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What drives motivation – an animated short

How to motivate people exceeds rewards and punishments


Who would have thought a lecture on sociological factors of business motivation would make a great animated short? The people at the Royal Society for the encouragement of Arts, Manufactures and Commerce did – and they were right.

In this amusing (and fascinating) animated short,Daniel Pink discusses the results of scientific studies on what motivates people to work hard at their jobs. Surprise: It’s not money. How to motivate people requires tapping into their own passions and drive.

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What motivates people to work

Our motivations in the workplace are unbelievably interesting. Science points to several realities that go against conventional beliefs. For example, as workers (and consumers), we are actually not as easily given to manipulations as “pop” behavioral economics might have us believe. Instead of responding to reward-versus-punishment systems to (de)incentivize various behaviors, humans respond better to incentives that engage their cognition and interests. That is to say, as long as a worker is obtaining sufficient compensation to find fulfillment, there are actually three (non-monetary) drivers that keep workers working hard: Autonomy, mastery and purpose. Let’s look at each of these factors to understand what motivates people to work:

Autonomy in the workplace. In order to feel like a contributing member of the workforce, employees need to feel they are both skillful and trusted on the job. Therefore, empowering a reasonable level of autonomy in the workplace is one of the most effective strategies when considering how to motivate people.

Mastery in the workplace. Whether you are the owner of a small business or the employee of a growing firm, a feeling of mastery on the job is one of the most important parts of what motivates people to work. To effectively learn how to motivate people, make sure everyone onboard has the tools and information they need to excel on the job.

Purpose in the workplace. One of Tony Robbins’ pivotal business growth concepts is the role of purpose in the workplace. It is not money that ultimately keeps people working hard. What motivates people is the sense of purpose and contribution they feel on the job. Invest in employee retention and morale, and you’ll understand how to motivate people.

What have you used to motivate employees (or be motivated yourself) successfully? What motivates people to workin your business?

Team Tony

Team Tony cultivates, curates and shares Tony Robbins’ stories and core principles, to help others achieve an extraordinary life.

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