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Ways to Develop Intrinsic Motivation in Employees

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Ways to Develop Intrinsic Motivation in Employees

Intrinsic motivation, as the name implies is motivation that comes from within an individual. Intrinsically motivated employees do a particular task because of the sense of satisfaction they get from it. They do it on their own without the need of any external pressure, influence or motivation.

Several theorists have talked about intrinsic motivation but significant among those is that of Malone and Lepper (1987). They have researched and mentioned the following ways to develop intrinsic motivation in individuals. The following suggestions can be adopted by organizations for motivating their employees:

1. Challenge: Employees work best and feel motivated when they are given goals that are aligned to their individual goals. If the attainment of these goals is either too easy or too difficult, it may be challenging enough for the employees to have a quest for achieving the goal.

2. Curiosity: Stimulate the curiosity of an employee by making changes in the physical environment or giving him food for thought. If your objective is to motivate a sales person to make more sales, you can have a white board in the office showing daily sales figures based on the product or the team. Updating the information on a daily basis will generate curiosity about the next day’s figures and thereby motivate him.

3. Freedom to choose: Another way of motivating employees is by giving them a choice to control the outcome – employees are given ample freedom to choose what they want to learn and decide how they want to learn. This approach creates a feeling of ownership of their own work.

4. Co-operation: Employees feel satisfied in helping others to achieve their goals. Co-operation between individuals happen in organizations at an informal level. However, organizations can facilitate cooperation by having employees work as teams, which also develops their interpersonal skills.

5. Competition: Employees feel motivated when their performance is compared with that of others. It creates an idea that the employee with better performance is able to handle the work activities well and have the capability to deliver task which exceeds the personal standards. This raises a feeling of satisfaction and pride in their work and capability.

6. Recognition: Employees feel satisfied and motivated when their work accomplishments are highly appreciated in front of others. The recognition can be given in the form of praise or promotion etc.

These are a few ways by which the intrinsic motivation of an employee can be increased. It also helps employees to engage in their work activity for a longer duration.

I will be interested to learn your views on the subject. Do share your thoughts on the same.

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  • This is a good start, but way too “inside-the-box”. Maybe it can be salvaged by extreme and unorthodox implementation. Picture Apple inside and the brain of my favorite CEO of all times, Steve Jobs. The above work is too conventional, stodgy, and too much of al list. My expectation for this blog is serious innovation, not the above. Think Different. (TM Apple)