Three Effective Reward Strategies for Intrinsic Motivation and Performance

Rewards can be powerful motivators. We’ve all seen people give an extra push or accomplish otherwise unpleasant tasks at the promise of a reward.
In the short term, rewards can often “get us the results.” But in the long term, rewards have serious downsides.

A series of classic studies demonstrated that rewarding people for tasks they were already motivated to do actually made them do those activities less (see The Center for Self-Determination Theory's Review). In other words, rewards can kill our motivation to accomplish tasks over the long term if used the wrong way.

So how can you use rewards in a way that maximizes the upsides and minimizes the downsides? There are three important methods to use rewards effectively in your organization or on your team.

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