Employee Motivation: Definition and Types

Employee Motivation: Definition and Types | Leadership | Emeritus

Do you know what intrinsic motivation is? Do you know what competence and learning motivation is? If the answer to these questions is no, then this article is for you.
This article will discuss in detail the meaning of employee motivation, the types of employee motivation, and more.

What Is Employee Motivation?

There are many confidence-enhancing and team-building activities for employees, and employee motivation is one of them. It is a critical element for a successful and self-motivated workplace as it energises, inspires, and pushes employees to their full potential.
It depicts how dedicated an employee is in their daily activities, how drawn they feel towards achieving the goals and objectives of an organisation, and how they push their boundaries to accomplish their personal goals, among other things.

Here Are Some Reasons Why Motivating Employees Is Essential:

  • Increases creativity, dependability, efficiency, and innovativeness in the workplace
  • It helps in increasing job satisfaction, job security, and others
  • Employee motivation helps the company sustain under challenging situations. It also increases the longevity of the organisation in a particular market.

What Are the Different Types of Employee Motivation?

There are two types of employee motivation: intrinsic and extrinsic. Intrinsic refers to the internal factors that help in motivating an employee. Meanwhile, extrinsic refers to the motivation the workforce gets from external sources. Below, we closely look into different types of employee motivation.

Intrinsic Motivation

Intrinsic Motivation is for employees who get self-motivated to complete a task, achieve their target, and perform better. They don’t need external factors to push them toward their goals.
So, someone who enjoys accomplishing their goals willingly gets inspired by intrinsic motivation techniques to perform their best.

Here Are Some Subtypes Of Intrinsic Motivation:

• Competence Motivation
Also known as learning motivation, this type of intrinsic motivation refers to the actions taken by an employee to feel competent at work. Individual who relates to this type of motivation focus on education and training to gain new knowledge or motivate themselves.
For instance, learning new software to increase efficiency is a type of competence motivation.
Note: Being self-motivated and working on your competency can open doors to umpteen career opportunities. Many companies are looking for highly skilled and competent employees who are self-motivated and seeking learning opportunities.

• Creative Motivation
Creative motivation is a self-enhancement technique that helps the workforce realise their passion and use it to fuel productivity in the workplace.
For instance, your urge to learn guitar or write a poem can be considered creative motivation. Business leaders formulate different strategies to tap into the creative side of an employee’s personality, increase efficiency, and accomplish organisational goals and objectives.
Here’s how leaders motivate employees to use the creative side of their personalities.

  1. Inspire employees by making them understand their purpose and importance in the organisation and, in addition to that, provide higher meaning to their work and answer their curiosities.
  2. Influence their everyday work by giving them an opportunity to make choices that make a larger impact. Maybe you can include them in decision-making or make them aware that their opinion matters. It will make them feel significant in an organisation.
  3. Respect and nurture their competency by assigning them complex tasks. You can also increase their competency by instilling that they can complete a difficult task.

You can also offer them courses or in-depth learning experiences if they fail to prove their competency. Maybe through advanced job-oriented courses after graduation.

• Attitude Motivation
Attitude motivation encourages you to change your perspective or view of things differently.
Therefore, attitude-motivated employees are good at communicating. They are well-versed and equipped with skills and abilities to improve social engagement.
How Does Intrinsic Motivation Help Employers?
Here are the top ways in which intrinsic motivation helps employers or companies.

  • Foster a pleasant and positive work environment. Intrinsic motivation helps companies develop a working environment that identifies and accommodates the needs and requirements of the workforce. It also helps business leaders to understand the different facets of an employee’s personality.
  • Increasing the company’s efficiency. Intrinsic motivation helps increase the company’s efficiency and productivity mainly because the employees are understood and appreciated in the organisation.

Extrinsic Motivation

Extrinsic motivation is the process that uses either the promise of a reward or the fear of punishment to inspire employees. Either way, it motivates individuals to push their boundaries and put their best foot forward.
Below are the three most common and widely used techniques.

  • Affiliation Motivation

Affiliation motivation inspires employees to thrive while interacting within a team or group of members.

Simply put, employees who love associating and communicating with their co-workers get inspired to perform better through affiliated motivation.

Pro-tip: Sometimes, employers create groups in the workplace to motivate their workforce. Creating a group helps in keeping their employees inspired. It also helps them to succeed as a team instead of as individuals.

  • Achievement Motivation

Achievement motivation is referred to as the satisfaction an individual gets by accomplishing their goals. Employers use this type of extrinsic motivation to encourage their workforce to put their best foot forward by setting targets and deadlines.

A workforce motivated by achieving goals gets energised and charged to complete these targets and have a sense of accomplishment.

  • Incentive Motivation

Incentive motivation includes an incentive or reward that encourages an individual to perform efficiently in the workplace.

Employees who are incentive motivated work best when they are compensated for the efforts they put into.

How Does Extrinsic Motivation Help Employers?

Here are the top reasons how extrinsic motivation helps companies:

  • Provide employee training and development. Extrinsic motivation techniques provide employees with chances to upskill or reskill.

Note: Emeritus India is a pioneer in online education. We have partnered with renowned Indian institutes to provide the best certification courses in different fields. Our marketing, digital transformational, sales, and leadership courses are popular among freshers and working professionals.

  • Promotes teamwork. Extrinsic motivation helps in maintaining a positive relationship between teams.
  • Improves job satisfaction. Employees automatically feel satisfied with their job performance if they feel rewarded for their efforts.

Intrinsic Motivation VS Extrinsic Motivation

Motivation is the process of directing human behaviour towards satisfaction. Extrinsic and Intrinsic motivation techniques help encourage the workforce to perform their best. Here’s how they are different from each other.

Intrinsic Motivation Extrinsic Motivation
Intrinsic motivation is when you feel inspired or energised to complete a task because it is personally rewarding. Extrinsic motivation is when you perform a task or responsibility to get a reward.
In intrinsic motivation, the behaviour itself is the reward. In extrinsic motivation, the behaviour itself is for the reward or because of the fear of punishment.
Intrinsic motivation is effective in the long run. It encourages you to perform tasks and achieve goals in a way that makes you feel fulfilled. Extrinsic motivation is helpful in specific situations and does not last long.
Some examples of intrinsic motivation are reading a book, cleaning your house, and playing a game. Some examples of extrinsic motivation are reading a book to get good grades in school, cleaning the house so your roommate does not reprimand you, and playing a sport on your parents’ insistence..


About the Author

Content Writer, Emeritus Blog
Nikhil is a passionate and free-spirited writer with 4+ years of experience. He has a keen eye for the ever-evolving content landscape, which helps him craft captivating content across various genres. He writes about marketing, data science, and finance for the Emeritus Blog. Beyond work, Nikhil is a dedicated pet parent who loves leisurely walks with his beloved puppers.
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