Employee Engagement And Motivation: Understand Their Essence

Understanding The Essence Of Employee Engagement And Motivation

The Psychology Of Employee Engagement And Motivation

Many people treat their jobs as an unpleasant, compulsive necessity due to being bored or uninterested, having bad relations with managers and colleagues, and feeling burnt out. As a result, their productivity suffers, affecting their company’s success. Therefore, organizations must treat employee engagement and motivation with extra care and offer everyone incentives to perform their daily work with enthusiasm. Professionals are more productive and interested when their role aligns with their career goals and they are congratulated on their accomplishments. They feel fortunate to work for a company that appreciates and values them, while their colleagues are supportive. Compassion and a generally positive atmosphere should be present for anyone to perform effectively in a professional environment.

The 2 Kinds Of Motivation

Intrinsic Motivation

This refers to the internal drive employees have to perform their job roles. It usually derives from being engaged and satisfied with their position. This happens when their roles and expectations are clearly set, their work is meaningful and interesting, and they are offered the necessary resources. They don’t necessarily need external motivation, like monetary bonuses, to be productive.

Extrinsic Motivation

When the internal motivators are missing external factors, such as bonuses, raises, or promotions, engage and motivate employees. However, these incentives are temporary and connected to specific, tangible outcomes. For example, an employee will strive to perform if promised a raise by the end of the quarter or a promotion at the end of the year.

Ways To Generate Intrinsic Motivation

1. Know Your Employees’ Interests

Creating a fun workplace is necessary to foster employee engagement and motivation. To achieve that, companies should learn more about each team member’s interests. Maybe you can incorporate certain skills and passions into their daily activities, increasing their enthusiasm for work. Also, knowing someone’s career aspirations helps you offer them appropriate development opportunities and make them feel more valued.

2. Focus On The Bigger Picture

Knowing that someone’s work doesn’t only affect them but their entire company and colleagues helps them put things in a different perspective. They know that their work contributes to a much bigger and more important project, and can understand how they fit into it. So, when a goal is reached, they feel greater satisfaction about the role they played.

3. Find Everyone’s Unique Motivators

Depending on people’s different career stages, their motivators may differ. For example, someone working in their first job focuses on different aspects from a colleague who is nearing retirement. Leading figures must communicate regularly with everyone and realize what keeps them engaged and driven to offer them the right incentives.

Ways To Generate Extrinsic Motivation

1. Set Clear Goals And Guidelines

Employee engagement and motivation improve when professional goals and expectations are clearly defined. They know what they should do and what the reward will be. These guidelines should be consistent so team members can see the bar and try to achieve it. If the bar is constantly moving, employees will feel lost and hopeless.

2. Reward Them

Monetary incentives are great motivators and you should implement them. You can set employees’ weekly, monthly, and yearly goals and reward them with bonuses and pay raises. You may also opt for smaller and more frequent offerings, such as gift cards to coffee places and restaurants, and tickets to concerts and theatrical plays.

3. Make It Personal

Not everyone likes public acknowledgments or private congratulatory messages. Ask your employees how they like to be recognized and modify your rewards accordingly. Maybe someone prefers a physical item, like a basket of delicacies, while others would rather receive a bonus. Create a list of your incentives and let your team choose which one they like the most.

Strategies For Enhancing Employee Engagement And Motivation

Foster A Supportive Workplace

Engagement relies strongly on the feeling of belonging and the formation of personal relationships. Knowing that you are a part of a cohesive and supportive team helps everyone improve their performance and participate actively in team projects. Companies must foster such an environment by organizing team-building activities and encouraging after-work interactions. Additionally, they should turn every project into a team effort so that people collaborate regularly and build strong interpersonal relationships.

Offer Development Opportunities

It’s not enough to offer a great job with a decent income, as you also need to provide development and upskilling opportunities. Employees need to see that their careers are progressing and not staying stagnant. As they progress and learn new skills, they realize that you care deeply about their career trajectories. You may start using leadership programs, coaching, and mentoring so everyone understands their weaknesses and strengths and works toward improving.

Recognize And Reward

Everyone wants to be congratulated for their accomplishments and receive incentives. Managers and leading figures should keep track of all team members’ performances, highlight their victories, and if possible, offer a reward. Even if you can’t offer monetary incentives, go the extra mile to thank professionals either publicly or privately. Consequently, individuals will know that their hard work doesn’t go unnoticed and are motivated to keep pushing themselves.

Promote Work-Life Balance

In this ever-changing and fast-paced world, it’s very easy to get carried away and forget about your mental health. When proper work-life balance is fostered, employees can focus equally on personal and professional responsibilities. They are confident their employer cares about them and don’t hesitate to ask for a break if they feel burnt out. So, leaders should ensure no one is working extremely long hours and that employees get the rest they deserve and need.

Be Authentic

Leaders aren’t meant to create a fake persona at work. If you want your employees to trust you, you must bring your authentic self to work and encourage everyone else to do the same. You don’t want employees to view you as a heartless and seemingly perfect human being who has always done everything right. You want them to realize you are just like them. Moreover, you should do your best create an inclusive workplace that represents historically marginalized groups.

The Difference Between Employee Engagement And Motivation

While employee engagement and motivation are often used interchangeably, they differ. Engagement refers to the internal connection and commitment professionals have for their job roles. On the other hand, motivation is the drive to be productive and finish one’s job-related tasks. Someone can be engaged but unmotivated, meaning they might feel great to be a part of the team but do not have the drive to fulfill their role. Also, people may be motivated but disengaged, which means that they produce at a high rate but wouldn’t think twice about leaving the company for better opportunities. Consequently, engaged team members care about achieving common goals and attaining more knowledge on their job. Conversely, motivated individuals want to be methodical and productive to receive rewards.


Employee engagement and motivation are not easily achieved, especially in large companies with hundreds of employees. Investing time, effort, and money pays off as companies actively show how much they care about their workforces. It’s always a negative to see employees leaving your company after a short period of time, as you must start the hiring process once again and spend on resources. Fairness, transparency, thoughtful incentives, and a genuine interest in people help organizations retain their team members.