Having never written a blog in my life and being bit skeptical about social media, I had my moments of dilemma while opening the topics list of SBC season 3. I was pleasantly surprised to see a topic catching my attention and that was “Motivation at workplace, extrinsic or intrinsic”.
And while I was keying in words for the nomination mail and toying with the idea of writing a blog, at least 100+ impressionable faces from memory lane floated in front of my eyes and numerous many interactions and debates of past rose in my mind.

Motivation or lack of it was not really a topic when we all were in race of life of getting educated, finding a job, finding a life mate and it came bang on when we all started truly discovering ourselves in what we do in our respective professions.

I did study theories by Maslow, Fredrick and many more as part of Organization Behavior curriculum while studying management but even then, didn’t think had time to figure out that Quest for Roti, Kapda and Makaan is the reason for getting motivated in what we do as part of our working life.

So, thought of contemplating on whether motivation is intrinsic or extrinsic. And my brain and heart both answered in unison that motivation is intrinsic indeed.

Abraham Maslow says that motivation is tightly linked to hierarchy of needs and those being met. The intensity of these needs may not be always hierarchical but seen overlapped with each other.
In 1968, Fredric Herzberg came up with Motivator – Hygiene theory, which labelled pay, job security, status, working conditions, fringe benefits, job policies, and relations with co-workers as hygiene factors. He believed that these factors may help in reducing dissatisfaction in employee but the level of change, the work itself, responsibility, recognition, autonomy, opportunities for creativity and advancement would be stimulants for the motivation.

When I take stock of these theories and think of all various interactions I have had with my colleagues, teams and within friend circle, the key message I have been getting is – to certain extent all these contribute to do well in current role. However, looking forward to each Monday without commenting on the so typical Monday blues, getting excited on every little aspect of what we do in our professional life is not because of external factors. It is passion within us to stand out, do your best, take all with you. Being self-motivated is a choice every individual has.

While factors like great place to work, ample of growth opportunities, transparency on policies do count on boosting of motivation but I would term it as boost to continue with the same organization. There is always this fine thread of self-motivation is running in parallel with external factors. So, while external factors help in employee retention, passion for excellence and thirst for more challenges comes from within and lasts forever.

If I can exaggerate then I would term external factors seeming to influence motivation as mortal ones and would name the motivation which comes from deep within immortal.
And finally, a test which I prescribe to myself is do I give out the same way in my role when it is “crisis” or when it is “life as usual”, do I give out the same way when “all is well” and when “something is missing”. And predictably answer comes yes.

When I watch leaders whom I look up to, managers and mentors who shaped my career, some of the colleagues, teams and acquaintance who all fall under self-motivated and madly optimistic people category, I maintain with pride that motivation at workplace is intrinsic indeed. Thank you for listening to me expressing on my first blog. Gratitude!

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Posted by Rekha Kumbharkar

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