Employee engagement is driven by intrinsic motivation. Certainly, money is a motivator and if your employees are not being paid enough they won’t be encouraged to work. However, once money isn’t a problem, employees will need other kinds of motivation.
According to Daniel Pink, extrinsic motivators that promote a reward and punishment approach only work for tasks with a simple set of tools, a narrow focus, and a clear objective. Rewards by their nature narrow our focus and concentrate the mind. So in fact, rewards are not a good approach to reach engagement in the long term.
A social experiment done with students showed that with mechanical skills, rewards worked as expected – the higher the pay, the better the performance. In contrast, with rudimentary cognitive skills, a large bonus led to poorer or even worse performance.
Tasks that involve creativity, motor skills and concentration require intrinsic motivation, which is the desire to do things because they matter, or feel somehow important to us.
As stated by Daniel Pink, intrinsic motivation has three elements that work as drivers to engagement: Autonomy, Mastery and Purpose.
Achieve engagement: Autonomy, Mastery and Purpose
These are the elements that will help you understand how to achieve engagement within your organization – and Tap My Back can support you in conquering this.
1. What does autonomy mean?
Autonomy is the urge to conduct our own lives. If managers want to create engagement, self-direction is the way to go.
There are four main aspects of autonomy: time, technique, team and task. When employees have control over their time and tasks, for example, it allows them to explore creative ideas and innovative solutions.
Furthermore, being flexible with working practices and having great relationships with teammates also helps with autonomy.
Likewise, Tracey Maylett agrees that autonomy without trust is impossible. Ultimately, employees who make more decisions are more content and devoted to their jobs. This helps to improve retention.
2. How is mastery a motivational element?
Mastery is the desire to continually improve at something that matters. This is actually what Pink considers to be the biggest motivator at work: making progress!
Many social scientists argue that managers should arrange tasks that push employees out of their comfort zone. They should be neither too simple or overly exigent. When someone is motivated by mastery they will likely see their potential as being unlimited, constantly seeking to improve their skills.
3. In what way does purpose contribute to engagement?
At last, the final element that contributes to work engagement is purpose, one of the most powerful. Pink describes purpose as the desire to do things in service of something larger than ourselves. People intrinsically want to do things that matter, to contribute.
In that sense, feeling that you can make a difference is more important than profit maximization.
According to Forbes, employees that have purpose at work are more likely to grow within the organization, to recommend the company, to stay longer, and to have strong relationships with their peers.
Tap My Back and employee engagement
A key factor for autonomy is trust. With Tap My Back, you can create trusting relationships between employees by establishing a real-time feedback and recognition culture. Consequently, trustworthy relations enables accountability and work autonomy.
Personal achievement is highly valued by employees since it contributes to their inner drive. Having real-time feedback from managers and colleagues can trigger this because it accelerates personal growth. This is a plus when working with Tap My Back as it provides personal analytics that helps tracking new personal development opportunities.
By having the company’s values, mission and goals connected with employees, managers are able to add purpose to their lives and workday. Employees need to know and understand these and appreciate how their work fits into what the organization is about. Tap My Back allows organizations to reinforce their values and make employees feel more impactful through continuous feedback and recognition.
By improving employee engagement you are also able to increase retention in your organization!
Boost employee engagement today by setting a free trial with Tap My Back 😉