Intrinsic vs. Extrinsic Motivation

This month at Kazoo, motivation’s been the focus. In order to have a productive work environment, employees must be compelled to complete their tasks and projects. It is the managers job to make sure their employees are performing at a high level. The good news: motivation is a skill which can be taught and learned. To do that, managers must truly understand the human nature behind motivation and know how to practice it.

To be motivated means to be moved to do something. Motives can come from many different forces, based on one’s needs and desires. People respond to different styles of motivation, which can be broken down into two important categories: intrinsic and extrinsic.

Intrinsic motivation comes from the inside. You do things because you enjoy doing them and you find a sense of satisfaction after completing them. They are the tasks that you are ready to take on to learn and explore, ones that you find a deep interest in that will help you grow. It is a natural motivation that drives curious and playful behaviors. Although intrinsic motivation is important and often yields higher quality of work, it is actually the less common of the two.

Extrinsic motivation comes into play when actions are performed in order to attain some sort of outcome. These behaviors have to be externally prompted. Common types of extrinsic motivators are rewards, such as money, grades, punishment, pressure or approval from others. For example, an employee completes a task because they know their manager is going to see it, not because they simply enjoy doing it.

The relation between the two motives are important. As mentioned, most activities people perform are not intrinsically motivated, which is crucial to personal development, because doing things that are enjoyable allows for growth of knowledge and skill. And although extrinsic motivation is the most performed, external rewards are just not enough to keep a person motivated. So now that you know the difference between the two, how do you motivate people to value activities that aren’t intrinsically motivating to carry them out on their own, without external rewards or pressures?

We have compiled our research and findings, interviews and inputs, and general knowledge on the topic. Check them out below. We hope you walk away with a better understanding surrounding the topic of motivation, some advice for managers, ideas on how to increase employee performance, and much more!

How to Motivate Intrinsically Motivated People

Employee Motivation Quotes That Inspire

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