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Paperback Intrinsic Motivation at Work: What Really Drives Employee Engagement Book

ISBN: 1576752380

ISBN13: 9781576752388

Intrinsic Motivation at Work: What Really Drives Employee Engagement

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Book Overview

In today's organizations engagement is vital--more is being required of workers than ever. In this new edition of his classic book, Kenneth Thomas draws on the latest research findings to identify the key to employee engagement: intrinsic motivation. Only intrinsic rewards--rewards that come directly from the work itself--encourage the profound commitment and sense of ownership needed for a truly engaged and innovative workforce. Thomas identifies...

Customer Reviews

5 ratings

Highly Recommended!

Kenneth W. Thomas presents a model for using intrinsic motivation in the workplace to assure a more committed, self-managed workforce. He advocates leading for meaningfulness, choice, competence, and progress. He emphasizes the need to use this approach to give employees the greater independence and decision-making authority they need as bureaucratic management models break down. While many of these themes are presented in other books on leadership, motivation, training and worker empowerment, Thomas pulls them together in a well-organized, clearly written presentation that gives readers clear directions. The succinct style of writing is easy to understand, even though it is directed toward the serious reader. We [...] recommend this book to executives, managers, trainers and management consultants, as well as to employees, who will find helpful ideas for exercising greater self-management.

Great Lessons for Increasing Motivation and Effectiveness!

This book deserves more than five stars.Prior to Intrinsic Motivation at Work, management books often referred to the need for intrinsic motivation or sources of thta motivation (such as an inspiring purpose or interesting work). This book takes those isolated thoughts and connects them into a systematic method of improving overall motivation by increasing internal motivation and connecting with external sources of motivation. This book will be a landmark in the field of human resource management for decades to come.The book contains many helpful elements to help you understand its message. One that I particularly liked was the management tale. In one connected example, it showed how management attention has shifted in the last 120 years from making people perform more effectively at predefined tasks (the rational approach as defined by scientific management) to creating passion and fulfillment from work, by focusing on the emotional side of a person. You get an overview of management practice and theory in very small and easy-to-digest doses. For example, one of my favorite sentences was "So the executives crafted Vision Statements that emphasized Contribution to Customers and Quality . . . but often [they] rang hollow in time -- like unkept promises." The author distills the relevant sources of intrinsic motivation into meaningfulness, choice, competence, and progress. These ideas are nicely developed in several dimensions. For example, it is explained how these affect the worker (or associate, if you prefer that term). You also find out what the leader or manager has to do to help create those factors for the worker. Then, the author also exposes how the four areas are connected in a system of postive (or potentially negative) feedback. Further, you are given five elements of each one to develop.Basically, the model calls for the meaningful purpose of the organization as the starting point. The next step is to give people a choice of actions to implement that purpose. Then activities are performed, and these are monitored for the competency shown (which may generate the need for better choices to pursue the object or to enhance the competency of those involved). After the activities are completed, you also look for progress and relate this back to the original purpose and your choices for fulfilling that purpose. The book goes on the explain how to integrate intrinsic and external sources of motivation so that they reinforce one another. There are several points to keep in mind when considering this book. First, you will get even better results if the organization picks a meaningful purpose that offers the potential for more intrinsic motivation. Some purposes have more potential to be accomplished and some are more exciting to more people. I find that most people latch onto an organizational purpose with too little consideration of the alternatives. Second, any on-going organization has a perceived purpose that attracts an

Steven E. Severy, Chairman of the Board, MDS, Inc.

"Intrinsic Motivation at Work" is a must read for anyone responsible for managing people. This small book is in reality a giant guide book to help move us from just hanging the carrot out there for employees to chase, to giving them both a bit in their teeth and a hand on the reins.

Four Intrinsic Rewards of Self-Management

"As I have written this book, I have tried to balance a number of goals". Kenneth W. Thomas writes, "The first is to give you a solid conceptual framework for understanding intrinsic motivation and why it is vital to the new work. The problem is that most of us have already learned to think about motivation in rational-economic ways, so that kind of thinking seems solid to us, and other ways of thinking often seem 'soft'. I have tried to give intrinsic motivation that same kind of solidity by laying a firm conceptual foundation in Parts I and II of this book. Part I establishes the need for new models. It discusses the revolution in work, why extrinsic rewards are no longer enough, and the limitations of rational-economic thinking...Then Part II examines the essence of the new work in more detail, emphasizing how purpose has been reintroduced into that work. It discusses how workers are now being asked to self-manage in pursuit of purposes, and then lays out the key steps involved in self-management. Part III, the heart of the book, discusses the four intrinsic rewards that come from -and energize- those self-management steps: a sense of meaningfulness, choice, competence, and progress" (from the Preface).In this context, in Part III, he provides a diagnostic framework for intrinsic motivation. As the first step of this framework, in Chapter 6, he introduces (1) a complete map of the intrinsic rewards needed to reinforce self-management, and (2) a set of building blocks that are needed to produce each intrinsic reward. Hence, as the second step, in Chapters 7-10, he discusses each intrinsic reward in more detailed, along with actions to provide the building blocks. (1). The Four Intrinsic Rewardsi. A sense of 'Meaningfulness' is the opportunity you feel to pursue a worthy task purpose (more detailed discussion see Chapter 7).ii. A sense of 'Choice' is the opportunity you feel to select task activities that make sense to you and to perform them in ways that seem appropriate (more detailed discussion see Chapter 8).iii. A sence of 'Competence' is the accomplishment you feel in skillfully performing task activities you have choosen (more detailed discussion see Chapter 9).iv. A sense of 'Progress' is the accomplishment you feel in achieving the task purpose (more detailed discussion see Chapter 10).(2). Building Blocks for the Intrinsic Rewardsi. Meaningfulness: a non-cynical climate, clearly identified passions, an exciting vision, relevant task purposes, and whole tasks (more detailed discussion see Chapter 7).ii. Choice: delegated authority, trust in workers, security (no punishment for honest mistakes), a clear purpose, and information (more detailed discussion see Chapter 8).iii. Competence: knowledge, positive feedback, skill recognition, challenge, and high, non-comparative standards (more detailed discussion see Chapter 9).iv. Progress: a collaborative climate, milestones, celebrations, access to custom

This is the Best there is on Motivation

As a teacher of leadership, organizational theory and psychological issues at work, at the undergraduate and graduate level, I can say that Ken's approach to intrinsic motivation is simply the best material available on the subject. The depth and clarity of his presentation is remarkable. Whenever I present his model to a class or in a workshop the model Ken has developed clicks immediately with people and they are instantly engaged. His model captures what so many other authors and approaches have tried to present, but have fallen short. "Intrinsic Motivation at Work" will immediately become a required text in my courses and at the top of my most highly recommended books to anyone interested in motivation at work. His approach is well researched and documented but still immediately accessible to non-academics. This book will find broad readership because of it's usefullness to those in supervisory and leadership roles, as well as those who are simply trying to create a more motivating work environment for themselves. Please buy and read this book! There is nothing better available. This is the best there is on motivation.
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