Employee Motivation Decoded

Every employee that you hire would love to be paid more but that is seldom an option for many small businesses. The funny thing is, money is a much smaller incentive than they would like to believe. Intrinsic incentives motivate higher level of performance over longer periods of time. Be careful to implement too many extrinsic incentives, they can impair intrinsic incentives from developing if they are used too frequently.

The next time you want to give one of your employees a boost, consider one of these incentives:

Intrinsic Incentives (motivation that comes from within):

  • Meaning- Help them to see the importance of the purpose that you are trying to fulfill. Ask them to share their meaning with you and be sure to share your menacing with them. They will be motivated by “why” you do what you do.
  • Choice- Allow them the freedom to propose choices on how to fulfill your purpose. They will feel motivated because they are part of the decision making process.
  • Competence- Praise them for reaching above the bar. Build up their desire to express their artistry and pride in their work.
  • Progress- Ask your employees to set goals for themselves. Show them how their goals fulfill the real meaning of your business. Celebrate their progress toward their goals.

Extrinsic Incentives (motivation that comes from outside):

  • Prizes such as movie passes, small gifts, etc.
  • Group acknowledgement- certificates, employee of the month.
  • Being placed in a  temporary leading position.
  • Time off or more work hour flexibility.


Remember that money is not the most powerful motivator, look for intrinsic incentives that you can nurture as well. 

I would love to hear your comments on how you motivate your employees without increasing wage.




Extrinsic Incentives:

So What do YOU Think?