the work itself and responsibility are related to job satisfaction. Job dissatisfaction is the result of extrinsic factors or hygiene factors such as working conditions, job security, supervision, pay and organisation policies. Di Cesare and Sadri (2003) state that herzberg is interested in the extremes where employees either feel good or bad about the work, this leads to development of motivators and hygiene factors. Herzberg states that the opposite of job satisfaction is not job dissatisfaction and therefore, job dissatisfaction is not the opposite of job satisfaction.

Herzberg(2003) suggests nine factors that motivate employees and they are reducing time spent at work, fringe benefit, sensitivity training, spiralling wages, two-way communication, job participation, human relation training, communication and employee counselling. He also compared motivation with that of internal self-charging battery suggesting that the energy or the positivity should come from within the employees to become motivated (Bassett-Jones and Lloyd, 2005). Herzberg argues that an employee is motivated to satisfy it growth needs; it is founded upon satisfaction innate of a sense of achievement, recognition, responsibility and personal growth. He further says that recognition is transformed into feedback, responsibility to self-regulation, authority to communicate, exercise control over resource and accountability and lastly, growth and advancement are transformed into the new expertise. Though hygiene theory is one of the popular theories of motivation, the findings done from past empirical studies show that pay, recognition and responsibility are classified as both a motivator and hygiene factors.

2.5.4 McClelland’s theory of needs

(Richard L. Daft, Patricia G. Lane, 2007) put forward the theory stating that individual acquire certain type of needs during his/her lifetime. Individuals acquire these needs by learning and interacting with the environment (Montana and Charnov, 2000). theory focuses on three needs:

Need for achievement: it drives to excel, to achieve in relation to a set of standards, to strive to succeed. Individuals with this drive desire to do something more efficiently overcoming challenges to achieve the objectives.

Need of power: it is the need to make others behave in a way that they would not have behaved otherwise. Individuals with this need are placed in competitive situations to be concerned with gaining influence over individual, group or organization.

Need for affiliation: it is the desire for friendly and close interpersonal relationship. Individuals with this desire tend to have a strong desire to be liked or accepted by others and thus maintain harmonious relationship with others.

Accoriding to smit (2007:340), these theories are based on needs of people and the factors that influence their behaviour.

Process theory

Process theory came into light in early 1960s. it was an approach that focused on how motivation actually occurs. (Smit 2007:347). These theories explained the way individual choose their behaviour to satisfy their needs (Lussier and Achua, 2009). it is more complex in compare to content theory.

2.5.3 Vroom’s Expectation theory

The expectancy theory, aimed at work motivation, is founded on the idea that an individual’s motivation is based on his/her desire for an outcome and the probability that his/her effort will lead to required performance. Robbins (2003) defines expectation theory as, “ the strength of a tendency to act in a certain way depends on the strength of an expectation that the act will be followed by a given outvome and on the attractiveness of that outcome to the individual” (Robbins, 2003:173). Vroom’s expectancy theory focuses on three relationships:

Effort performance outcome

Effort-performance relationships: the probability remarked by an individual that applying an extra effort will lead to performance.

Performance-reward relationship: the degree to which the individual believes that extra effort exerted performance will lead to the accomplishment of desired outcome.

Reward-personal goal relationship: the degree to which individual’s goals are satisfied by organizational rewards and the degree to which individual is personally attracted to the rewards.

Equity Theory

J. Stacy Adam’s equity theory proposed that individuals are motivated when their inputs equal outputs (Lussier and Achua, 2009). This theory enables an individual to perceive a relationship between the reward he/she received and his/her performance.(Smit, 2007). individuals tend to make comparison of the inputs such as status, experience, effort, etc and outputs such as recognition, benefits, pay, etc with that of others which co-worker, a group of employees from different organisations, etc (Lussier and Achua, 2009:87).

2.5.6 Goal setting theory

The goal setting theory proposed by Locke states that a person is likely to give a higher performance if the goals are specific and difficult. Besides these, there are also other factors along with feedbacks such as goal commitment, task complexity and national culture that influence the goal-performance relationship. Meyer,et al. (2004) elucidates that motivation comes from the goals an individual sets up based oh his/her needs, personal values and perception that shaped via experience at work. goals give people a sense of purpose to show the reason of working to achieve a task given (Lussier and Achua, 2009:90). Goals direct individual’s attention to a specific target. If individuals have specific and difficult goals, then they optimise the performance (Huber,2006).

