Here’s a wonderfully interesting TED talk from Dan Ariely, Behavioural Economist, on ‘What makes us feel good about our work?’. He explains various experiments that reveal a lot about what motivates us to work, and our need to find meaning and a sense of purpose in what we do.
I can relate to examples he gives about when work becomes demotivating; when we cannot find a reason why we are being asked to do certain tasks, or when our efforts seem futile or go unacknowledged.
The good news for managers and business leaders in the evidence he presents is that motivating people requires some very simple tools: things such as recognition and acknowledgement. Most of us just want to know that our work has meaning, and that need shouldn’t be underestimated.