Supercharge your team with the advantages of Intrinsic Rewards

Self-driven, internal motivators known as intrinsic rewards arise when someone does something for his own sake without thinking about rewards or praise from others. They are the emotions you experience when you carry out something because you genuinely find it interesting, challenging, or worthwhile. They are feelings of satisfaction. sense of accomplishment, and fulfilment.

The following are some vital characteristics of intrinsic rewards

  • They originate from within the person, not from outside resources like awards, recognition, or cash.
  • Positive feelings such as delight, curiosity, and a sense of purpose drive them.
  • Participating in the activity is satisfying in and of itself, which encourages continued interest and drive.
  •  Deeper engagement and improved performance are often the results of intrinsic rewards, which have a longer half-life and greater impact than extrinsic rewards.

Examples of intrinsic rewards

  • When you learn a new skill or overcome a challenge.
  • Enjoying the process of being creative and expressing yourself.
  • Feeling like your work is making a difference in the lives of others.

Extrinsic motivation, on the other hand, refers to an action that is undertaken to obtain benefits from outside sources or stay out of trouble.

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Why are intrinsic rewards important? 

In your life, intrinsic rewards are extremely important since they are the real, long-lasting source of inspiration that keeps you moving forward. Intrinsic rewards, as opposed to extrinsic ones like bonuses or recognition, come from within and offer a profound sense of fulfilment and contentment.

Take a painting, learning to play an instrument, or participating in your favourite sport as an example of a pastime or passion. The satisfaction that arises from these endeavours, the sheer delight of producing or taking part, stands for intrinsic rewards. You’re more inclined to put in regular time and effort when you enjoy the activity itself. This innate drive not only improves your output but also encourages ongoing development.

 Consider a project that truly fulfilled you—not just in terms of receiving praise from others, but also because the work aligned with your interests. In addition to making the journey enjoyable intrinsic rewards—which are based on autonomy, personal significance, and a positive outlook—also considerably improve your general well-being and help you lead a happy, meaningful life.

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Difference between Intrinsic and extrinsic rewards

Being able to tell the difference between intrinsic and extrinsic advantages is very important when it comes to understanding what motivates you. The intrinsic rewards are internal factors, soul-stirring parts of an activity that come from its sheer joy, happiness, or sense of purpose are called intrinsic rewards. Intrinsic rewards examples, think about how great it would be to learn how to play an instrument just for the fun of it. The act itself becomes the reward, not getting praise or something physical in return.

Extrinsic rewards are motivated by outside sources, like bonuses, praise, or raises that are usually given by other people. Think about getting a bonus at work. It’s nice to be recognized for your hard work, but the motivation comes from the reward rather than the satisfaction that comes from completing the job itself.

In real life, intrinsic motivation is often what keeps people motivated and helps them grow. The intrinsic approach is when you do something you enjoy because it makes you happy, not because other people think it’s cool.

On the other hand, depending only on external rewards, like working only for a paycheck, can lead to burnout if you don’t have enough internal fulfilment. Finding the right balance between internal and external rewards is important for living a happy and long-lasting life, where the journey itself is just as important as the end goal.

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Employee engagement achieves from intrinsic motivation 

Engaging and encouraging productive habits is simpler when people have purpose and pride, enhancing morale and outcomes. 

Five other ways intrinsic rewards motivate employee performance:

 1. Improves employee engagement

When workers are genuinely content and feel like their work has a reason, they are intrinsically motivated to do it. Take the example of a marketing professional who is very proud of the creative ads they make. The process of coming up with ideas, coming up with new ones, and seeing the results in the crowd are what give you the most satisfaction. This personal satisfaction not only fuels their desire but also makes them more engaged, as they are willing to put in more time and effort than is required.

Gallup found that 70% of workers were dissatisfied with their work. Disengaged employee feel or care less about their work and love their jobs. Having a sense of meaningful work gives employees the autonomy to own their jobs. When enabled to make decisions and contribute meaningfully, employees are more engaged. This autonomy can boost employee motivation,  creativity, and problem-solving skills that they enjoy overcoming challenges.

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2. Increased Productivity

Finding personal satisfaction and fulfilment in your work can make you more productive. This is because it creates intrinsic drive. This is because it creates intrinsic drive. Not only does this make them more motivated to work harder, but it also makes them more willing to take on more duties. 

