Sunday, August 17, 2014

What motivates us to work?

"Ignoring the performance of people is almost as bad as shredding their effort in front of their eyes."

Dan Ariely, Professor of Psychology & Behavioral Economics, is dedicated to answering questions such as "why do we so often fail to act in our own best interest?",  "why do we promise to skip the chocolate cake, only to find ourselves drooling our way into temptation when the dessert tray rolls around?" or "why do we overvalue things that we’ve worked to put together?".

Aimed at helping people live more sensible – if not rational – lives, his interests span a wide range of behaviors, and his sometimes unusual experiments are consistently interesting, amusing and informative, demonstrating profound ideas that fly in the face of common wisdom.

What motivates us to work? Contrary to conventional wisdom, it is not just MONEY !

But it's not exactly joy either.
Seems that most of us thrive by making constant progress and feeling a sense of purpose. Simply beeing looked at something that you have done and even only receiving a "uh huh," as feedback, seems to be quite sufficient to dramatically improve people's motivations.
So, the good news is that adding motivation doesn't seem to be so difficult.
The bad news is that eliminating motivations seems to be incredibly easy, and, if one does not think think about it carefully, it might overdo it.

In the knowledge economy, one of the key questions is if efficiency is still more important than meaning?  Dan Dan Ariely thinks the answer is no - he believes is even more a no, as we move to situations in which people have to decide on their own about how much effort, attention, caring, how connected they feel, etc.  When we think about labor, we usually think about motivation and payment as the same thing, but the reality is that we should probably add all kinds of things to it -- meaning, creation, challenges, ownership, identity, pride, etc. As all of those components and thought about them have been put together, how do we create our own meaning, pride, motivation, and how do we do it in our workplace and for the employees, it would make possible to get people to both be more productive and happier.

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