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Motivation types and mental health of UK hospitality workers.The primary purposes of this study were to (i) assess levels of different types of work motivation in a sample of UK hospitality workers and make a cross-cultural comparison with Chinese counterparts and (ii) identify how work motivation and shame-based attitudes towards mental health explain the variance in mental health problems in UK hospitality workers. One hundred three UK hospitality workers completed self-report measures, and correlation and multiple regression analyses were conducted to identify significant relationships. Findings demonstrate that internal and external motivation levels were higher in UK versus Chinese hospitality workers. Furthermore, external motivation was more significantly associated with shame and mental health problems compared to internal motivation. Motivation accounted for 34–50% of mental health problems. This is the first study to explore the relationship between motivation, shame, and mental health in UK hospitality workers. Findings suggest that augmenting internal motivation may be a novel means of addressing mental health problems in this worker population.