Friday, November 12, 2010
This is a fascinating talk on the science of motivation, and it might well change how you manage your employees or think about the competence of your boss.
For those of you who work in public companies, public accounting firms, are corporate lawyers, or the Securities and Exchange Commission, consider the foregoing with reference to the internal controls requirements of the Sarbanes-Oxley law. Discuss.
And these are only a few of the several different forms of study that lead to the same conclusion - monetary reward is at best an inefficient motivator. And that is the key - we all have a different set of rewards that will motivate us most effectively. Autonomy, Mastery and Purpose are nice general categories. I teach a management and communication model that posits that the following are the primary needs and associated human motivators: recognition of work, recognition of person, conviction, time structure, playful contact, incidence, solitude and sensory input. These nine motivators are associated with different personality types that each of us has within us in different orders and amounts. By knowing basic elements of that personality structure, which is reflected in observable language and behavior, one can learn to individualize management and communication to achieve high performance. It's very cool to see it work.
This is, in a nutshell, the explanation for the decline in satisfaction with healthcare.
In a scant 30 years, we have gone from a Profession of autonomous, skilled people who seek mastery of their art and were quite willing to give away their work because they were paid well enough that money was not an issue...TO...a highly regulated, economically motivated, decreasingly compensated group of "providers" whose cognitive autonomy is replaced with a checklist of "best practices".
A sad situation, but obviously highly predictable.
To me it seems that one of the key ideas here is to "take money off the table." What are presented as more enlightened motivators do not exist as self sufficient factors. They do not motivate when people feel that the value of their work is depreciated by their paycheck.
One of the lessons here is that when people feel they are well and properly paid, new doors open and new opportunities arise for both the individual and the organization.
I suspect that one of the reasons motivational exercises in some companies fall flat, is that they are trying to motivate people who feel their fundamental value is not appreciated, and so the motivational efforts seem contrived and deceitful.
It may be that the key to unlocking what you might call a large latent potential to excel would lie in the solution to the problem of how to compensate people to that level where they feel well and properly paid, so they and the company can move beyond that issue.