This study investigates the effect of motivation on operatives’ productivity in the Nigerian construction sector. The purposes of this study are to inform the management of contracting firms in Nigeria construction industry about the critical motivational factors that affects operatives’ productivity. The study was conducted by administering questionnaires to people of allied professionals in the Nigerian construction industry. To satisfy the aim of this study, 70 respondents were administered questionnaire, which were analyzed using ranking and percentile. The results showed there were 24 factors which motivate operatives towards improved productivity in the construction industry of Nigeria. The study also found that intrinsic factors have a stronger effect than extrinsic factors in motivating operatives. The study concludes that work itself is the most critical factor that motivates operatives towards improved productivity and recommends that operatives be encouraged by motivation, to make sure that they identify with the organization.