Tips to Foster Employee Intrinsic Motivation

by: Nichole Gunn October 27, 2010

Motivational strategies of years ago have lost their appeal, mainly because they have lost their effectiveness – today’s businesses need to find new methods to motivate employees.

In an article posted at a reader blog of the Seattle Post Intelligencer, Mark Craemer explains that the key to employee motivation “is to foster an environment that enables them to assume responsibility and provide them with choice.”

Using motivational leaders such as Ken Blanchard, author of “The One Minute Manager,” psychologist Harry Harlow, and psychologist Edward L. Deci as references, Craemer notes that “self-motivation is at the heart of all responsibility, creativity, healthy behavior, and lasting change.” It is the employee’s responsibility to decide what his workplace needs are and whether he needs guidance in fulfilling them. He must also make his needs known to his manager or boss, so management can comprehend the needs of its staff.

Craemer goes on to list six tips for motivating today’s employees:

  • Foster personal responsibility
  • Allow for employees have a say in setting and fulfilling objects
  • Set autonomy-supportive limits that provides structure and guidance
  • Set reachable goals and provide performance evaluations
  • Provide incentives through recognition and awards without creating a competitive atmosphere
  • Provide management with the necessary skills to deal with obstacles

Quoting research by Richard Ryan and Edward Deci, Craemer goes on to explain that “autonomy supportive managers have workers who were more trusting of the corporation, less concerned about pay and benefits, and displayed higher level of satisfaction and morale.”

Mark Craemer is principal of Craemer Consulting, a Seattle-based firm specializing in communication strategies, organization development and leadership coaching.