Great question! My experience as the CEO of a leading manufacturing company in Brazil (electric power accessories) indicated that motivation derives from a set of "boundary conditions":
- Having a strategy plan and an associated operational plan
This should be shared with managers so perceptions and motivations are aligned among all who have responsibilities along the organization
- Setting a bonus for actual achieved results
This is an important driver. Who doesn't like an actual financial retribution for a well done job?
- Developing a "team" atmosphere
Great results depend on a team. Upper managers must set up a team environment consistent with the goals. It means periodic meeting to make sure all important info and analysis are shared for the benefit of all
But... motivation is primarily driven by the upper management. Proactive posture, interest in sponsoring a team work, super careful attention along the whole process are basic pre-conditions.