Incentive Motivation: What is This?

Are you looking for a way to get your team motivated and productive? Incentive motivation is an effective tool that can help increase productivity, reduce costs, and improve customer service. In this blog post, we will discuss the various types of incentive motivation, how it works, and why it is important to consider when setting up a rewards program for employees.

What is Incentive Motivation?

Incentive motivation is driven by a desire to achieve a specific goal. This type of motivation often comes from external factors, such as receiving a bonus at work for meeting a sales quota. Incentive motivation can also come from internal factors, such as the satisfaction that comes from completing a difficult task.

Regardless of its source, incentive motivation typically leads to positive outcomes, such as increased productivity or improved performance.



1. Extrinsic incentives are external rewards that motivate us to perform a desired behavior. Examples of extrinsic incentives include money, prizes, and awards.

2. Intrinsic incentives are internal rewards that motivate us to perform a desired behavior. Examples of intrinsic incentives include satisfaction, pride, and a sense of accomplishment.

3. Social incentives are external rewards that derive from social approval or disapproval. Examples of social incentives include praise, criticism, and approval from others.

The Pros and Cons of Incentive Motivation

Incentives are a great way to motivate employees and get them working towards company goals. However, there are also some drawbacks to using incentives that you should be aware of before implementing them in your business.


1. Incentives can help increase productivity by providing employees with a reason to work harder.

2. They can also help improve morale by making employees feel appreciated and valued.

3. Incentives can help create a sense of competition among employees, which can lead to higher levels of productivity.


1. Incentives can create a feeling of entitlement among employees and can lead to unrealistic expectations.

2. They can also foster a sense of competition that may be detrimental to team unity and cooperation.

3. Incentives can be costly and may take away from other areas of employee compensation like wages or benefits.


How to Use Incentive Motivation

1. Make sure the incentive is something that the individual actually desires. An incentive that is not desirable will not be effective in motivating someone.

2. Make sure the incentive is realistic and achievable. An incentive that is too difficult or impossible to achieve will only serve to demotivate someone.

3. Use positive reinforcement rather than negative reinforcement. With positive reinforcement, individuals are rewarded for desired behavior; with negative reinforcement, individuals are punished for undesired behavior. Positive reinforcement is more likely to result in long-term motivation than negative reinforcement.

4. Be consistent with the use of incentives. If rewards are given inconsistently, individuals may become confused about what behavior is actually being rewarded and may become less motivated as a result.

When Incentives Fail

Incentives are a powerful tool to motivate employees, but they can also backfire. In some cases, employees may view incentives as a way to game the system or pad their own pockets rather than a way to improve their performance. In other cases, well-meaning managers may use incentives in a way that unintentionally demotivates employees.

When incentives fail, it’s often because they’re misaligned with the company’s goals. For example, if an employee is rewarded for selling more products, they may be tempted to push unnecessary products on customers. Or if an employee is rewarded for working long hours, they may start burning out and making mistakes.

The key to successful incentive programs is to make sure they’re properly designed and aligned with the company’s goals. When done right, incentives can be a powerful motivator for employees. But when done wrong, they can do more harm than good.

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By understanding their motivations, you can find the right incentives that will be attractive enough for them to strive towards (and reach) higher levels of achievement. Rewards such as bonuses and recognition can go a long way in motivating employees, as it helps create an environment where workers feel valued and appreciated for their efforts.

Also read: 5 Ways To Effectively Motivate Your Employees

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