What are nAch, nAff, and nPow and How the Need Theory Explains What Motivates Us
Motivation Theories are used by organizational and behavioural experts to help people in understanding what motivates them and how organizations can fit employees to the appropriate roles so that they do work that excites them and in the process, help themselves and the organization as well.
Of particular interest is the Need Theory which states that each of us is motivated according to Three Needs or the nAch (The Need for Achievement), nAff (The Need for Affiliation with others), and nPow (The Need for Power over others).
To explain, people who are motivated by nAch are those for whom academic achievements and the need to do work that stimulates their intellectual abilities. These individuals make their mark as scientists, problem solvers, and innovators.
On the other hand, those with nAff are usually found in People Management roles where their ability to get along and have superior people skills often find their match.
Lastly, those who have a need for power or nAff are found in positions of authority where their power over others makes them perform well.
Therefore, all of us are motivated by different needs.
Why the Movie Yuva Can Help Us Understand How the Need Theory Works in Practice
So, one might very well ask, what does this Need Theory have to do with the movie Yuva?
For those who have watched this Mani Ratnam flick, the Three Lead Roles in the movie portray how the Need Theory works in practice.
One of them is someone who aspires to go to the United States for Higher Education whereas the other two are motivated by a desire to help people and contribute to society and the third is driven by the insatiable need for power.
Indeed, each of the Lead Roles characterizes the Need Theory in Action wherein the nAch for the first character is dominant and the nAff and the nPow predominate in the other two.
Of course, real life is not all Black and White and hence, each of us can be driven by one or more or all of these needs.
As the movie progresses, we see the Need Theory in Action as each of the three leads goes about finding their niche according to their motivational needs.
As the saying goes, each according To Their Desires and in this context, it is well worth to watch this movie for the way in which motivation is understood.
How the Need Theory Plays Out in Campuses and Our Career and Life Choices
The movie has relevance to the Corporate world as well and as it is about Two Students and One of a similar age group finding their place in the world, one cannot but help relating to them as we are motivated according to specific needs.
More often than not, the story portrayed in the Movie Yuva plays itself out in Campuses and more so in B Schools that are often the Gateways to the Corporate World.
For instance, in our student days, we have encountered Three Different Student Representatives who were elected to the Student Council.
One of them was interested in Academic Excellence and was Brilliant in studies whereas one was interested in being around with People and helping them reaches their potential and the third was interested in exercising power over others.
Needless to say, upon graduation, one became an innovator and the second became a HR Manager and the third went into running a firm that specialized in helping others lobby with the government and other stakeholders.
Indeed, even in the movie, one can see how the Need Theory explains our different career choices and what we become later on in life and our ultimate life path.
Why Organizations Can Determine Fitment to Roles Using the Need Theory
Having said that, the Need Theory also states that each of us is motivated by a combination of needs and they also change over the course of our lives.
For instance, there are many Scientists who later in their careers, aspire to serve society in positions of power, and there are many Politicians who become interested in finding innovative solutions as well as many Sportspersons who go on to become Authority figures later on in life.
Indeed, the interplay between what we need to motivate us and how it changes over our lifetimes determines where we end up.
These insights are especially useful for Organizations as they fit employees to different roles.
The performance of employees who fit the roles is markedly superior to those who are in roles that do not motivate them.
The same applies to the organizations where we work wherein each of us has to find our niche and the organization that works in areas that motivates us.
The alternative is frustration and stress and not being able to perform neither to the benefit of oneself nor to the good of the organization.
Therefore, it is our suggestion that HR managers use the Need Theory well.
To Each According To Need
Last, it goes without saying that modern day workplaces have several employees who dislike their work, and worse, hate their jobs and the organizations.
These are not optimal career choices and hence, trained behavioural experts can guide the organizations and their workforces to achieve optimal and superlative performance.
Just like we have to find a likeminded life partner, the Need Theory is especially useful for students and mid career professionals alike when they make career choices.
To conclude, motivation theories are extensively used by HR professionals and we suggest that they watch the movie Yuva to better understand this theory.
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