What is intrinsic motivation? If you are motivated for something, you will do better than if the motivation is nowhere to be found. Do you recognize that yourself? Motivation is an important determinant of human behavior. Motivation that comes from within and is not determined from outside is called intrinsic motivation.
Why is that so important? And what do you gain if you pay attention to your intrinsic motivation? In this blog we will take you through our vision on intrinsic motivation and its importance. “Intrinsic motivation is an essential part of experiencing happiness at work.” Before you form an opinion about this statement, we would like to take you through our view on intrinsic motivation.
What is intrinsic motivation?
Every behavior has an internal and external motivation. With the internal motivations you can think of personal characteristics, your own experiences and things that you have been taught. External drivers include the reaction of others to your results and behavior. With intrinsic motivation you make the choices from within yourself, because positive feelings arise from the activity you do. This feeling can arise, for example, when cooking a delicious meal, advising a customer about a product you are convinced of, or speaking to customers by phone. At work, this may also mean that you feel love for your work .
What is the influence of intrinsic motivation in the workplace?
Intrinsic motivation leads to better performance and an increase in the well-being and happiness of people. Several researchers have confirmed this. It ensures that you remain committed to achieving goals. From an organizational point of view, this leads to lower staff turnover and a higher level of employee commitment. And be honest, who doesn’t want that?
An employer wants nothing more than motivated employees. If you are driven, you will commit to the company and feel involved. You want to contribute to the success of the company and you can imagine that this will lead to better results. As an employee, intrinsic motivation ensures that you enjoy going to work more and that you feel more involved in the organization you work for.
If you experience happiness at work, this will also have a positive influence on well-being outside of work. Think, for example, of a better mood, more energy to do things and the feeling of satisfaction. As mentioned earlier in this blog, intrinsic motivation makes you want to keep achieving your goals. This is of course valuable for your employer and just as good for you as an employee!
Read here What is true definition of Motivation
The basic needs
In psychological terms we know three basic needs: Autonomy, Competence and Connectedness. When these three basic needs are in balance, motivation can be maintained.
We can think autonomy as freedom of choice in acting, without being completely dependent on others. This encourages involvement.
Competence is reflected in being good at something and developing yourself. It is important to get and take the space to develop yourself.
Connectedness is an important factor to stimulate intrinsic motivation. By this we mean being connected to the people around you and the company you work for.
Intrinsic motivation in practice
We speak to different candidates every day. This varies from telephone conversations to appointments at office. Several times a day we ask the question “What do you want?” in our conversations.
We also receive the answer almost daily: “I want a nice job, where I can do my thing.” We admit that it is a generic answer, but it does indicate where the need for humans lies. And then We mean the need that really comes from within. We hear relatively little as motivation: “I just want to make money”, or “I want to work 80 hours a week”. With this question we have already been able to get a piece of the intrinsic motivation, but it is still a somewhat generic answer. A nice job.. But what is a nice job? To go into more depth, a number of aspects are often discussed. We would like to take you along:
- We believe that wanting is more important than being able to.
- We are curious what actually motivates you if you “open your heart”, instead of your head.
- If you could choose anything in the world, we would also be very curious about what your dream job is.
In coaching you can compare the latter question with the ‘miracle question’ (Solution-oriented Theory, Cladder, 1999). “Imagine you are going to bed soon and while you are sleeping a miracle happens. No one noticed, but when you wake up you feel that something is different. By the miracle your problem is gone. Where do you notice that a miracle has happened and what is different?” Work related you might imagine waking up and anything is possible! Money, your environment, your education level don’t matter. What would you do then?
How do you find out your intrinsic motivation?
We are convinced that it is good to sit down and clarify a number of things for yourself when it comes to your work:
- When was the last time you enjoyed going to work? And what made that fun?
- What do you want to achieve with your job and what is your motivation to work towards it?
- What do you need to be stimulated?
If you are looking for a job, it can be very helpful to make a list of companies that you look up to. Everyone has a company that they admire. What do those companies evoke in you? Also make a list of positions you would like to hold. Why exactly these functions? Then do stripes until you have 1 to 3 left. It helps to write this purely from your heart , without thinking about external factors. So try not to think about things like: What company would my family like to see me work for? Or which position looks good on my resume ?
Find your intrinsic motivation!
Intrinsic motivation comes from your internal drives. When your basic needs – autonomy, competences and connectedness – are in balance, it is easier to maintain motivation.
Think carefully about what you want and what you are looking for in a job. Answering a few questions can help you with this. The most important tip we can give you: In this search, listen to your heart and turn off your head. Whether you already have a job or are looking for work, keep finding out what you need to be and stay motivated. As an intrinsically motivated employee you will feel better about yourself, feel more connected to the organization and achieve better results. It will also have a positive influence on life next to your work. The employer also wants nothing more than motivated employees, who contribute to the success of the organization.
In summary, We can say a resounding “yes” to the following statement: “Intrinsic motivation is an essential part of experiencing happiness at work.”