From a pragmatic point of view, motivation is tied to how much your performance really changes your results. For example, salespeople tend to be highly motivated because their pay is often heavily tied to real world results.Motivation in decreased by poor working conditions, negative office politics, unfairness, highly stressful work, cronyism and a sense that a firm is insincere and prone to not meeting its goals or keeping its word. Motivation can also be low due to employee behaviors such as viewing salary as an entitlement as opposed to something that is continually earned day after day. Some employees feel that they do not belong in a job and feel that their work is not their true life -- that they are destined for something else. This may greatly reduce motivation.
A culture of accountability.
A culture of respect.
A firm that doesn’t micromanage your working style as long as you show results.
A hands-on culture where it is not acceptable to be avoiding action items all the time.
A lack of cronyism.
A lack of negative stress at work.
A performance culture with high expectations.
A sense of team comradery.
A sense that work progresses and builds towards something.
An employer that is authentic such that their mission is true.
An employer that is fair and supportive of employees.
An environment of professionalism.
Being asked for your ideas and input.
Being given immediate candid feedback when performance is low or high.
Being part of successful firms, teams, projects and initiatives that achieve goals.
Benefits and perks.
Competitive environments with competitive employees.
Competitive or unusually good salaries with the sense that this is based on performance as opposed to an entitlement.
Curiosity and interest in your profession, role and industry.
Employees that feel appreciated.
Employees with a strong sense of personal responsibility and diligence.
Employees with high self-discipline.
Firms that invest in you e.g. helping you in difficulty or providing you with support.
Flexible work arrangements.
Freedom and autonomy in work.
Goals that are clear with rewards attached to high performance.
Having your strengths noticed.
High performance standards and immediate management of low performance.
Opportunities to advance in a profession, firm and industry.
Opportunity based on talent, results and potential.
Pay and incentives that are heavily based on performance and results.
Productive work habits that defeat negative cycles such as procrastination.
Reasonable working conditions.
Recognition that is earned as opposed to random.
Respect and credibility that are earned with dedication and professionalism.
Rewards, recognition, promotions and pay that are perceived as fair and performance-based.
Social acceptance and inclusion at work.
Taking pride in one’s work.
The sense that work is not getting in the way of life but rather an important part of it.
Work that is creative.
Work that is fulfilling.
Work that is fun or adventurous e.g. business travel.
Work that is important in that it does something that needs to be done.
Work that is social.