✨  Don't miss out! Register for our Employee Appreciation Webinar scheduled for 29th February.🎖️
✨  Don't miss out! Register for our Employee Appreciation Webinar scheduled for 29th February.🎖️

Register now

Live Webinar: Secrets to Building a Successful B2B2C Growth Flywheel
Save your spot now

The Empuls Glossary

Glossary of Human Resources Management and Employee Benefit Terms

Visit Hr Glossaries

Intrinsic rewards

Intrinsic rewards are typically internal, meaning they come from within the employee and are related to effort and ability. These types of rewards provide a sense of accomplishment which increases employee motivation.

Intrinsic rewards are more about self-fulfilling or self-satisfying needs because they are internal and don't depend on external factors for their fulfillment. For example, a worker may be motivated by the challenge of a particular job assignment or task or the opportunity for self-development, such as climbing the career ladder.

What are intrinsic rewards? 

Intrinsic rewards are internal factors that motivate employees to want to complete specific tasks and projects. These rewards are imparted by the psychological nature of our abilities, feelings, and actions. They include such things as personal satisfaction, pride, and self-esteem.

Listen, recognize, award, and retain your employees with our Employee engagement software  

Why are intrinsic rewards important? 

Intrinsic motivation is self-motivation: Doing things because you want to, not because you have to. It's about enjoying your work and finding fulfillment, even if no one else knows about it.

Employees who have intrinsic motivation are more likely to be engaged and productive. Here are some reasons why:

  • They are happier and less stressed, which means they can focus on their task better.
  • They are more likely to think outside the box because they aren't focused on meeting specific goals or earning a paycheck.
  • They take greater ownership of their work and strive for excellence in everything they do. 
  • They care about doing a good job — even if no one else looks over their shoulder!

When should intrinsic rewards be used in the workplace? 

  • When you want to motivate employees to go above and beyond.
  • When a task has no clear goal or when the goal is vague and unclear.
  • When you want to ensure long-term happiness and success at work.
  • When you want a group of people to work together on a project, which requires creative work.

How does intrinsic reward work? 

Intrinsic rewards are internal, personal, and self-rewarding. This type of reward is independent of outside forces or social obligations.

The way intrinsic motivation works is pretty simple. Instead of motivating yourself to achieve an external reward, you focus on the internal rewards of a task. This type of motivation tends to work with long-term projects that offer little results. Intrinsic rewards are usually associated with happiness, mental stimulation, and fun. 

Pro Tip

Take employee engagement and motivation to the next level with our rewards management system. Get started now and watch your team soar!

Talk to our employee rewards expert today!

What are the different types of intrinsic rewards? 

Intrinsic rewards can be divided into two types:

  • Autonomy refers to the feeling that you control your actions and how you spend your time. People feel autonomous when they can use their skills and abilities to achieve important goals. This includes having control over their schedule, working in an environment that supports their values, and setting goals for themselves.

  • Purpose refers to having a meaningful reason for doing something, such as helping people or contributing to society. It's essential for people to feel like what they do matters and contributes positively to others' lives — otherwise known as self-efficacy or self-esteem.

What are the advantages of intrinsic rewards? 

The advantages of intrinsic rewards include:

  • Long-term motivation
  • Stronger brand loyalty
  • Quick and easy to implement
  • Increase productivity and performance
  • Increased employee retention and reduce turnover

Employee pulse surveys:

These are short surveys that can be sent frequently to check what your employees think about an issue quickly. The survey comprises fewer questions (not more than 10) to get the information quickly. These can be administered at regular intervals (monthly/weekly/quarterly).

One-on-one meetings:

Having periodic, hour-long meetings for an informal chat with every team member is an excellent way to get a true sense of what’s happening with them. Since it is a safe and private conversation, it helps you get better details about an issue.


eNPS (employee Net Promoter score) is one of the simplest yet effective ways to assess your employee's opinion of your company. It includes one intriguing question that gauges loyalty. An example of eNPS questions include: How likely are you to recommend our company to others? Employees respond to the eNPS survey on a scale of 1-10, where 10 denotes they are ‘highly likely’ to recommend the company and 1 signifies they are ‘highly unlikely’ to recommend it.

Based on the responses, employees can be placed in three different categories:

  • Promoters
    Employees who have responded positively or agreed.
  • Detractors
    Employees who have reacted negatively or disagreed.
  • Passives
    Employees who have stayed neutral with their responses.

What are the disadvantages of intrinsic rewards? 

The disadvantages of intrinsic rewards include:

  • It's hard to measure their value
  • They take a long time to develop
  • They are not guaranteed to be consistent
  • The more you have, the less effective they become
  • You can't pay people to do something they don't want to do
  • They can lead to a lack of motivation if they are not seen as fair or socially-valued by others

What are examples of intrinsic rewards? 

The following are examples of intrinsic rewards:

  • The pride of accomplishment
  • Learning and self-improvement
  • Recognition for doing a good job
  • Involvement in a creative process or project
  • Being recognized by your peers for something you did

What is the difference between intrinsic and extrinsic rewards? 

Intrinsic rewards:

  • Intrinsic rewards are internal motivators
  • They come from doing something you love or find interesting
  • Doing something because you want to do it

Extrinsic rewards:

  • Extrinsic rewards are external motivators
  • They come from doing something that’s expected of you or gets a reward in some way
  • Doing something because you'll get something in return if you do it well

Quick Links

Employee Engagement solutions

Recognised by market experts