What motivates you?


Have you ever wondered why we spend so much time going through our email inboxes, when there are so many other pressing demands on our time?   This question intrigues Dr Jason Fox, a leading global motivation strategy and design expert on an epic quest to liberate the world from poorly-designed work (got to love a great quest!)
email
I never expected his answer to lie in a longitudinal study on motivation conducted by Harvard Business School.

In the study, HBR researchers asked leaders what motivated people and the response was the usual mix of things such as money and feedback. Then the researchers asked employees what motivated them.  Their answer was surprising.  The number one thing that motivated employees was  a sense of progress.  This is known as the progress principle, or the power of small wins.

Dr Fox recommends making progress visible, whatever that looks like for you: scoreboards, meetings or status updates.  This piece of research also answers that vexed question of why, when we have an important pressing deadline, we work through our emails first; because it gives us a sense of progress!  It’s so satisfying to knock your emails down from 110 to a more manageable 25 – at least temporarily.

So, how are you going to make progress visible for yourself and your team? Please comment – I would love to share your insights.

Yamini

PS: I am also loving Dr Jason Fox’s best-seller, The Game Changer.  It’s full of fascinating science-based techniques to boost workplace motivation.

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8 Comments
  • Sundar Rajamanickam
    Reply

    My key focus everyday will be to keep my project issue log with very few or no open items and to find quick resolution / closure to the open ones. This way I feel no burden and know that things are in control 🙂

  • Helen
    Reply

    Hi Yamini,

    I so nearly didn’t read your message just now when it first arrived in my inbox, but you always tempt me.
    And I am so pleased that I did as I have been allowing my mind to idly search for a ‘P” word that would sit comfortably with several others that I have chosen as key topics for my new website and ‘PROGRESS’, especially the power of small wins …is just Perfect thank you.

    • Yamini Naidu
      Reply

      Helen so good to hear and thanks for your honesty:) It’s always touch and go as there are so many demands on our time, but so glad it was useful and what you were looking for!
      Best wishes with your new website.
      Regards
      Yamini

  • John
    Reply

    Daily reflection has always worked for me. At the end of each day, I record what went well that day using an on-line tool ‘idonethis.com’.

    • Yamini Naidu
      Reply

      John love the idea. I do reflect but not systematically. Will check out the tool you have recommended and thanks for sharing this insight and practice.
      Regards
      Yamini

  • Elouise
    Reply

    We relish the act if being able to cross off completed tasks from our weekly work-in-progress document!

    • Yamini Naidu
      Reply

      Hi Elouise I do this too and love the power of a list, but more importantly the delight of each ticking off.
      Regards
      Yamini

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