The Secret to Effective Employee Motivation

Employees being effectively motivated by leadership team

Your workplace’s productivity rate is not achieved simply through your business model. Instead, it depends heavily on the level of motivation of your people. Here’s what you need to know about having a motivated workforce, why it matters and your role in inspiring your employees to greatness.

Why Employee Motivation Matters

One of the most serious concerns about employee motivation is your retention rate. Low motivation leads to workers seeking jobs at other companies – maybe even your competitors – and if your office doesn’t have a solid core of knowledgeable veterans, you’re going to struggle to maintain the highest standards of excellence. Even worse, you won’t have a stable and expert-driven work culture that new hires can adopt in order to succeed. Additionally, employee retention studies show that reducing your turnover rate can save your business thousands of dollars annually.

In short, unmotivated employees directly impact your bottom line. But before you can create a culture that is motivational to your people, you need to understand the two types of motivation your people have: extrinsic and intrinsic.

Understanding Extrinsic Motivation

Extrinsic motivation includes external factors or forces that influence your employee’s drive to succeed. Examples of extrinsic motivation include:

  • Outright rewards, like yearly compensation bonuses for high performers
  • Productivity goals, like a goal to produce 10,000 units of your product by the end of the year
  • Scheduled raises, especially when they’re tied to performance requirements

Extrinsic motivators can be effective, but intrinsic motivation is particularly powerful.

Understanding Intrinsic Motivation

In contrast to extrinsic motivation, intrinsic motivation originates within your people’s own minds. While extrinsic motivation is often based on rewards or punishments (i.e., “I want that bonus” or “I don’t want to lose my job”), intrinsic motivation is often based on internal aspirations or goals.

Examples of intrinsic motivation include:

  • The desire to be regarded as knowledgeable by your work peers
  • Being curious about an area of work you want to learn more about
  • The pride taken in both individual and group accomplishment

While this motivation may be “intrinsic,” organizations can create an environment in which intrinsic motivation is most likely to occur in their people.

Using Motivation in the Workplace

Effective employee motivation requires a workplace that contains a proper mix of extrinsic and intrinsic encouragement. This creates a work culture where trust and empowerment result in intrinsically motivate workers, while accountability for the achievement of known mission-driven goals results in proper extrinsic motivation. A combination of both types of motivation results in optimum business performance.

Interested in learning more about employee motivation? Contact us for a free organizational performance assessment today!

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