Go to Top

Your team is motivated — but is it intrinsically motivated?

We all want our employees to be motivated, but even more important than the motivation itself is the source of that motivation — that is, whether it’s intrinsic or extrinsic.

Intrinsic motivation is more desirable than extrinsic motivation. Why? Intrinsically motivated employees are passionate about their work because they truly enjoy doing it and also value the satisfaction that comes with doing their job well. Conversely, extrinsically motivated employees are spurred to action by external forces, like bonuses or an angry boss. When an employee’s motivation is from external forces, it’s “unsustainable in the long run,” according to a recent article on Forbes.com.

“Not every task or project can be rewarded with cash or perks,” the article explains. And if employees’ sole source of motivation is fear, “they can burn out quickly … what’s left is a group of disillusioned, disengaged employees.”

So how do you spark intrinsic motivation in your employees? The article points to the importance of defined roles, goals, purpose and recognition. For an explanation on how to bring those forces to bear in your workplace, click here.