Balancing Motivation

Two sides of the coin in stimulating motivation

Historically incentives and rewards have been used by companies as external motivators to promote employee engagement and increase productivity.

Common lines of self-talk for an employee motivated in this manner might include "I will work hard on this project because I will get a cash bonus, the latest technological gadget, the new golf club I want."

On the flip side of working for the sake of receiving something tangible is intrinsic motivation which is what propels people to do things not because they need to, but because they want to and find enjoyment in doing so. An employee might have a mindset such as: "I'm going to finish this task because I'm a valuable contributor."

“When people are financially invested, they want a return. When people are emotionally invested, they want to contribute."1

When looking at what factors stimulate employee engagement the most, survey results from TINYpulse indicated that 50% of employees claimed they go the extra mile because of camaraderie/peer motivation, an internal desire to do a good job and by feeling encouraged and recognised. Interestingly enough, money and material benefits are low on the list with only 7% of survey participants choosing them.2

The survey results are a good example of why programmes that focus on wellbeing, building resilience, and increasing capacity have started gaining acceptance among HR departments and those involved in performance management. For example, Deloitte USA is consistently among the top companies in the 'Best Big Companies to Work For’, ’Companies That Care’, and ‘100 Best Companies to Work For’ lists, due to their remarkable and unique culture which promotes an integrated approach whereby people are encouraged to work on their professional and personal potentials.3

Mixed approach creates energising environments

Understanding that staff with less drive are more vulnerable to other workplace problems than others and seeking the newest options, organisations are implementing wellbeing programmes that provide benefits by taking both internal and external motivation into consideration.

Additionally, by giving proper emphasis to the personal and professional development of participants they offer a competitive advantage over others. These comprehensive programmes are an optimum choice as they focus on avoiding burnout, employees' health issues, and work-life balance.

As such, a new drive for completing tasks and projects starts to evolve and workplace environments become more energising, benefiting employees and employers alike.

  • 1. Simon Sinek (British-American author, motivational speaker and organisational consultant)
  • 2. What motivates employees to go the extra mile? (Victor Lipman, 2014, Forbes)
  • 3. Great place to work (2019); Wellness at Deloitte (Deloitte, 2019)

Programme benefits

* based on data collected from participants
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