Employees’ Intrinsic Motivation

By Karim Muhammad Khan

A saying goes, “The day is what you make it! So why not make it a great one?” – Steve Schulte

The word “motivation” means a vigor that drives individuals to behave in a specific way and it is influenced by external as well as internal factors known as extrinsic and intrinsic motivations respectively. Employees’ motivation is also said to be the lifeblood and driving force of an organization in order to get it to the desired destination.

As for as intrinsic motivation is concerned, it arouse inner feelings, emotions, joy, task commitment, ownership and job satisfaction that eventually increase performance and productivity in schools as well as in other institutions. In this regard, literature shows that autonomy, mastery and connection are mostly associated with intrinsic motivation. Autonomy is a choice in what one does and being less monitored by manager. Mastery is feeling of being competent in one’s domain and achievements. While connection is about a sense of purpose in what one does and how it relates to other people. Hence, it is vital for managers in every institution to raise employees’ intrinsic motivation to get the best out of them for the accomplishment of organizational goals.

However, field experiences and observations are evident that almost in every department the level of employees’ motivation is not encouraging due to some factors. For instance, department and institution heads are lacking knowledge and skills regarding contextual realities and individual’s psychology as workers’ are usually dealt autocratically like one shoe fits for all policy. In response to managers’ harsh behavior subordinates get motivated superficially and become passive resistant which is dangerous for the progress of an institution.

Whereas, studies suggest that it is vital for managers to create conducive working relationship, where employees feel safe, confident and feel proud of their progress and contribution and get connected to ownership and responsibility of their works and result.

Nevertheless, there is no single recipe to arouse motivation as findings of empirical data recommend in striking the balance between extrinsic and intrinsic motivation owing to individual differences in capacity and commitment. Whereas, research findings also reveal that intrinsic motivation is somehow missing in most of the managers’ tool kit during dealing employees’ performance management as extrinsic factors like reward and punishment protocol are mostly in practice which though works for the short period of time but fail to sustain workers’ behavioral change for longer period of time.

Therefore, aside from extrinsic motivation, review of research findings emphasis department heads and managers could also create friendly working conditions, acknowledge and appreciate even little wins and achievements of their subordinates. Strong communication; positive interpersonal skills with participative decision making model followed by positive feedback can indeed inspire employees intrinsic motivation towards the attainment of the institutional goals.

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