There are many central themes for success in the employment marketplace, from both the company side and the job seeker side. However, one of the themes that both sides share is that of motivation.
That’s because nothing happens without motivation. Nothing happens until somebody wants it to happen and they take action. The question becomes, then, how do you motivate somebody to take action?
A discussion of motivation starts with a discussion of the difference between intrinsic motivation and extrinsic motivation. People fall into either one category or the other, although in some cases, they’re a combination of both.
If a person is intrinsically motivated, that means they’re motivated from within. In other words, they motivate themselves and don’t typically need motivation from outside forces. Being motivated is their “default setting,” so to speak.
On the other hand, if a person is extrinsically motivated, they do not necessarily motivate themselves. They often require motivation from external or outside forces.
Which person is the best to hire? While the answer to that question is subjective, an intrinsically motivated individual is generally believed to be the best hire. The reason is because they are typically self-starters. Their motivation comes from within, which means that the company does not to have to spend much in the way of time, energy, or money to get the person up to peak productivity levels.
So the answer is to hire all intrinsically motivated people and then stand back and let them succeed? Sounds great in theory. However, it’s not quite that simple in practice. That’s because it’s nearly impossible to hire nothing but intrinsically motivated individuals.
Sometimes a company will hire a person who has a tremendous amount of talent, skill, and experience, but they’re extrinsically motivated. Just because a person is primarily motivated from outside forces is no reason not to hire them.
Not only that, but some people are also intrinsically motivated to a certain point, and then they need external circumstances to motivate them further. It’s far from a “black and white” issue of extremes. There are plenty of grey areas involved.
That’s where rewards in the workplace enter the picture.
The good news is that there are a variety of ways that a company can reward employees for good performance and to motivate them to achieve even more. Not all of these ways have to be costly in terms of time or money. The key is to make sure that the employee knows that their efforts are appreciated.
Employees want to feel as though they are appreciated. Feelings of appreciation are powerful outside forces that can “fan the flames” of motivation. Below are a few simple ways to express that appreciation:
- A verbal thank-you and/or a kind word of encouragement
- Recognition in front of the employee’s peers
- A “Recruiter of the Month” award that may or may not involve a plaque
- A small bonus in their paycheck
These small gestures of appreciation appeal to both people who are intrinsically motivated and those who are extrinsically motivated. That’s because those who are intrinsically motivated still enjoy feeling appreciated. And when they feel appreciated, they’re motivated to achieve even more.
That’s why a rewards system tied to performance and appreciation can help to motivate an entire workforce to achieve higher levels of productivity.
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