Video: Scientists Have Discovered What Really Motivates Us

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A brilliant illustration of Dan Pink’s speech about the hidden truths behind what really motivates people at work and at home. This is really interesting to know both if you are looking for ways to motivate your employees or trying to understand what motivates you personally.

A study on motivation conducted at MIT (Massachusetts Institute of Technology) tried to answer one very simple question: if you pay someone more, will they work better?

The results were fascinating.

As it turned out money rewards mostly work with people doing manual labor only. But when it comes to analytical or creative tasks money won’t be enough to motivate the workers.

This means that motivation doesn’t necessarily work the way we thought it did. A higher reward doesn’t get you a better performance.

Of course the question of money is tricky. If people are not paid enough they won’t be motivated to work at all. But if you pay them too much they won’t be motivated as well. So what can be done? The best solution here is to pay people just enough to take the issue of money off the table.

And now that they are thinking about work and not money there are 3 factors that can motivate them:

  • Pin ItAnatomy. For example let them do what they think is best for a day every week or every month.
  • Mastery. Give people a challenge and a chance to get better at something.
  • Purpose. Share the company’s goals with them. Make sure they now why they are doing things and where it is all going.

To sum up, if you want people to do complicated work and be engaged you need to make sure that they feel in control, feel that they are growing and that the work they are doing actually matters.

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