Published: 15 January 2023

I doubt you will find an employer in the country that doesn’t realise that motivated and engaged teams are far more likely to be both productive and creative in the workplace. The goal for most employers, therefore, is to create diverse teams made up of a workforce that is individually enthused to become part of a successful team. In short, for the team to thrive, the individuals need to thrive. The more successful the team, the happier the workforce, and the happier the workforce becomes, the more motivated and engaged they are. This not only increases the opportunity for productivity but also increases retention in your workforce as the motivation to stay increases. Without a doubt, then, it is important to reach out to the individual employees with things that they respond to best, both when recruiting and looking to increasing retention rates. And to do that, we need to look at what enthuses people.

Intrinsic motivation

When we talk about intrinsic motivation, we are talking about the things in the job role and workplace that help create a sense of loyalty and fulfilment. Job satisfaction is usually made up of intrinsic factors. You only need to take a moment to consider the language we use when we talk about engaged employees to see why intrinsic motivation is going to be the best possible driver for team members. Intrinsic motivation is made of often non-tangible and sometimes difficult measure factors such as.

Essentially, it is anything that is not linked to an external reward. To attract and keep someone who is motivated this way is initially all about offering the personal development and continued support they need to feel valued and respected.

Extrinsic motivation

Extrinsic motivations are the actual physical rewards for working.

These are what most of us would think of as the more traditional motivators. The strange thing about extrinsic motivation, though, is that despite it being seen as representing the main driver for workers for centuries, it actually comes with a flaw built into it. The aspiration for financial and physical reward is, in most cases, less likely to generate continued loyalty or long-term job satisfaction.

When recruiting or keeping teams, it could well be worth considering the balance of extrinsic and intrinsic motivators. The level of reward required, for example, is intimately tied to the market value of the job itself. The job role will also have an influence, particularly in functions such as sales, where success is linked to financial reward. However, in other roles, candidates are looking for the lesser extrinsic need of what is seen as a fair return for the job but will have much more emphasis on well-being, development and lifestyle factors, all of which are extrinsic.

Clearly, there are going to be a considerable number of other factors involved in each individual, but in a general way, understanding the overall motivations of a team will help shape the likelihood of producing a low retention rate. Recent research seems to suggest that the autonomy factor can be very influential. Couple this with the recent shift to more work from home options in new vacancies, and there certainly seems to be an opportunity to develop autonomous working practices for the benefit of the whole team.

If you are currently running a team or in the process of putting a team together, considering how the individuals you want or wish to retain are motivated extrinsically and intrinsically could be the difference between a cohesive, successful team and a reduced retention rate.


Call us, and we will be happy to look at how leveraging your intrinsic benefits can help with your next recruitment needs.