Motivation and Engagement are Linked
As our world slowly returns to normal, employers once again have time to focus their efforts on improving motivation and employee engagement. An important element to remember is that employee engagement and motivation are linked. However, lack of employee engagement doesn’t always mean lack of motivation. As stated by the Center for Creative Leadership(CCL), it is most likely the quality of motivation that is the problem. It is up to employers and managers to unlock optimal motivation within employees to help improve overall engagement.
Understanding Employee Motivation
In our most recent roundtable webinar, our Medical Director, Stefan Humphries, explained that motivation can be broken down into two categories: intrinsic and extrinsic. Extrinsic motivation involves an external reward to motivate employees to reach goals or to participate in company events and programs; whereas intrinsic motivation involves employees wanting to participate in an activity or perform well purely because they enjoy it or want to.
In a CCL study, researchers found that externally driven motivation powered by extrinsic rewards wasn’t necessarily damaging but needed to be paired with internally driven motivation for the greatest success at motivating and thus engaging employees. In their study, employees who were simultaneously internally and externally motivated led to more positive outcomes than solely being externally driven. That’s why in a competitive job market, organizations can no longer afford to just pay well. Organizations that both attract and retain top talent are those that can truly motivate employees.
Tips for Improving Motivation
Listed below are additional tips from CLL on ways employers and managers can help improve employee motivation and engagement:
- Understand Employee Motivation: The happiest, most engaged and most energized employees are those doing work that aligns with what motivates them. As we talked about above, employers and managers need to understand the two categories of motivation, and work together to fine-tune roles and tasks so they’re more aligned with what motivates each individual.
- Show You Care: Following up on bullet one, you understand an employee’s motivation when you take the time to really get to know them. Knowing your employees well and showing that you are invested in their success and overall well-being drastically improves their motivation.
- Be Authentic: Authentic leadership is one of the best ways to improve both motivation and engagement. Building trust and positive relationships within your organization inspires authentic behavior from everyone, which creates an environment that fosters motivation.
- Empower Employees: CLL’s research on high-potential talent has found that high potentials don’t just want more responsibility in developmental assignments. What will increase their commitment and engagement to the organization, as well as their motivation to succeed, is more decision-making authority in developmental assignments.
- Be Supportive: Supporting each individual, being invested in their growth and offering assistance or guidance when they need it is an excellent way to tap into intrinsic motivation. This is because employees who feel supported by their bosses have a sense of security and self-worth that allows them to better draw on internal motivation
- Affirmation and Recognition: Being recognized for completing goals or simply a job well done has the power to fully unlock employee motivation. Employees who feel appreciated and valued are naturally more motivated to continue. To learn more about affirmation and recognition, visit our past blog post!