Intrinsic Rewards for Employees: Definition, Types & Examples

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Instructor: Molly Gigli

Molly has an MBA in HR and a BA in Organizational Leadership and Supervision.

Want to learn more about what intrinsic rewards are and how to use them to motivate your employees? An individual who is motivated intrinsically is working for his or her own satisfaction and may value challenging work. Read on to find out more on how to reward these employees.

Definition of Intrinsic Motivations and Rewards

Intrinsic motivators are outside of a manager's control because they are internal to each individual employee. The motivating influences are based on an employee's actual interest in his/her work and stems from the sense of purpose or value he/she feels from the work he/she has done.

Intrinsic rewards are ones that come from within the employee. An employee who is motivated intrinsically is working for his/her own satisfaction and may value challenging work he/she perceives to be meaningful to the company. By having regular communication with an employee, a manager can learn about the employee's motivations and might learn creative ways to reward him or her.

Examples of Intrinsic Rewards

An example of an intrinsic reward is allowing an employee to take on a task outside of their normal work duties. This would allow the employee to feel like they have filled a need within the company, and they will ultimately feel like they are helping the company. When employees take on a new task, they might want to show management they are capable of taking on new responsibilities.

Employees who are motivated intrinsically want to have satisfying work. They want to have a connection between the work they are doing and how it relates to the vision of the organization. Managers can reward employees by letting them make choices on how they want to complete their work and allowing them to set short-term and long-term goals for themselves. Employees will be motivated by the decisions they made as they start to see how they are meeting the overall goals they set. As employees complete these goals, it is a great idea for managers to celebrate their milestones.

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