There is a myriad of strategies built around the varying demographics and culture of an organization in order to help reinforce and elevate employee engagement, satisfaction, and increase productivity.
An article by Kenneth Thomas in the November/December 2009 issue of the Ivey Business Journal “The Four Intrinsic Rewards That Drive Employee Engagement” emphasized the importance of Intrinsic Motivation in the workplace and in particular the new “models and strategies that better reflect the changes in today’s work dynamics.”
We highlight the response of employees to today’s work environment and how they:
“add value—innovating, problem solving and improvising to meet the conditions they encounter to meet customers’ needs.
“add value—innovating, problem solving and improvising to meet the conditions they encounter to meet customers’ needs. The self-management process involves four key steps:
- Committing to a meaningful purpose
- Choosing the best way of fulfilling that purpose
- Making sure that one is performing work activities competently
- Making sure that one is making progress to achieving the purpose
Each of these steps requires workers to make a judgment—about the meaningfulness of their purpose, the degree of choice they have for doing things the right way, the competence of their performance, and the actual progress being made toward fulfilling the purpose.”
Intrinsic Motivation flows from within and drives an individual to engage in a task, or pursue a goal with enthusiasm because it is interesting and enjoyable. However, Intrinsic Motivation also works alongside the external tangible benefits such as one’s professional role and having a good salary, generating a workforce that enjoys work-life balance, job satisfaction with one’s tasks, appreciation for activities completed, and challenging assignments.
Dissatisfied employees do not feel they are realizing their potential; they feel a lack of communication or that their work lacks purpose. These emotions were shown in the above study to increase stress on the individual, place limitations on their ability to perform their daily work well, resulting in a disengaged worker who eventually leaves the company, with the resulting increase in recruitment costs.
Long-term sustainability can arise through implementing policy changes and incorporating elements such as coaching, incentives, and Intrinsic Motivation to create a sense of purpose and belonging, and foster a culture of engagement that will manifest significant results and commitment. Intrinsic Motivation is, therefore, a valuable tool with rewards for employers and employees.
How do you encourage participation in the decision-making process so that it becomes self-sustaining and empowers individuals to feel that they are making a worthy contribution?