Do you know how to motivate your staff? Is it done on a team or a individual basis? Learn the different types of motivation and what works best for your employees in this post.

Intrinsic vs extrinsic motivation

Two types of motivation

There are two types of motivation, how you motivate your staff will depend on what kind person they are.

Intrinsic Motivation

Intrinsic motivation mean we are motivated by rewards that are intangible. We place more importance on self satisfaction rather than receiving tangible rewards. Intrinsic motivation is linked to our feelings.

  • Self satisfaction
  • Enjoying a challenge
  • Enjoyment of work
  • Reinforced self-esteem
  • Feeling appreciated

Intrinsic motivation comes from within.

You may ask how do you motivate someone who is intrinsically motivated?

When you are trying to motivate intrinsically motivated people it is important to give them tasks that have purposefulness. When employees feel like their role have a purpose for the company they will be more engaged, happier and dedicated with their job.

You don’t want to over-burden an employee with too many tasks. However by adding extra responsibilities, this could be giving them a chance to manage a team. This will help make them feel more valued as an employee of your company.


Extrinsic Motivation

Extrinsic motivation refers to motivation from tangible items or rewards. They work based on the rewards rather for the satisfaction or the love of the job. Extrinsic motivators can be:

  • Salary or what you can purchase with your salary
  • Promotion
  • Conditions of work
  • Security
  • Days off work


Externally motivated people may seem easier to motivate. Here are 10 amazing employee engagement ideas.

You may think that you need to give extrinsically motivated people rewards such as extra money to motivate them. However this is not necessarily the case.

Recognizing your employees work effort or accomplishments is a great way to further boost their motivation levels. Simply by telling them they did well can make them feel valued and increase motivation.


Intrinsic vs Extrinsic motivation, which is better?

Motivation can be considered as a continuum, rather than considering one or the other think of balancing between the two. Remember that motivation is influenced by a number of factors, these include age, family status.

It is considered that intrinsic motivation is valued higher over extrinsic motivation, someone who has too much of a need for extrinsic motivation can be problematic.

They will only be able to achieve goals set by others, and only succeed with a significant amount of external structure. This will prevent them from setting personal goals for which no external force is present.



When we complete a task a intrinsically motivated person will feel a sense of personal satisfaction. They will be able to validate their own work. However with an extrinsically motivated person they will require a sense of acknowledgement. You will need someone to tell you that you did a good job rather than realizing you did for yourself. This can have problems on self-esteem if someone fails to recognize your achievements.


It is important to keep your staff motivated, taking into consideration each person will be motivated in a different way. It is a fine balance between over rewarding a person leaving them to become completely extrinsically motivated.