Workplace Motivation Driven by Incentives
Every person has a motivating factor that makes them go to work. Some people go to work for the paycheck or the benefits, others go to work for the social aspect or experience, these are incentives. Incentives are the most common motivating factor for people to complete tasks. This is also called, work motivation. Work motivation is defined as “A force that drives people to behave in a way that energizes, directs, and sustains their work behavior” (Steers, R. M., Mowday, R. T., & Shapiro, D. L., 2004). In contrast to the benefits of incentives, incentives are commonly counterproductive because they undermine the intrinsic motivation of an individual, this is the overjustification effect.
Motivation can be presented in two different ways, internally and externally. Intrinsic motivation is commonly referred to as the motivation that comes from inside an individual. This type of motivation comes from the pleasure of completing the task rather than the outcome or reward of the task itself. Intrinsic motivation does not mean that a reward or incentive will not be given; it means that the reward alone is not enough to keep the motivation going. Extrinsic motivation is the opposite of intrinsic motivation. Extrinsic motivation is the motivation that is driven by external factors such as money, candy, or praise.
Benabou and Triole (2003) studied how performance incentives offered by a superior affect the employee’s perception of the task. They hypothesized that rewards are positive reinforcers for short term tasks, but will decrease future motivation. To test their hypothesis, rewards were offered by superiors for completing assigned tasks multiple times a week. Work behavior and perfo...
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...gers and mentors better motivate their employees or students. I also learned how to set attainable goals and goals that aren’t reachable will not be effective in keeping employees motivated. I was informed on the different types of feedback and what the most effective feedback is for certain individuals. The most important and interesting thing I learned was the concept of the overjustification effect. I was not aware of the drawbacks of giving people feedback, rewards, and privileges.
The concept of this project relates directly to Organizational Psychology. People in management positions are constantly look for new effective ways to motivate and push their employees. The concept of work motivation is important to the performance of the individual as well. Finally, the rewards and incentives relate to Maslow’s Hierarchy of Needs, and Herzberg’s Two-Factor Theory.
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