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Conditional rewards

Conditional rewards

‘If, then’ rewards or conditional rewards are when we promise to give something to an individual when they complete a certain task.

These rewards can have a negative impact on motivation as the employees lose the will to work on that task for the sake of working.

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Two types of motivation

Motivation is categorized into two basic types: Extrinsic and intrinsic.

  • Extrinsic motivation is related to external forces like money or fame.
  • Intrinsic motivation is something that comes from within like joy or pride.
Money as a motivation

Money as a tool for motivation is limiting at best, and the 'carrot and stick' approach many managers use to motivate employees is will actually achieve the opposite effect of what was intended.

Shortcuts are dangerous

There are many examples of scandals, and scams, like managers tweaking their reports to show better results, or athletes using steroids. These shortcuts do not work in the long run. If we are having a spark of intrinsic motivation, the reward is the work itself, and there can be no shortcuts if we love our work.

Goals involve pressure

The drive towards your goal can convince you to make certain decisions or do objectionable and undesirable things that you normally will not do.

Rewards

Rewards work for routine tasks that require no creativity. If we put incentives on creativity, the drive to create can disappear once the incentives or rewards are removed.

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The 3 elements required for intrinsic motivation:

  • Autonomy: it's about choice - when you believe you have a choice, you're more motivated.
  • Mastery: it's about wanting to get better at something that matters.
  • Purpose: it comes from believing you're working on something that's bigger than yourself.

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IDEAS

Intrinsic motivation is the desire to do something for its own sake. With intrinsic motivation, we enjoy the action as its own reward, and we do it without taking money, fortune, or fame into account.

Knowledge that someone will check, evaluate and grade one’s work, surveillance, a promise of a reward, threat of a punishment, creative constraints, competition and motivating factors like power, money and fame can kill creativity.

Rewards generally provide the individual with a feeling of being controlled, but can also enhance creativity in some cases.