At first glance, the phase “the finest grades don’t lead to the biggest rewards” may not make much sense. The statement means that even the biggest extrinsic rewards are often not the most important rewards, and certainly don’t lead to intrinsic motivation.
What You Should Be Working For
You shouldn’t be working just to “make a grade” or get a profit; rather, you should be working for intrinsically motivating reasons. In fact, many mental health and behaviorist specialists believe that external rewards aren’t effective for multiple reasons. Not only should you try to develop intrinsic reasons with yourself (feelings of achievement, joy, accomplishment, pride, etc.), but you should try to develop it in your employees, too.
How to Encourage Intrinsic Motivation
You can promote intrinsic motivation in the workplace by presenting tasks that are stimulating and challenging, but not impossible, by giving employees freedom of choice in multiple areas of their jobs, by providing opportunities for advancement, and by providing regular feedback.
When both you and your workforce are relying on internal motivators rather than external ones, increased productivity and happiness will result.
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