Motivation at Work – Intrinsic and Extrinsic Motivation

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Motivation in the workplace has been the subject of intense research for many decades, and yet many managers still do not understand the key elements that lead to employee motivation. Work motivation “is a complex set of highly charged, interlocking physical and emotional energies that originate not only within an individual but also outside of that person, to cause work-related behaviour, and ultimately to control its shape, direction, strength, and duration.” Understanding what motivates an employee is key to being able to keep your staff happy and working productively. It is important to get the basics right such as contacting a Next Day delivery desks company such as Best Buy Office Chairs to ensure your staff have all the furniture and equipment that they need to do their jobs effectively.

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Motivational theories suggest that employees are motivated when there is an internal threat or a perceived threat to their jobs, a significant personal benefit, or even recognition. Extrinsic rewards, such as bonuses, raises, and honoraries, are unlikely to create a high level of motivation among employees. Recognition, however, does lead to increased levels of motivation among employees who are already performing adequately. Employees who are given recognition for specific accomplishments have been found to be more motivated than those who are not, while extrinsic rewards may actually reduce the level of motivation among employees who are already performing below expectations.

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The relationship between intrinsic and extrinsic motivation at work can be studied using various methods. An employee survey may reveal a high level of extrinsic motivation; conversely, an employee survey can indicate that employees feel very high levels of intrinsic motivation. Motivation at work therefore is not simply a matter of how much an employee is paid or promoted. In today’s business environment, it is important for employers to pay close attention to both the quality of employees and the level of motivation that they exhibit, in order to reap the maximum benefits from their workforce.


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