People who get advantages of intrinsic are more likely to take an involved role in their work. They are more likely to look for ways to get better, take on difficult projects, and show that they are dedicated to learning new things all the time, all of which lead to more work getting done. 

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3. Achieves Greater Consistency

Internal rewards and recognition are a form of motivation that pushes people to consistently put effort into their work, which ultimately results in improved work. Mihaly Csikszentmihalyi, a psychologist from Hungary, asserts that being in a state of flow is achieved when one is enjoying the activity that they are doing. When people feel that their work brings them happiness, establishing a flow state is not a difficult task but rather a natural consequence of the motivation they feel for their work.

4. Increases loyalty and retention

The University of Quebec in Montreal and Harvard Business School collaborated on a report that found that workplace rewards that increase employee happiness lead to increased contributions and loyalty from workers. If you build reward systems that assist a person in feeling independent and competent while they are on the job, then that individual is more likely to appreciate their position and desire to remain in it throughout their career. 

5. Facilitates your ability to learn more effectively

A combination of internal and external motivation is required to acquire a new skill. On the other hand, using intrinsic rewards rather than external ones may make it more likely that one would remember the information gained from a new ability and continue to re-skill it frequently.

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10 Examples of Intrinsic Rewards To Improve Employee Performance 

Most of the time, low turnover rates are a good sign because they mean that employees are happy with their jobs and choose to stay with the company for a long time. Companies need to look at turnover rates to figure out what makes employees leave and improve the general efficiency of the workplace. It might be hard to get employees to focus on the inside, especially when intrinsic rewards are harder to describe than other types of rewards.

1. Focus on Meaningful Tasks 

The benefit comes from how important or valuable Employees think the goal they are working toward is. It depends on the thinking that the pursuit has value and is important in the bigger picture. People are confident about the project when they find it is worth doing, which gives them a strong sense of purpose and direction. They are motivated to do this kind of reward because they believe their actions have a purpose and are important in the grand plan of things.


Imagine someone tirelessly preserving endangered animals and natural environments. The notion that their work benefits the world and its biodiversity is their fundamental reward. This person may feel purpose and direction because they believe their work matters. Their intrinsic commitment to conserving the environment makes their employment personally enjoyable since they know they are on a worthwhile path with a real contribution.

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2. Freedom to make Decisions

Possessing a feeling of choice at work is being able to decide how to carry out tasks, using your discretion to select the best course of action. This incentive is defined by a sense of accountability for the outcome of your work, a sense of ownership over your work, and faith in the selected approaches.


Let’s look at an actual software development team that uses agile approaches. Developers are frequently given the freedom to decide how they will tackle their tasks throughout a sprint in an agile environment. They are free to choose how best to handle problems, work with other members of the team, and develop features. By giving each team member a say in how the project is carried out, they all feel more accountable for their contributions.

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3. Having Competence

Feeling competent is the internal recognition and assurance of one’s ability to accomplish a task or handle a responsibility. It requires employees to learn confidence in their skills, expertise, and ability to overcome obstacles. Competence makes people feel skilled, capable, and confident, improving their well-being and job happiness.


A graphic designer who creates attractive, effective designs is an example. Positive customer and colleague feedback and project success foster a deep sense of competence. The designer trusts their abilities and pursues new difficulties with confidence, knowing they can exceed expectations.

4. Mastering a skill

Mastering a skill or information requires proficiency, expertise, and comprehension. It requires a deep understanding of the subject or the ability to perform a task with skill and finesse.


Consider a musician who has spent years developing their art. They comprehend music theory, play their instrument well, and express emotions through sound through rigorous practice, study, and experience. They can perform smoothly, innovate in their genre, and contribute uniquely due to their knowledge.

5. Feeling prideful

When people feel they’ve accomplished something, they feel proud. Employees can profit greatly from this sense of accomplishment at work. Recognition of one’s work can boost pride while completing a difficult assignment, reaching a professional milestone, or helping a team succeed.


Consider a marketing team that launches a successful advertising campaign that enhances brand recognition. After working hard on the project, the crew is proud of their accomplishment. This feeling is a reward and motivation for future work.

