In employee motivation, a distinction is made between intrinsic and extrinsic motivation. Intrinsic motivation generally lasts longer and improves employee performance in the long run. Extrinsic motivation such as bonuses provide short-term incentives.
Employee motivation is the influence exerted by executives on the employees’ willingness and commitment to work. A company naturally wants the highest possible level of commitment on the employees’ part.
A variety of different measures can be used to motivate employees. Interpersonal skills are required in any case. Executives must be aware of their influence on the atmosphere within the company and must be able to recognise its effects on the employees. The appearance and behaviour of executives is directly correlated to work performance – which is what the success of the company ultimately depends on.
The classical system of reward and punishment appeals to the so-called extrinsic motivation, which can be increased through external stimuli. In a positive sense, financial rewards are promised, for example bonuses or salary increases. Unwanted behaviour is dealt with by way of warnings, reprimands and similar measures.
There is no doubt that this approach works. In the long run, however, it makes sense not to disregard the aspect of intrinsic motivation. If employee motivation focuses on intrinsic motivation, the willingness to work for the company originates with the employees themselves. They take pleasure in their work and enjoy doing it.
This can be achieved through complex interaction of several factors. Executives should take time for their employees. Various steps should be taken to build a sense of belonging to the company and to the other employees, thus strengthening the bond.
A certain degree of self-determination also increases intrinsic motivation. An appealing workplace design and work-life balance play a crucial role in this.