Getting Employees Motivated and On Track

Do You Know About the Internal and Instrumental Motivators?

Social psychology and business management have come to understand the two types of motivators that get people going. According to Amy Wrzesniewski from the Yale School of Management, motivators are divided into internal and instruments.

As you might have figured out, the internal is personal motivators, like wanting to become a better person, while instrumental is about using your work as a means to another end, like landing a job at a larger corporation or getting hired by a Fortune 500 company by 2022.

Categories of Motivators

Barry Schwartz, of Swarthmore College, analyzed tests from 13,000 cadets of West Point. The tests showed that when a cadet had stronger internal reasons for performing things, the higher they would achieve throughout their career. The same kind of data can be applied to a new employee that is just beginning and the management wants to motivate them.

There are many ways to get them going and have the team work together. It is usually a combination of using both internal and instrumental rewards. Rewards are a great way to get people motivated. They come in different variations such as crystal awards.

Motivators Proven Successful

James Meincke, the marketing Manager of CloserIQ, offers a unique combination of both internal and instrumental things that a startup team can use to motivate themselves and one another.

Much like the motivator teachers use in school by posting everyone’s grades in a hall bulletin board, it is very similar to posting everyone’s performance on the teams’ common bulletin board. It will engage team members. This is not about whose first and whose last, but about every team member helping every other team member grow and develop as a team.

Mixing Up Motivation

An internal motivator for the team that can help to get on a personal level is to have team members suggest to the team leader what kind of award they would like to see implemented as a personal reward. The team leader could go through those internal motivators for each team member and have a personal award day once a month. A team member who has accomplished certain goals for the startup would be awarded their reward.

Acknowledging Accomplishments

One suggestion for team leaders is to have a quickstart meeting before the business starts every morning. During that time, take time to recognize those who have made certain “additions” to the overall team goal the previous day. This shows recognition to the team member and shows that everyone who contributes to the team will be recognized. This encourages collaboration among the team.

Recognition is Key

Everyone wants to be recognized and applauded for their accomplishments. It sets the person apart and gives them credit for adding to the team’s persona. Like the cadets of West Point showed, those with strong internal but weak instrumental motivators performed overall with higher-level outcomes in their career over those who showed equal internal and instrumental motivation.

Perhaps a company could have a weekend seminar once a quarter where the team can discover how they are reaching their internal goals and have them work in small groups hashing out their personal goals together. Another possibility is for each team member to have dedicated time with the chief executive officer at least once a month to talk over their career goals and opportunities. This will allow the CEO to help advance the careers of his team, get to know his team better, and the team members would also understand they have someone interested in their career goals and strategies.

Combination of Internal and Instrumental Rewards

Not every instrumental motivator or team award used for the team will be equally motivating for each team member, but personal or internal motivators will always bring closer to home the motivation of each team member. Self-management is important in today’s workplace since it allows every team member to commit to a meaningful purpose and accomplish meaningful goals for the team.

One such reward would be a suggestion box where team members could suggest “personal engagement tasks.” They would be allowed to work on a suggested project for the team that they are passionate about. A monetary benefit could be attached to those who are given the opportunity.

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