Reinforcement theory

Reinforcement theory is the relationship between the behaviour of individual and the consequences by modifying or changing it via use of rewards or punishments (Daft and Lane,2007). It consistently predicts job behaviour (Lusssier and Achua,2009). People learn behaviour through the experiences of positive and negative consequences. Behaviour is a function of its consequences (Griffin and Moorhead,2009). According to Daft and Lane (2007), managers use reinforcement to shape or modify employee behaviour in four ways:

Positive reinforcement: employees are encouraged to continue their behaviour by offering consequences for desirable performance. If an employee receives positive reinforcement for certain behaviour, that employee is tend to be motivated to maintain or increase the frequency of that behaviour (Griffin and Moorhead, 2009).

Avoidance reinforcement

It is also known as negative reinforcement. The employees are given the opportunity to avoid an unpleasant circumstance once behaviour is improved.


Motivating individuals and groups at work

Theorists of motivation investigate the factors that direct and boost work related behaviour. They strive to understand activities that people enjoy and conditions that encourage them to apply efforts. As a result various motivation models were developed which main focus was on the needs and expectations of individuals.

This models were best used in organisatons where understanding of behaviour of employees has been important. Due to change in structure of organisations, today’s employees work in teams supporting each other sharing common interest to accomplish the common goals rather focusing on the achievement of personal goals. Ellemers, et al. (2004) employee motivation refers to the goals, needs and rewards of one whole team or the organisation where they work. this concludes that research on motivating group has been important for any organisation.

The number of organisation, emphasising employees to work in teams, has steadily increased. Working in teams offers opportunities for job enrichment, decrease the workload of supervisors and enhance the performance. However, there may be some lazy members in team who exert less effort in performing the task.

2.5.5 Douglas McGregor Theory X and Y

In this theory, Douglas McGregor assumes that the managers handle their employees based on their behaviours and nature. These assumptions are categorised as Theory X and Theory Y. theory X states that workers are lazy, incapable of taking responsibility , dislike work and need a constant supervision while theory Y assumes that people love work, complete task with less supervision and have responsibility ( Dzimbiri,2009).

2.6 Ways of motivating employee to ensure better performance

The employees’ experiences at work show their feeling towards their jobs either positively or negatively. Employee motivation is taken into account by every organisation as one of the major challenging tasks. Motivation can be classified as positive or negative. The managers should encourage positive motivation to enhance performance. On the contrary, when the performance is demotivating, the approach adopted would be determined by persisting situation.


Communication is always an effective way to improve motivation and enhance productivity. There should be two-way communication between managers and staff that generate feedbacks on the performance.

Job participation scheme

Participation scheme enables staff to become a member of decision making team and express their views on organisational decisions. This leads staff to be responsible to increase their efficiency and productivity at work.

Fringe benefit

If an organization can retain the employees by providing them with the fringe benefit. This prevents turnover if effectively use and increase the productivity.

Research methodology


This research work is carried out to examine the factors that motivate and influence employees of Bank of Kathmandu and strategies adopted by the bank to enhance productivity by providing employees with optimum satisfaction. It highlights the procedures applied to understand research problem area and evaluate the result.

The Research Process

Customised research procedures are used by the researcher determining the exceptions of research regarding how vast the topic is. It starts with problem formulation along with the process that the researcher undertakes to get the result as solution to that problem. The problem of identifying what factors motivate employees in a particular bank namely, Bank Of Kathmandu.

In this modern era, the way the employees behave at workplace has been changed. Job satisfaction has become more important than any other variables. For the success and survival of company in the competitive market, the most prioritised work of managers is to retain the skilled employees and motivate them to give their best performance. Nevertheless, employees are more interested in doing different jobs at the same time and are not willing to keep long term relationships with organisations. To add up, they are unlikely to be motivated as they use to be before.

Once the research problem is defined, the objectives are formulated to achieve the solutions to the targeted problem. The hypothese

Qualitative and quantitative research

Survey questionnaire

Questionnaires include open- ended questions, closed-ended or the combination of both. In open-ended questions, the respondents are allowed to give their own answers while the closed-ended questions provide the respondents with a set of alternatives and choose answer from that set (Saunders, et al. 2007). researchers use close-ended questions for they provide the greater control, make respondents easy to answer and short answers lead to quick results (Arthur,2006). The researcher, in this study, has used closed-ended questions using

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