Study Finds That Employees are Innately Self-motivated

by: Nichole Gunn March 8, 2011

In a fourth report, “Understanding the Deal,” from the Work Foundation is has been found that employees are usually self-motivated to achieve top-notch work.

This comes as much needed news as most businesses focus their time, effort, and money on establishing incentive and rewards programs to cultivate employee engagement in company goals.

Research for the study consisted of interviews with 134 employees from “Cambridge County Council, Standard Chartered (London and Singapore offices), the Metropolitan Police, PepsiCo, Surrey Police and Logica. The project’s aim was to determine “how employers can create a successful employment ‘deal’ with individual workers.”

While incentive programs and other compensation are motivational tools, according to the report there is an innate desire in employees to achieve the personal satisfaction of doing “right by clients and customers.” This type of motivation is intrinsic and more powerful than external motivation, such as monetary rewards.

The report also demonstrated that employees need to identify with the company’s culture and values. When the employee’s perception of the company’s values and his own values do not coincide, it can lead to “a breakdown in the employment "deal" between the company and the worker.”

In addition, the report shows that employees need to feel that management values their efforts and accomplishments.

Utilizing the information uncovered from the study, employers would better serve their efforts by focusing on “practical measures to assist employees in delivering high standards of work.” This focus might include work related incentive programs geared to enhancing an employee’s skills, and job advancement opportunities.


About Nichole Gunn