Friday, February 26, 2010

Building Blocks of Intrinsic Rewards & Motivation

In the TED video, Dan Pink talks about the ineffectiveness of extrinsic motivators in comparison to intrinsic motivators. While he gives us reasons as to why we are usually less prone to exceed expectations with an extrinsic motivator being offered, he doesn't touch base as to why intrinsic motivators serve us better. In Chapter 9, the book partially focuses on this by using Thomas's Building Blocks for Intrinsic Rewards and Motivation.

In "The Effects of Self-Esteem, Task Label, and Performance Feedback on Task Liking and Intrinsic Motivation," Tang and Linda create a study that observes the effects of Self-Esteem on American undergraduates. Results showed that the more positive feedback the students got, the higher their self esteems were, thus leading them to enjoy and complete the task on a higher level.

When looking at the four building blocks (choice, competence, meaningfulness, and progress), it seems as if intrinsic motivators are the only factors in how well you perform in the workplace. What we often forget to take into account, however, is those who control the workplace environment. If managers do not understand this concept, they may stifle the possibility of intrinsic
motivation in the workplace. A lot of people believe that extrinsic motivators are the most effective in getting ahead. They may not be able to realize that they have the choice to find something more meaningful in what they do if managers don't realize the meaningfulness in what they, themselves, do.

Source: Thomas Li-ping, Tang, and Linda Sarsfield-Baldwin. "The Effects of Self-Esteem, Task Label, and Performance Feedback on Task Liking and Intrinsic Motivation." Journal of Social Psychology 131.4 (1991): 567-572. Academic Search Complete. EBSCO. Web. 27 Feb. 2010.

1 comment:

  1. This is so true. If your manager does not encourage internal motivation or does not realize what motivates himself/herself in their job everyday, then the work environment suffers. Unfortunately, oftentimes in business things work from the top down, instead of starting from the bottom up unless good communication is encouraged and employees are confident in voicing why they work where they do and ask others why. Some people in the workplace are focused on the company's goals and find it rather silly to take time out of their busy day to ask employees what personally motivates them. However the time taken to answer this questions will benefit the quality of their work in the long run if managers use what their employee's responses to create an organization that motivates their employees in all aspects of their lives.