Intrinsic Or Extrinsic Motivation – The Most Effective Way To Motivate Employees


Before we go in to look at what Intrinsic and Extrinsic motivation is in the first place, it is thus vital to understand what motivation is and why is it important to motivate employees. Hence so, motivation could be defined as the driving force within individuals that encourages them to go ahead and perform the tasks, in order to achieve their intended needs and expectations. In other words, it is a set of reasons that eventually drags an individual to perform a particulat task convinicng that they could fulfil their needs and expectations, once the task is performed.

How is it possible to motivate employees ? and Why ?

Motivating employees is not an easy task, due to the fact that what motivates employees seems to change overtime. To say, different employees are motivated in different ways according to their needs. For example, one employee will be motivated to do his task by way of responsibility, while on the other hand another employee will be motivated by monetary rewards.  However, it is possible to motivate an employee only if they want to be motivated. As a result, it is thus vital to identify the reason and create the atmosphere that encourages the non-performing employees to refresh and motivate themselves. In other words, it is thus important to try and find out what really motivates the employee. Trying to motivate an employee by wrong means could thus lead to a waste of money, time and so on, while paving way to de-motivate the employee more.

Having said that, highly motivated employees are considered to be true assets for any organization. Once motivated, they basically tend to be more productive, energetic, and very mush eager to take on additional responsibilities, and thus pleasant to be with and work with. Howvever, on the other hand it should be said that there also tends to be non performing employees as well almost in every organization. Therefore, in such circumstances they basically have to look for deal with the obstacles by going and identifying the unmotivated employees and turning them around if the organizations are to be successful. In spite of that, when it comes to motivating employees this could be done intrinsically or extrinsically by using either intrinsic or extrinsic rewards.

Intrinsic Motivation

when it comes to intrinsic motivation, this basically means that employees are motivate to do a particular task because of the pleasure or satisfaction that they get in performing the task itself. In other words, intrinsic motivation comes from within an individual rather than from extrinsic rewards such as monetary incentives etc. An employee who tends to be intrincically motivated could be motivated by internal factors such as recognition, responsibility, growth and advancement. If an employee is to be motivated by intrinsic rewards, then this means that what the employee really wants is a job that interests him, a challenging work environment, and  the responsiblity to perform the task  etc in order to motivate him. For example, an intrinsically motivated person will perform a task given to him willingly, either because he might find the task challenging or else interesting and satified with completing it. To say, and not with the intention of getting other rewards. This is due to the fact the external rewards hardly motivate these employees. As a result, intrinsic motivation tends to be very much effective in the long run as the employees perform the tasks willingly because it interests them, rather than trying to escape from it once the job is done.

Extrinsic Motivation

Extrinsic motivation on the other hand is when the employees are thus motivated by means of external rewards. External rewards bacically consists of monetary incentives and grades etc. The employees are involved in performing a particular task is because of the external rewards that gives them satisfation and pleasure, and not because they are interested in it. In other means, extrinsic motivation drives an employee to do things specially for tangible rewards or pressure, rather than for the fun of it. Extrinsic motivators can be either positive or negative. To say, it is thus possible to use positive motivators such as monetary rewards or negative such as threats or bribery to motivate them extrinsically. Extrinsic motivators basically focusses the employees on rewards rather than actions. For example, employees will perform tasks though they are not quite interested in it, thus because of the rewards involved with it. To say, some people will not want to do the work willingly, but rather they are motivated to do so by external rewards. However in reality, extrinsic rewards do motivate employees only short term. This is because the extrinsically motivated employees will do their work only as long as they receive their rewards and therafter will stop performing the tasks, once the rewards are no longer there.

What is the most effective way to motivate employees ?

Having looked at both the intrinsic and extrinsic motivation, it could be said that intrinsic motivation is far stronger than extrinsic motivation when it comes to motivate employees in the long run. This is because the intrinsically motivated employees will continue to perform better day after day as long they find the work interesting and satisfied.  It doesn’t mean that extrinsic motivation should not be used, but this is not the ideal way to long motivate the employees. To say, extrinsically motivated employees will only find what they do to interesting as long as they receive the rewards which can either be positive or negative. And hence in order to motivate them to increase performance, then they will have to be given more rewards than before. If not, they will only be de-motivated. Not only that, but once the employees are given extrinsic rewards they will no longer be intrinsically motivated, but rather depend on rewards to keep them motivated therafter. That is why it is vital to try and motivate employees intrinsically by trying to explain how it will help them to develop and encouraging them by offering more challenging work, giving responsibility and recognition for the work done etc. This will in turn lead to enhance performance by motivating them to meet the long term success.


Source by Shameena silva