Are You Proud Of Your Work?

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06-12-2014

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Photo credit (above): Tax Credits | Flickr

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What’s Your Motivation?

I caught a TED Talk by Dan Ariely some time ago on what motivates us at work, and I thought of sharing a few useful insights.

“We really have this incredibly simplistic view of why people work and what the labour market looks like,” said Ariely, who is a behavioural economist.

When you look carefully at the way people work, you find that there’s a lot more at play and a lot more at stake than money.

If you haven’t watch it already, here it is:

More than just money

During the talk, Ariely provided evidence that apart from money, we are also driven by the following:

  • Meaningful work
    Seeing the fruits of our labour makes us even more productive. We enjoy reaping the results.
  • Approval, acknowledgement and appreciation from others
    Positive reinforcement that makes us feel valuable, validated and significant.
  • The amount of effort we’ve put in: the harder the task is, the prouder we are
    We enjoy and relish challenges; we naturally will rise up to meet them. We’re proud of “tough” achievements.
  • Knowing that our work helps others or serves the greater good
    There is a good feeling knowing that our works serve the world and the people out there.

It’s a good reminder for leaders that your people are not cogs in the factory machine or slaves for money.

There’s a deeper motivation behind why they do what they do – the significance of what they do. It’s not just about the money.

Coaching questions

  1. What motivates you at work?
  2. What makes your people work harder and better?
  3. What is missing at work right now?
Hwai Tah is the founder of Coaching-Journey.com and a certified professional coach and Professional Certified Coach with ICF (International Coach Federation). You can contact him at editor@leaderonomics.com. For more articles on leadership and personal development, visit www.leaderonomics.com
Published in English daily The Star, Malaysia, 6 December 2014
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