What Motivates Us at Work?

December 7th, 2012 | Simcha Weinstein | Comments Off on What Motivates Us at Work?

Most businesses, even when we think we’re being progressive, still operate under some pretty archaic dynamics and misconceptions, particularly true when it comes to getting the most from the very people whose contributions determine how well a company functions. This video below from Dan Pink, a former speechwriter for Al Gore, takes an interesting, inspiring, and revealing look at what actually motivates us in the workplace.

It turns out that traditional rewards, like money, aren’t as motivating as we think. The freedom to innovate, create, and participate are really what really drive people in their jobs. The other truth is that most companies are loaded with very bright and talented people who are just looking for that window where they can contribute, and even lead. The companies that recognize this, encourage this, and maximize this opportunity, are to no surprise, the companies that are most successful and most progressive – leading their fields in creativity, innovation and even profitability. Make no mistake, adequately and fairly compensating people for their work (literally taking money off the table as an issue) is vital, fair, and necessary; but if we truly want to get the best from our team, then we need to look past the very traditional “carrot/stick” model.

It’s actually quite simple. Recognize people for their talents, ingenuity, and intelligence and provide them an opportunity to contribute, not just with their daily work, but with their ideas. Often times the reason people appear not to shine or excel in their job is much more due to the environment and confinements that we’ve established as the norm of the workplace, rather than any deficiencies or lacking in their talent or skill set.

But enough with my description; this video tells the story far better than anything I could write. Take a break today and give it a view. You never know, it may change the way your company operates.

I understand that for some, viewing videos in the workplace is not an option. If that’s your situation, I strongly encourage you to watch this on your own time at home or at a place where you have access to video on a computer. I am confident it will be a very worthwhile and inspired 20 minutes of your time.

Have a great weekend.