Intrinsic motivation

Learn about 5 Ways to Increase Intrinsic Motivation at Work

Do you ever feel like you are just going through the motions at work? Perhaps it is time to tap into your intrinsic motivation. The drive comes from within rather than external rewards or pressures. When intrinsically motivated employees find their work fulfilling and enjoy their tasks. This can have a significant impact on overall job satisfaction and productivity.

This blog post will explore intrinsic motivation and how it impacts the workplace. We will also highlight some differences between intrinsic and extrinsic motivation and provide tips for increasing intrinsic motivation in employees.

So, let us dive in and discover how to create a more fulfilling work environment for yourself and your team!

What is intrinsic motivation?

To understand intrinsic motivation at work, it is crucial to start with the definition. It is a type of motivation that comes from within an individual, based on their interests and needs, rather than external rewards or punishments.

This type of motivation is often seen as more productive and sustainable in the workplace. The five elements of intrinsic motivation are autonomy, mastery, challenge, social acceptance, and purpose. Employees with these elements in their work environment are more likely to be motivated to perform tasks at a high level.

Understanding intrinsic motivation is vital for employers looking to create a workplace culture that promotes employee satisfaction and productivity. Companies can create a more engaged workforce by providing employees with opportunities for autonomy, mastery, challenge, social acceptance, and purpose.

Check out “Lost Mojo: How to deal with unmotivated employees in the workplace

Impact of intrinsic motivation in the Workplace on employee performance

Intrinsic motivation is a powerful force that drives many workers to excel. This type of motivation is internal rather than external, meaning it comes from within the individual rather than outside sources like rewards or punishments. The impact of intrinsic motivation on employee performance cannot be overstated.

  • Intrinsically motivated workers are more likely to be productive and satisfied with their jobs.
  • When intrinsically motivated, employees are likelier to be engaged, committed, and enthusiastic about their work. 
  • When workers are motivated by internal factors, they are more likely to take ownership of their work and feel a sense of pride in what they do. 
  • This can lead to higher levels of productivity and job satisfaction and lower rates of absenteeism and turnover.
Check out “How Company Culture Shapes Employee Motivation? A Manager’s Guide

The Difference Between Intrinsic and Extrinsic Motivation at Work

Intrinsic and extrinsic motivation are two types of motivation that drive human behavior. They differ in terms of their source and the reasons why people engage in certain activities. Here’s a brief explanation of the difference between intrinsic and extrinsic motivation at work, along with some examples:

Intrinsic motivation:

It comes from within a person and is driven by internal factors such as personal interests, values, and task enjoyment. Intrinsically motivated people engage in an activity because they find it inherently satisfying or enjoyable.


  • Working on a project that aligns with one’s values
  • Pursuing a creative hobby in one’s free time
  • Volunteering for a cause one is passionate about
Check out “How Self Motivation Can Boost Your Morale To Achieve Your Goals?

Extrinsic motivation:

Extrinsic motivation comes from external factors such as rewards, recognition, or punishment. Extrinsically motivated employee engage in an activity because they expect to receive some external reward or avoid some negative consequence.


  • Receiving a bonus for meeting a sales target
  • Getting a promotion for outstanding performance
  • Avoiding a reprimand for failing to meet a deadline
Check out “Are you a motivated leader? Find 6 traits here to become one

While both intrinsic and extrinsic motivation can effectively drive behavior, research suggests that intrinsic motivation is more likely to lead to long-term satisfaction and engagement. Therefore, employers should aim to foster intrinsic motivation by providing opportunities for personal growth, development, autonomy, and recognition rather than relying solely on extrinsic rewards and punishments.

5 ways to increase intrinsic motivation at Work

Here are six ways to intrinsically motivate employees:

  • Provide opportunities for personal growth and development: Employees are more likely to be intrinsically motivated when they have opportunities to learn new skills and take on new challenges. Provide regular training, mentoring, and coaching opportunities to help employees grow professionally.
  • Foster a sense of autonomy: Employees with control over their work are likelier to feel a sense of ownership and motivation. Encourage employees to make decisions and take responsibility for their work.
  • Create a positive work environment: A positive work environment can foster intrinsic motivation by making employees feel valued and appreciated. In addition, encourage teamwork, provide regular feedback and recognition, and promote a sense of camaraderie among employees.
  • Align work with personal values: Employees are more likely to be intrinsically motivated when their work aligns with their values and beliefs. Help employees understand how their work contributes to their mission and values.
  • Encourage creativity and innovation: Employees who have the freedom to explore new ideas and approaches are more likely to be intrinsically motivated. Therefore, encourage employees to think creatively and reward innovation.
  • Provide a sense of purpose: Employees are more likely to be intrinsically motivated when they feel their work has meaning and purpose. Help employees understand how their work contributes to the organization’s goals and mission.
Check out “Coaching for Motivation in the Workplace 5 Effective Tips


Intrinsic motivation is a powerful force that can drive employees to achieve their best work. It’s the kind of motivation that comes from within and is driven by a sense of purpose, autonomy, and mastery. Employees who are intrinsically motivated are more engaged, productive, and satisfied with their work. Understanding intrinsic motivation at work is crucial for creating a positive workplace culture that nurtures employee well-being and performance. To learn more about increasing intrinsic motivation in your workplace, check out our blog on the three types of intrinsic motivation and five ways to boost it.

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Frequently asked Questions

What are some examples of intrinsic motivation?

This type of motivation refers to behavior driven by internal rewards, such as personal enjoyment or satisfaction, rather than external rewards. Examples include reading a book for pleasure, pursuing a hobby, or engaging in a creative activity for personal fulfillment. Other examples include setting personal goals, seeking self-improvement, and enjoying learning something new.

What are the intrinsic factors of employee motivation?

Intrinsic factors of employee motivation are related to employees’ internal desires and needs. These factors include autonomy, mastery, and purpose. Autonomy refers to the degree of control employees have over their work, while mastery relates to the desire to improve and develop new skills. Finally, purpose refers to aligning employees’ work, personal values, and goals. When these intrinsic factors are present in the workplace, employees are more likely to be motivated, engaged, and committed to their work.

What are the effects of intrinsic motivation in the workplace?

Intrinsic motivation in the workplace can lead to higher levels of job satisfaction, increased creativity and innovation, better task performance, and a stronger sense of engagement and commitment to one’s work. It also leads to a greater sense of autonomy, competence, and relatedness, improving overall well-being and reducing stress.

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