List of Intrinsic Motivators

Two Factor Theory (Human Motivation)
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Hong Sun
Management Consultant, Canada

List of Intrinsic Motivators

Intrinsic motivation (the wish to carry out an activity for the sake of the activity itself, and not in the hope of obtaining some form of external reward) addresses innate human desires, and promotes creativity and innovation in an organization, which can lead to sustainable prosperity of the business.

By taking care of innate human desires, managers can provide their employees (or team members) with the following intrinsic motivators:
  1. Make them feel competent (give them work that’s challenging but still within their grasp);
  2. Let them feel accepted (compliment on their achievements);
  3. Address their curiosity (provide something new for them to investigate);
  4. Satisfy their honor (allow teams to make their own rules);
  5. Infuse the business with idealism (provide a higher purpose beyond profit);
  6. Foster their independence (give them proper level of autonomy);
  7. Maintain some level of order (provide minimum company rules and policies);
  8. Make sure they have some power or influence over what is happening;
  9. Help social contacts to emerge(nurture relatedness among employees);
  10. Let them feel their status in the company (let them know they are valued and not at the bottom of the organizational hierarchy).
It’s important to point out that in order to make intrinsic motivators work, we have to at first eliminate de-motivators by ensuring the presence of hygiene factors such as job security, decent salary and fringe benefits, safe working conditions, etc., which will make people NOT UNhappy. You can’t motivate a person just by telling him how competent he is or how his work is making the world a better place if he is hungry or if he could accidentally lose a limb anytime at work.
As consistent with Maslow's Hierarchy of Needs and Herzberg's 2 Factor Theory, we need to target the most basic physiological and safety needs before moving on to tackle the upper level desires that lead to a person’s sustainable happiness—the need for love, esteem, and self-actualization.

Source: Appelo, J. (2011). Management 3.0. Boston, Massachusetts: Addison-Wesley Professional.


Graham Williams
Management Consultant, South Africa

List of Intrinsic Motivators

Love this topic! Thank you for introducing it. Some new thinking (including by Ken Wilbur) points t... Sign up

Hong Sun
Management Consultant, Canada

Nice Addition

Mr. Williams, you made a good addition to the list that doesn't highlight enough the "higher purpose... Sign up

Jaap de Jonge
Editor, Netherlands

12 Intrinsic Motivators

I think Graham actually added 2 intrinsic motivators to the list: 11. Self-Actualization (in 4 stag... Sign up

Cecilia Calderon Kohler
Accountant, Chile

Motivadores Intrínsecos

I think that innate leaders carry in their DNA the need to give to others the motivations that are i... Sign up

charity makwara
Student (University)

Little Motivation in Africa

Nowadays or from my personal experience motivation has become a textbook idea rather than a practica... Sign up

Graham Williams
Management Consultant, South Africa

Motivation in Africa

@charity That is a sad reality in some places Charity. I can hear your righteous anger and share tha... Sign up

Jaap de Jonge
Editor, Netherlands

Little Intrinsic Motivation in Africa

@charity makwara: I was unconscious of this situation of "modern day slavery" in Africa and resultin... Sign up

charity makwara
Student (University)

Lack of Motivation is Quite Universal

@Jaap de Jonge: Oh well the struggle is real but I think research might prove that it is more of a u... Sign up


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