By Spencer Yarnell Head of Spreading the Herd Word
Some days its difficult to care. Some days you just want to put in your hours and be done with it. It happens to everyone including employees. Usually these are the days when I consume the lion’s share of the office coffee supplies.
As a manager or employer you have to ask yourself however, how do I motivate my employees to keep the occurrence of days like this to a minimum? When it comes to motivating anyone especially employees a basic knee jerk reaction is to offer rewards. Want someone to do something for you? Offer them money! The same thinking often goes for employees, offer them more money for a better job.
The problem is, this kind of thinking is wrong. At least for work that requires creativity.
I direct you now to Mr. Dan Pink who through his TED talk here marshals an impressive array of evidence that proves that rewards and incentives can in fact hamper performance on tasks that require even the most basic amount of cognitive and creative thinking. This is true across the board from students at MIT to civilians in India.
So what gives? If we can’t motivate employees and people through traditional rewards how do we motivate them?
Here at IBEX I’ve noticed that one of the best ways we foster motivation is by allowing for more autonomy among employees. People aren’t told how to do their jobs down to the detail. Herd members know the results expected of them and are given free reign in coming up with creative ways to achieve those results. This autonomy gives herd members a lot more ownership and pride over what they do and that ownership seems to motivate people more.
I strongly encourage you to watch Dan Pink’s talk if you have the time. He draws strong links between autonomy and motivation and breaks down the traditional belief that incentives drive performance.
How do you provide your employees with autonomy? What have been the results? Let me know in the comments!