How External Motivation Kills Internal Motivation!

Yes, let me give you a few examples.

  • My wife counsels would-be suicide victims. She does it out of her inner calling to help people. Hearing the good work that she did, she was offered a job that would give her a paycheck at the end of every month. The very thought was revolting! She continues on her own even today.
  • You like to help the elderly cross the road, what if i told you that i would start paying you Rs.100 for each elderly that you helped cross – would you still continue helping?
  • I take sessions on Business Communication, MS Office and Project Management to anyone in my organization who wants to learn. The moment i started taking classes that were compensated, i lost interest.

Yes Extrinsic Motivation does sometimes kill Intrinsic motivation. The moment something becomes attached to an extrinsic motivator (reward, money, ‘Likes’), the intrinsic motivation dies away and the whole activity becomes Transactional.

Here are a couple of articles from Barry Schwartz – Interesting read. You will understand why some organization flounder at a great Rewards & Recognition program and why some prosper!

The Dark Side of Incentives

Do external rewards kill intrinsic motivations? | OpenLogic

So, throwing money at everything to motivate isn’t probably a good idea!