How Intrinsic Motivation Works

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Intrinsic motivation is the act of doing something without any material or external rewards, meaning you’re motivated just because you get joy out of an activity. For example, last night, you might have read a book before going to sleep. There’s no test today, it isn’t required reading for work and you probably didn’t get any reward for finishing up that last chapter. So, why were you so eager to read? The answer is because you’re intrinsically motivated! In the workplace, tapping into an employee’s intrinsic motivation can address employee disengagement and increase overall wellness at the workplace.


1. Intrinsic Motivation Vs. Extrinsic Motivation

Extrinsic motivation provides an obvious external reward for completing a project, like a monetary bonus, or pressure to finish a task, like a deadline. While extrinsic motivation can be useful, intrinsic motivation taps into a deeper well of inspiration. Employees can utilize their own intrinsic motivation in different ways; for example, emphasizing the valuable skills you may gain from completing a project may give you a better sense of accomplishment than simply going through the motions at work, relying on a paycheck to offer you inspiration.

2. Intrinsic Motivation Improves Employee Disengagement

Intrinsic motivations may be different for each person, but they can be a powerful driver for improving employee disengagement. Business owners and human resources departments should look for various ways to incorporate intrinsic motivation into the workplace and encourage it. A study from the American Psychology Association showed that extrinsic rewards could enhance intrinsic motivation during a task. However, there is a small catch: the extrinsic reward should be given early in the task instead of as an end target. The study argues that an earlier reward actually increased motivation and enjoyment in the activity lasted longer than if the prize was presented at the end.

3. Combining Intrinsic and Extrinsic Motivation for Optimal Wellness at the Workplace

At Givhero, we are experts in using intrinsic motivation. Our app links with fitness trackers that allow employees to earn donation rewards through healthy activities. We’re able to combat employee disengagement by utilizing the extrinsic motivator of donating to employees’ favorite charities while harnessing their genuine desire to help their community around them.

4. Givhero Uses Intrinsic Motivation for Employee Wellness

If you’re looking to increase employee wellness at the workplace or want to offer a unique health and wellness program to your corporate clients, we’re here to help! We use intrinsic motivation to inspire teams to reach their personal and community wellness goals. Learn more about how Givhero works. You can call us at (202) 257-1587 or schedule a meeting.