Motivation can be categorized in to two types: extrinsic and intrinsic.  The business world is rife with examples of extrinsic motivation.  Bonuses, awards, recognition, and prizes are all things that we work towards for external validation.   But how can businesses increase motivation intrinsically?  What would it take to intrinsically motivate and satisfy people in the long run?  The answer could be community involvement or service.


Connect with the Community

Connecting with the community gives people the opportunity to see the differences that they have made and satisfies their desire to achieve mastery.   Seeing a project through from the beginning to the end, gives people the satisfaction of achieving something.  It also has long-lasting effects, as the result of the actions may yield benefits after the initial act of service.  It is also a good way to attract new talent in your area and ensure that your corporate social responsibility is intact, as 86% of Generation Y workers find this a great value in a company.


Enjoy the ride, not just the destination

Serving the community can make working together a more enjoyable and productive experience.  The challenges that we face in serving community allow people to use different skills that they may otherwise not use.  This allows colleagues to create tighter bonds and tap into resources they may never have known each other has.  Plus, without the rigor and pressure of a regular day at the office, people are more likely to be their genuine self.  The choice to participate in a service opportunity can satisfy people’s need for autonomy.

Big Brothers Big Sisters of America.

Organizations can select which organization they would like to donate to such as the Big Brothers Big Sisters of America.

Get to work creating a great story

The desire for belonging to a goal or a community can be a great driver of motivation.  Working on a service project with your colleagues lets us practice achieving a goal where everyone works at the same level.  From CEOs to hourly employees, when we get our hands dirty together, we bond.  We add to the narrative of what a business truly cares for, because profit is not always the best driver of success.  Giving people a place to do something for others, to use all of their skills, and accomplish something together can improve motivation and help businesses grown in the long run.

Benevolent Bike Build

Learn about skills you didn’t know you had! Challenge, accepted!

One way you to try it is by booking a Benevolent Bike Build during an event at MEET.  You can create a team-building session by building bikes to benefit a charity of your choice.  Other examples of team-building activities that have heart include:

  • Comfort Kits for the Homeless
  • Battle for the Troops (care packages for the troops or a non-profit USO group)
  • Seeds of Sunshine (create flower pots for hospital wings or senior homes)
  • CAN You Hang? (Architecture out of canned goods that is ultimately donated to a food bank)



“We are born makers.  We move what we’re learning from our heads to our hearts through our hands.”  This quote from Brene Brown’s book, Rising Strong is an idea that can be applied both personally and professionally, and service may be the way to practice it.

Learn more about adding a team building exercise to your next offsite meeting or event in Midtown or Madison Square Park.