Striking The Balance Between Intrinsic And Extrinsic Motivation Is The Key To Success

– A key for being an engaged employee is driven by intrinsic motivation

When it comes to determining how successful a company is in 2022, corporate culture and employee experience are becoming increasingly important drivers. Any organization’s greatest need in this continuous period of uncertainty is to engage people at all levels. Organizations have realized the importance of employee engagement and intrinsic motivation, hence have put a lot of efforts to boost employee motivation especially in the last two years. Organizations must invest heavily on employee engagement surveys to assess employee engagement and motivation levels.

Moreover, this is a two-edged sword situation. On one hand, it has the potential to improve employee engagement and motivation. On the other hand, it raises the bar for employees’ expectations. These expectations have grown since the pandemic, and it might be difficult to satisfy them at times. This is causing concern for employees at various levels in an organization. Based on the theoretical framework, there are various engagement models that have been developed over a period of time to address this aspect.

In 2022, organizations will have to continue working on influencing individuals through external motivators in the form of various organizational drivers and initiatives like; talent management and career advancement, learning and development, open and transparent communication, etc. Though these extrinsic factors are important, it may not always be the one which can instill zeal and passion among individuals.

Looking at some of my personal experiences and my observations about individuals indicates that it is the intrinsic motivation that stimulates motivation within an individual. They are the internal desire, urge or the internal guiding force that moves the person. It creates zeal and passion to exert that extra effort or go an extra mile to achieve one’s goals and purposes.

Intrinsic motivation comes from the awareness of self – what one values, believes in, lives for, or pays most attention to – be it in personal or professional life and living up to it. This serves as a guiding concept for many life decisions, behaviors, priorities, and choices. Living by these values, beliefs, and purposes may help people stay devoted and engaged at work and in their personal lives, as well as guide them through problems and contradictory circumstances. It is in the interest of both – the individual himself and the organization that one be intrinsically motivated.

In order to be driven intrinsically, an individual himself or a mentor and a leader can facilitate an individual by helping one to reflect.

1. Identifying one’s values and purpose:

There is a quest that one has to find the answer to ‘Who am I.’ This may look like a spiritual aspect however, at the core every one of us seeks for this answer. Who I am may cover various aspects like ones’ personality, strengths and limitations, values, purpose, etc. In this, our values guide our actions and decisions. They are like our mental compass which provides us direction, helps us to plan for and move towards our goals be it personal or professional life.

The values and purpose also aid us in dealing with dilemmas at different points in time and go beyond to meet the need of those values. In our everyday life, this element gets diluted at times as we tend to focus on accomplishing regular tasks (which are important though) without remaining aware about our core.

2. Finding opportunities to honor values and purpose:

Conscious awareness about one’s purpose and drive, makes the actions more meaningful and enjoyable. This evokes passion and zeal to achieve a more meaningful outcome. It is thus useful and needed that one finds opportunities and approaches to honor one’s values.

An individual who is self-driven actively seeks for situations and ways to use the values and live for the purpose with the help of intrinsic motivation. To drive individuals, mentors and leaders can help them by providing assignments and tasks that relate with one’s values. Besides, they can as well help individuals to leverage on their strengths and values in their existing tasks and responsibilities.

3. Taking actions to live by values and purpose:

Just thinking or planning does not get the desired outcome. One needs to exert sustained effort to live up to the purpose and the values. A well-planned approach supported with action is what is required especially in the coming years for achieving goals that are in line with one’s purpose and values. The internal driving force to keep moving closer to the goal and the continuous and steady focus is what tends to inspire the individual to keep going.

The individual should in this case keep taking actions in the planned direction and intermittently review/monitor oneself against the plan. A mentor or a leader should be observant about individuals’ actions and help review actions if required.

4. Reviewing manifestations and outcome of actions:

To see the value of one’s actions, it is essential that one reviews the outcome and manifestations of the same. This would help to see if the actions are yielding the fruits that one wanted to accomplish. When actions are in line with the desired outcome, it further triggers motivation to work towards those aspects.

Indeed, when people are at their healthiest, they are curious, eager to take on challenges, partial to novelty, engaged with interesting tasks or stimuli, and ready to learn. All of these are manifestations of intrinsic motivation, and they are critical for optimal development across the lifespan.

To share a personal experience, ‘Make a Difference’ is one of my top 10 values. This one value has aided me in selecting a career I am in, make specific career transitions and remain engaged in it, deal with dilemmas at different points in time and go beyond to meet the need of this value. This has resulted in immense satisfaction and joy in the work I do.

When intrinsic motivators are introduced, employees start to see their work as more meaningful, and they become eager and willing to learn and contribute. As a result,business performance improves, quickly and measurably.

Awareness and insights based on these reflections and actions help an individual to be more intrinsically driven. It is thought that living by values and purpose is difficult and is an ideal situation which is difficult to achieve. Well, it may be difficult but not impossible. Besides, if it leads to more internal satisfaction and joy, it is worth working in this direction.

To get the most out of an employee engagement survey, you’ll need a tool that assists you in asking the correct questions at the right time. Employee engagement surveys can help you start making a difference by making sense of your complex employee needs. To know more on Employee engagement, visit our website – Employee engagement survey

Let me know how you motivate your employees to drive productivity and efficiency. Do you think intrinsic motivation is something that is important for organizations to focus on?

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