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Welcome back to the Consultant Proficiency Resources (CPR) LLC series on Motivation. Last week, CPR LLC identified the importance of motivation and how motivated employees, students, or clients can spur creativity and growth. In addition, we explored the importance of self-motivation and extrinsic motivation and explicated the five-(5) elements of motivation. Today, we will explore the antithesis of extrinsic motivation: intrinsic motivation.

Intrinsic motivation is the primary motivation style that individuals are most familiar with. However, they may not know the name of the official organizational term. Intrinsic motivation refers to what is driven by the essence of who you are. I refer to this process as your Spirit. Your Spirit is who you are when no one is looking. Whether you have an audience or not, you are more than likely to react or respond to elements in a specific way that tells your motivation level. In the middle of the twentieth-century organizational scientists identified intrinsic motivation as the third drive. Overall, intrinsic motivation is driven by your innate attributes linked to individual preferences. Intrinsic motivation emerges when an internal need emerges. The drive to fulfill this need becomes the motivating element to engage in an act or perform accordingly without being told. In contrast, extrinsic motivation behavior usually emerges when the individual identifies the physical reward. As a leader, it is essential that you know the various elements of motivation and recognizes the differences in the classroom or boardroom. Today, we will explore examples of Intrinsic motivation. Examples are bulleted below:

  • Earning your certificate, bachelor’s, or master’s degree to get a job in a field that interests you

  • Continuing to work at the same company because you enjoy working there

  • Striving to perform better to improve your skills

  • Staying late at work because you love what you do

  • Accepting a project because you have a passion for the subject content

  • Consenting to assist your colleague because you are keenly interested in understanding your colleague's assignment.

From the Motivated word cloud below. Can you identify the characteristics of an intrinsically motivated individual? If you can, please leave it in the comment section.

According to Scott's 2022 article on Developing Good Habits, data exist that leaders can glean from when tagging an employee intrinsically motivated. CPR LLC concurs with Scott's list with some tweaks. The elements a leader should consider include an employee who is:

  • curious

  • accepts challenges

  • desires to control outcomes

  • recognizes colleagues

  • frequently cooperates with their team or employer

  • competitive in nature with colleagues,

  • thinks outside the box

  • passionate

  • asks lots of questions

The above elements are not exclusive, rather are intended to flag some characteristics of an intrinsic employee. Question-can you as a leader cultivate an organization where students or employees are intrinsically motivated? The answer is absolute! This is an essential element in leadership. You have the power to set the business or classroom climate. However, this must be done as a group and simultaneously employee by employee. It would be best first to recognize the employee, student, or client you are dealing with. What steps can be taken to construct a motivational climate, in this case, intrinsic? Keep in mind that it's easier to find extrinsic motivational elements in the workplace to reward employees than Intrinsic motivation elements without being intentional. It is also essential to underscore that intrinsic motivation is internal to the individual. It must be a choice. As a leader, you can build awareness within your business climate and frequently demonstrate its benefits to your employee, student, or client. Your stakeholders can elect to be more intrinsic. The following techniques raise awareness within your business climate. Let's explore the various steps.

1st step-get to know your employee, student, or client. As a leader, you may:

  • review the employee's HR profile, including the person's CV, if you were not part of the recruitment process

  • monitor the employee, student, or client during meetings, including verbal and non-verbal communication

  • try to have an informal conversation one-on-one time before meeting after the meeting, or grab a cup of coffee off-hours

    • you can also sponsor 15-30 min increment informal sessions over a period of a month with each employee (pending on the size of your workforce)

      • be sure to send or give them a thank you gift after the session for their time

  • ask the student, another stakeholder such as the parent, or create a class project and monitor what occurs

2nd step-Announce your intentions to your stakeholders (i.e., employee, student, client)

  • orally, by email, or in memo format. It would be best always to communicate your classroom or organization's direction.

  • communicate the research data on tapping into one's intrinsic motivation and ensure everyone understands what it means

  • identify a way to recognize the person who begins to make adjustments

3rd step-Find ways to make your meetings more engaging

  • in a physical office setting, encourage staff to personalize their space. If virtual, encourage them to personalize their home office with the company's promotional items as office decor.

  • assign a project to the right person providing you know the various personalities.

    • employees may express interest in the set project. Be willing to review the employees' requests objectively.

    • ensure projects are assigned evenly. Otherwise, this can lead to a culture of perceived favoritism.

      • This project very well can lead to a stakeholder's start to constructing intrinsic motivation.

4th step-professional development

  • devise ways to develop stakeholders' skill sets.

    • learning new skills can help you maintain motivation in your work. F

5th step-set meaningful milestones within your area

  • as collective, set goals that help increase your teams' satisfaction (group initiative)

    • setting goals is an organic process of elevating your internal motivation

6th step-help, your colleagues

  • when possible, initiate group projects.

    • group projects are known to promote more cohesive teams

      • setting the right tone in a team project frequently creates camaraderie where your team members will feed off each other. In this case, the intrinsically motivated person can influence other team members.

  • cultivate a business or classroom climate where assisting others is an important business or classroom culture.

    • employees gain personal satisfaction from assisting others with a challenge.

      • during the process, both members may learn a new skill

7th step-offer additional responsibilities

  • see who is eager to accept new projects

  • the employee who assumes more commitments will experience professional growth

    • keep an eye on this employee

      • this employee might be your next lead person

  • more projects also serve as a signal to the intrinsic person that they can succeed within your organization

An individual may monitor their Intrinsic motivation factors by knowing the telltale signs in the workplace or as a business owner. Some examples of intrinsic motivation in the workplace may include but are not limited to:

  1. Sense of accomplishment

  2. Enjoyment

  3. Passion

  4. Desire to be a leader

  5. A sense of purpose

  6. Feeling of self-worth

  7. Surpassing your record

  8. Pride in your role

  9. Sense of freedom

  10. Value in assisting others

Intrinsic Motivation Checklist challenge

To take the intrinsic motivation checklist challenge, create two columns. Place the ten above elements in the left column. Place a checkmark or a minus mark next to each element in the right column. Your check indicates your current work disposition; the minus denotes it does not apply to your current work disposition. Tally the number of checks in the right column. The # of checks is the numerator in this formula, and the denominator remains 10. What's the significance of the checklist challenge? It provides some hints as to your intrinsic motivation level. Let's continue...

YAY!!!. Congratulations. If you ranked 80% or higher, you are undoubtedly intrinsically motivated in your current role. If you scored between 50 and 70%, you are ok in your current post. You may apply the recommendations above to enhance your business climate or just your office space to improve the ranking. Do the checklist again in three months to determine any change. If there is no change, you must start thinking hard about what options are available. If you rank below 40%, this is a sign to start looking elsewhere or change your business goals. In completing the checklist, I ranked 8 out of 10 with an 80% score. This signifies that I am on my way to true freedom: freedom to make just and prudent decisions. CPR LLC is on its way to fostering an organizational culture where employees have the flexibility to think and contribute ideas, where employees' growth is as significant as the organization's growth.

I hope the simple exercise is fruitful for you within your organization or classroom. For assistance, please get in touch with us at

Warm Regards,


Managing Partner

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