The nature of motivation is a complex subject. Motivation in itself is doing something that gives somebody an incentive to do something. In the work place a successful manager will get real results from his or her workforce if they are able to inspire and stimulate them into doing what is necessary.
This may sound simplistic but the actual nature of motivation can depend upon many variables.
The reason that the nature of motivation is complicated is that people react in very many different ways to a particular stimulus. It is further complicated because to motivate someone you have to fulfill a need, and human needs are infinite: Once one has been fulfilled along comes another!
This means that motivation has to keep moving; it isn't possible to motivate someone with the same stimulus constantly. This is because a person will only remain motivated until there is a lessening in their need for what was provided as the motivation.
Successful motivation can also depend upon how the person who is supposed to be motivated accepts it. This again is a complex issue because people respond differently. An example of this is the instance of a factory that had the lighting changed to a blue-green in an attempt to prevent workers getting eye strain. The result was the output of the men increased, but the women's decreased.
Upon investigation it was discovered that the reason for this was because the women felt that the lighting made them look awful.
This illustrates the need to take into careful consideration the implications of an action because it may have the opposite effect to the one intended.
A good manager will be aware of this and make sure that any new procedures that are put into place are monitored in case they have a negative impact.