Motivation and Accountability

Motivation and Accountability

Connecting the Dots – Motivation and Accountability

“Research shows that contests and incentives are a cause of both low motivation and a wide range of undesirable behaviors, including cheating.  It also pinpoints that the use of extrinsic motivators such as contests damages an individual’s intrinsic motivation, inhibits the personal will to succeed, and destroys the joy of a job well done.”
—Edward L. Deci, Ph D



Consider this: instead of trying to motivate someone with rewards, find out what interests them that also calls upon their strengths.  You will have a more energized and engaged employee who is more productive, responsible, and accountable.


True Motivation

Intrinsic motivation is motivation that comes from inside an individual, such as the joy or pleasure of the accomplishment, rather than from an external reward, such as money or prizes. Intrinsic motivation does not mean that a person will not seek rewards. It means that external rewards are often not enough to keep a person motivated. An intrinsically motivated employee may want to accomplish a project, but if the project does not interest that employee, the possibility of a reward may not be enough to maintain his/her motivation to put sufficient effort into the project.


Freedom to Choose

“By simply giving people choices of what tasks to undertake and how to do them, people are more engaged by the tasks and enjoy them more than those who are given no choices. Individuals who develop a healthy sense of autonomy are able to make wise choices, which enable them to take responsibility and to be accountable.” — Dr. Nathaniel Branden


Jean-Paul Sartre points to another factor: choice.  He believed that the bedrock of human existence and the foundation of intrinsic motivation is the freedom to choose. In having the opportunity to choose, we become accountable both to ourselves and others. When people are given the freedom to choose, a healthier social or corporate culture is possible.

Allan Kennedy says, “A freedom-based organization, one that has a ‘meaningful human dimension’ relies on intrinsic motivation rather than incentives and other extrinsic motivators. This is the key.”


Question: What is the level of your intrinsic motivation in your current work environment?

Inquiry:  What do I need more of to raise the level of my intrinsic motivation?

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