Definition: Intrinsic motivation refers to motivation that comes from inside an individual rather than from any external or outside rewards, such as money or grades.The motivation comes from the pleasure one gets from the task itself or from the sense of satisfaction in completing or even working on a task.
An intrinsically motivated person will work on a math equation, for example, because it is enjoyable. Or an intrinsically motivated person will work on a solution to a problem because the challenge of finding a solution is provides a sense of pleasure. In neither case does the person work on the task because there is some reward involved, such as a prize, a payment, or in the case of students, a grade.
Intrinsic motivation does not mean, however, that a person will not seek rewards. It just means that such external rewards are not enough to keep a person motivated. An intrinsically motivated student, for example, may want to get a good grade on an assignment, but if the assignment does not interest that student, the possibility of a good grade is not enough to maintain that student's motivation to put any effort into the project. Maximizing productivity at work is a top priority for all business organizations, but all too often focus is limited to extrinsic rewards: tangible benefits such as pay, commissions, and bonuses. In Intrinsic Motivation at Work, author Kenneth W. Thomas explores the power of intrinsic rewards, the psychological rewards workers get from the work itself. Companies that harness intrinsic rewards can create a more engaged, self-managing, and committed environment for their employees. Speaking to workers and team leaders alike, Intrinsic Motivation at Work describes the four intrinsic motivations needed to improve workers’ self-management: a sense of choice, a sense of meaningfulness, a sense of competence, and a sense of progress. If you want to intrinsically motivate your team, you have to create the conditions where your employees...
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