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When you were in grade school, you likely were rewarded with a sticker from the teacher when you did something well. It was your teacher’s way of trying to motivate you to continue to do well. Today, many companies try to increase motivation among employees by offering perks, like casual Fridays or employee retreat weekends. The main issue with these perks is that they are all external motivators. What employees really want—and need—is to be intrinsically motivated.


Understanding the Value of Intrinsically Motivated Employees

Intrinsically motivated employees experience joy and pride in their work. They are driven to perform well not only because they are being paid to do so, but because they find that their work is meaningful and that they are valued. Intrinsic motivation is crucial both for employees and for their companies. An internally motivated worker tends to be happier and less stressed at work and this, in turn, fuels a positive company culture, greater productivity and opportunities for intrapreneurship. 


Improving Intrinsic Motivation Among Your Employees

How can managers let employees know that their work is valued and that they themselves are appreciated? One simple way is to understand each individual. Do not assume that what you prefer is their preference, too. At Crosworks, we suggest The Birkman Method to help understand and communicate employees’ intrinsic needs.


Most employees want to feel empowered. By giving employees greater autonomy combined with clear expectations, you are subtly telling them that you trust they will manage their time well and get the job done in a way that meets or exceeds expectations. Employees who have more autonomy are also able to feel ownership in their work, and this nurtures a sense of pride.


Another effective intrinsic motivator is letting your employees know that they are indeed valued members of the team and that their work is impactful. One way to accomplish this is to send out periodic company updates that advise employees about the recent successes of the company and how employees have made those successes possible.


Lastly, look for ways to connect your employees to professional development and training opportunities. This lets your workers know that you are invested in not only the success of the company but also the trajectory of their individual careers.  You don’t have to have all the answers here.  There are resources such as our Maximize Your Talent program that can help empower team members to feel invested and cared about while empowering them to proactively manage their careers.


And don’t overlook your own trajectory. When you’re ready to further develop your managerial skills, it’s time to contact the experienced team at Crosworks. Our executive coaching team offers highly personalized and in-depth coaching designed to maximize your own potential, as well as your team’s potential. Contact us today to get started.

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