How Are You Motivating Your Employees to Perform?

Motivating employees today is no easy feat. Yet, it’s more important than ever because, according to Gallup research, US-based employees are only engaged at a 32% level, up only 2% in the past 20 years. 

Not to mention that, as noted in Korn Ferry Institute’s “The Case for Motivation,” motivation is what drives the world’s great innovations and the bulk of corporate profits.

So, if you want your team and your company to have real impact, you need to inspire them to do their best, not dissuade them. How you do that matters.   

There are two types of motivation: intrinsic and extrinsic:

  • Intrinsic motivation comes from within. When someone is intrinsically motivated, they engage in an activity because they enjoy it and get personal satisfaction from doing it.

  • Extrinsic motivation arises from external factors. When someone is extrinsically motivated, they do something for a reward such as financial gain or praise, or they do something to avoid punishment.

Historically, most businesses manage employees with extrinsic rewards. Whether positive or negative  – like receiving financial compensation or the consequences of not meeting regulatory requirements – they often create pressure and undermine productivity. When it comes to learning, the fear of non-compliance or a disciplinary action only compels employees to complete standardized training, not embrace the opportunity to learn and grow from it.

Data shows the impact of relying solely on extrinsic motivation. According to Korn Ferry, 70% of workers say they are not highly engaged in their jobs – a disappointing figure considering the investments made in employee engagement programs. When it comes to learning, employees don’t internalize and apply the material they need to succeed and drive bottom-line outcomes.

However, that all changes when you integrate intrinsic motivators. Studies show:

  • 76% of employees who feel intrinsically motivated exceed performance expectations, compared to 60% of those who feel extrinsically motivated. Intrinsically motivated employees take ownership and pride in their work and strive to achieve better results, which leads to improved performance and productivity.

  • Intrinsic motivation inspires employees to be creative, demonstrate better conceptual thinking and solve problems more efficiently and effectively.

  • Intrinsic motivation has been proven to increase engagement, retention and job satisfaction.

 Overall, intrinsic motivation holds the key to an organization’s ability to foster innovation and adaptability and address the troubling decline in employee motivation.

Want to learn more about how you can intrinsically motivate your employees? 

Contact me.  

Frank Urso

SVP-Commercial, 4th Down Solutions

Kristine O'Neil