What motivates people to work better?
Dan Pink, best selling author and speaker has a few somewhat ‘out there,’ yet proven ideas about workforce incentives. I found this unusual video that does a great job of getting his point across. The video is ten minutes long. Take a moment to watch it.
His studies show how financial incentives are effective for improving performance with simple, mechanical tasks. But if you want to improve results requiring cerebral effort, data says money can actually de-motivate people and degrade results.
Pink insists people are motivated by Autonomy (self-direction, ownership of a problem), Mastery (urge to improve one’s self and skills) and Purpose (aiming towards a higher goal, altruism). In fact, he insists “bad things happen if the Profit motive is unmoored from the Purpose motive.” Perhaps these three things are the path to creativity and ingenuity.
Although the paycheck, bonuses and stock options are very important, I don’t believe any employee thinks about them when making decisions (day to day or strategic) at work. People ALWAYS aim for the other things. At least the Linchpins do. I’m delighted when I can move my company’s needle where it should be going and I can see my effect on this.
People are not just talking animals: we are not rats pulling on a chain to get a treat and we are not salivating dogs waiting for a bell.
Just guessing here, but I bet it wasn’t bonuses that got a man to the moon.