Intrinsic Rewards in the Workplace

In a knowledge economy where the greatest asset an employee can offer an organization is their intelligence, experience, problem solving ability and change-savvy persona, intrinsic rewards are especially important to workers. In fact, Frederick Herzberg, who is one of the leading theorists of workplace motivation, found intrinsic rewards to be much stronger than financial rewards in increasing employee motivation. This is not to say that employees will not seek financial rewards in addition to intrinsic rewards, rather it just means that money is not enough to maximize motivation in most employees. People want to feel like their contributions matter.

For example, an employee might want to reach a sales quota set by his manager to earn the bonus that is attached to it, but unless the employee feels a sense of accomplishment as part of making those sales, the motivation to achieve the quota is less powerful. To help employees with their intrinsic motivation, managers should:

= > provide meaningful work
= > allow workers to make choices through a high level of autonomy
= > provide opportunities for employees to show their competence in areas of expertise
= > facilitate professional development so that employees can expand on their level of knowledge
= > offer frequent opportunities for employees to reward themselves
= > allow employees the opportunity to connect with those with whom they serve to obtain valuable feedback
= > give them a path to monitor their progress with milestones along the way

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