6 tips for increased intrinsic and extrinsic staff motivation

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Staff motivation

How can companies help to ensure that their staff members are motivated and productive at work? That's a question many managers deal with. Some companies try different methods to find out how they can increase staff motivation.

What is staff motivation?

Motivation is the driving force behind every action employees take. It is what makes us get up in the morning and go to work. Motivation can either be intrinsic or extrinsic. It is crucial for productivity, commitment and employee satisfaction.

The difference between intrinsic and extrinsic motivation

Intrinsic motivation

Intrinsic motivation comes from the inside — the desire to do something because it is meaningful or interesting for its own sake (and not because of an external reward). For example, "I am a carpenter because I enjoy building things at work."

More examples of intrinsic motivation:

  • Voluntary tasks
  • Practising hobbies (sports, courses...)

Extrinsic motivation

Extrinsic motivation comes from the outside — the desire to do something because you expect a reward for it. For example, "I'm working today because I need the money."

More examples of extrinsic motivation:

  • Working overtime, although you would rather call it a day
  • Tidying up so that the flat is clean again

For this purpose, there are also proven strategies that can be applied in the workplace. In the following, we list some points that should be considered when increasing staff motivation.

6 tips for increased intrinsic and extrinsic staff motivation

Intrinsic motivation

1. Regular feedback

Employees want to know if their work is of good quality and how they can improve. Regular feedback is important to motivate employees to continuously work on their skills and strive to be best-in-class.

2. Facilitating goal achievement

Providing necessary resources and support is important in enabling employees to successfully complete their tasks. Guidelines, tools, and the right contact person can positively influence the overall perception of a project. Obstacles such as gaps in workplace safety, untransparent company structures and unclear communication should be eliminated.

3. Provision of qualifications

Employees should have the opportunity to deeply engage with their areas of responsibility. Regular training, new tools, and the opportunity to learn skills in other departments are just a few ways to qualify employees.

Extrinsic motivation

4. Monetary rewards

Monetary incentives are an attractive motivator for all employees. Depending on the type of employment, success-based salary supplements, profit-sharing, and commissions are appropriate rewards.

5. Promotion

A clear career perspective that comes with increased responsibility and attractive promotions can motivate employees to do their best and qualify for a higher position. Such a promotion also shows that the employer trusts the employee as a person and in their abilities.

6. Company Benefits

Material benefits apart from salary express appreciation for employees and visualize the value that the employee has for the company. These benefits can include company mobile phones, company cars and comfortable accommodations during business trips.

Staff motivation methods:

The following methods and actions should be used to increase staff motivation:

  • Goals should be clear and precise. Explain why a certain goal should be achieved. This way, employees will understand the meaning and purpose behind their tasks and be more motivated to work on them.
  • Make goals achievable but also challenging. Achievable means that the goal is realizable without being too easy. Challenging means employees are pushing themselves beyond their comfort zone without it being overwhelming or impossible.
  • Employees should have access to resources (e.g. training) that will help them achieve these goals more easily. Tasks should be specific: Giving examples rather than generalizations can help clear up misunderstandings that might arise due to poor decisions or communication difficulties.
  • A fair salary will also motivate employees. They want to be compensated accordingly for their performance on the job.

Staff motivation and feedback:

Regular feedback is an essential factor in helping employees grow at work, develop professionally and stay motivated. In a conversation between managers and employees is a great way to reward recognition for good work. It is important that the feedback is right on time, specific, actionable and positive to boost staff motivation.

  • Right on time: Feedback should always be given shortly after the incident on which comments are made. If employees receive feedback too late, it loses its value as a learning tool for employees. It can have a negative impact on motivation.
  • Specific: The more detailed the feedback is given to an employee, the better they can understand what is being done right or wrong in their daily tasks at the company and how they can improve in these areas in the future.
  • Actionable: Managers should not only give employees as feedback on what they did wrong but also on how they can do better. That way, employees are motivated because something concrete ("an opportunity to improve") is now possible here, too.
  • Positive: It is important that employees feel that they are rewarded for their performance, work and good behaviour by the employer and not just arbitrarily. As a company, positive feedback should be given on a regular basis for the major and minor challenges that the employee achieves. Rewards should be appropriate to the situation and linked to a specific achievement.

Conclusion on staff motivation

There are a variety of factors that can influence staff motivation. By setting clear goals, providing constructive feedback, and offering meaningful rewards, staff motivation at work can be increased. This will create an environment where employees are motivated to work together to achieve company success.

Above all, regular positive feedback contributes to well being in work and increases employee engagement. This is where the use of social recognition tools comes in. The platform encore is the solution for companies not only to communicate corporate values but also to exploit the full employee potential with the help of transparently communicated appreciation.

Ready to encore your people? – Try encore People now with up to 5 users for free.

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