6. Flexibility

Flexibility means choosing when, where, and how to work. This flexibility allows people to customize their work schedules, fostering work-life balance.


A company that offers flexible work options lets employees work in the office, remotely, or in a hybrid method. Individuals can tailor their workday to their needs with this freedom. To balance job and family, they may work from home or arrange their production at peak hours.

7. Feeling responsible

Inspiration to be more responsible involves a positive urge to own one’s behaviours, activities, or obligations. A sense of purpose, a desire to contribute meaningfully, or positive role models and examples often inspire this.


Consider a team member who watches a coworker who always completes tasks and supports the team. This example inspires the individual to take charge and guarantee their efforts support team goals.

8. Making progress measurable 

Setting clear, measurable criteria to judge progress, accomplishments, or changes in a job, project, or goal is part of making progress measurable. By setting clear goals or measurements, people and groups can keep track of their progress, see where they’re doing well, and figure out what they can do better.


Think about a marketing team that is starting a new ad campaign as an example. They could set key performance indicators (KPIs) like website traffic, social media involvement, or conversion rates to keep track of their progress. These measurable measures give the team a solid way to judge how well the campaign is working, so they can change their plans based on what they see.

Not only does measurable progress make it easier to see how well you’re doing, but it also makes you more accountable and motivated. When people have clear signs of their progress, it’s easier to enjoy their successes, see where they can improve, and make smart choices that will help them do better in the future.

9. Getting recognition and praise

Generous praise means being noticed and appreciated for one’s efforts, successes, or contributions. This upfront and honest positive feedback boosts morale, motivates people, and makes work meaningful.


Consider a project manager leading a team through a complex, successful project. After the project, team members and superiors praise the manager for their leadership, devotion, and good decisions. This recognition rewards the management and boosts their confidence and value to the company.

Positive work cultures benefit from generous recognition and praise. It improves confidence and drive and establishes a workplace appreciation culture. A sense of worth can boost job satisfaction, morale, and commitment to corporate goals.

10. Bring out the best in your employees

Start by regularly thanking your employees for their hard work; a simple thank you can go a long way toward boosting morale and drive. Make sure everyone knows what is expected of them, and give them helpful comments to help them grow.

Giving them chances to improve their skills and move up in their careers will show that you care about their success. Allow them to make decisions and work on projects on their own by giving them some freedom in their jobs to enhance the engagement and behaviour of employees.

Build a positive work atmosphere that values differences, encourages teamwork, and motivation in the workplace, and stresses the value of a good work-life balance. To encourage continuous growth and make the workplace a place where employees feel valued, supported, and inspired to do their best, set goals that are hard but doable. As a boss, show your team what kind of behaviour you want them to have by doing it yourself. 


What is the intrinsic benefit?

The intrinsic benefit is the pleasure, happiness, or fulfilment that you get from doing something or working toward a goal. It is not motivated by rewards or praise from others, but by a personal interest, a sense of purpose, or the pleasure of the job itself.

why are intrinsic rewards important?

Intrinsic benefits are very important because they keep people motivated, improve performance, and make people happier at work. Intrinsic rewards come from personal fulfilment, autonomy, and a sense of purpose. They help with ongoing learning, resilience, and overall health and happiness, giving people a meaningful link to their work and interests.

what is the intrinsic reward system?

According to the intrinsic reward system, doing something or reaching a goal gives you a sense of inner happiness, motivation, or fulfilment. Behavior is driven and reinforced by personal interest, a sense of purpose, and the enjoyment of the job itself, rather than by outside incentives.

How to set expectations for employees?

To make sure employees know what is expected of them, you should be clear about roles and responsibilities, set measurable performance goals, communicate expectations, encourage two-way communication, give regular feedback, make sure expectations are in line with company values, take into account each person’s strengths, write down expectations, encourage goal setting, and change expectations as needed.

What are the advantages of intrinsic rewards?

Intrinsic benefits keep people motivated over time, improve performance, and make people happier at work. They come from having a feeling of purpose and personal fulfilment, and they help people keep learning, be resilient, and be happy. People who are internally motivated are more creative, take more responsibility, and care more about their work, which makes them more engaged and efficient.


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