Most companies use some form of intrinsic and extrinsic motivation to increase employee productivity. The problem is that their programs are often disjointed; started by various executives at different times for their own personal reasons. This in itself isn’t bad, it just leads to a situation where even if the programs are effective, you have no way of telling how well they’re working and if you’re getting a good return on your time and money.
Today, we find that the best ways of using intrinsic and extrinsic motivation to increase employee productivity is to organize them into a cohesive strategy based on the company’s goals and objectives, then educating managers on how to use them and in what is the best implementation order. Manager training is also the secret to getting your supervisors to become personally engaged and enthusiastic about recognition, so their efforts are believable to employees. Only when they trust you and are confident that you are using recognition honestly, not as a tool, will they buy in. The minute your people start to look at recognition and incentives as a management tool to manipulate their behavior, you emotionally lose them and it begins to cost you big time.
Current studies show that while extrinsic motivation works on older workers, many of today’s younger employees are more interested in intrinsic motivation. Both are important, but to be effective, they must be implemented in a way that engages the employee’s right brain (emotions) before appealing to their left brain (logic). Unfortunately, it’s easy to fall into the trap coming across as if you’re just of “throwing them a bone” rather than engaging them in a cooperative effort to grow the organization. It’s all about perception and a consistent, goals-based strategy lead by enthusiastic managers who understand the important benefits.