Tag Archives: “Knowledge Economy”

How to Motivate with “AHA”i

In the following “What makes us feel good about our work” talk by Dan Ariely, there are few points worth contemplating:

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  1. Acknowledgement is critical, and should be exercised as much as possible. Even the simplest one, like saying “Aha”, when your team member hands you over, their report, is powerful. If you want your team be as twice as productive as they are now, acknowledge them routinely. You don’t need to make up things; you do not need to exaggerate. Simply make sure you clearly show you got it – they did a job, they invested the effort, they desire feedback. If you can thank them, do it. At the end of the week, just before we all go home, I thank each one of my team members, from the bottom of my heart, for the effort they have put during the week. It does not matter how many successes they had, it is all about the time, effort and good will they have put into their work. That way they go off to their weekend, charged with good feeling.
  2. Indeed tossing away an effort people put, is a major energy drainer. However ignoring people’s effort is putting them down, almost the same as shredding their effort in front of their eyes. That’s just to stress how much acknowledgement is important. And there is something else. When you do have to stop a project, cancel a work done, make sure you put enough energy beyond explaining why this need to be done. Make sure you acknowledge the effort put so far. People could reach 150% productivity, if you do your best to preserve their efforts, and it does not matter how much you pay them. So thank them and do the most to make use with what they built so far. Make sure this effort is communicated clearly. All this will put more fuel into your team’s emotion al engines, as they take your ship to a new destination.
  3. It doesn’t matter how much you pay people, if you don’t acknowledge their effort. You can raise a salary once in a while, and still it would not matter as much as a much more frequent acknowledgement of people’s efforts.
  4. If you have an advice to give or feedback to improve one’s performance, they are still considered an acknowledgement and worth more than silence. Acknowledging people does not mean you should forget about mentoring and guiding.
  5. We value our creations much more than evaluators do – because we appreciate more what we put effort into. Make sure you kindly address this gap, as you go through a performance evaluation with your team. Otherwise people will think your review of their performance is too critical.
  6. In the past decades we had Industrial Efficiency govern our work methodology: we preferred everyone repeatedly does just part of the complete creation process of our solution. However now we are shifting into knowledge economy. Now everybody can decide how much effort they put into their work. Consequently success depends on your team’s willingness to invest more acquiring and purifying information. You don’t have the time, and sometimes you could even lack the means to properly measure the quality of the information, your team is creating. So you want them be emotionally motivated to invest the extra effort. Even if they must focus on a repetitive job, at least give them a prospective of its overall project, and an opportunity to speak out their advice, beyond their current role. This means you have to extend into the following areas. Note that each one of those deserves a whole article.
  7. Meaning – Creating a powerful meaning or Context for the job to be done.
  8. Creation – Let your team feel they own the creation of the solution.
  9. Challenge – Take your team through challenges, so they can experience personal growth.
  10. Ownership – Make sure your team see themselves as the source of everything that happens as they ship their solution.
  11. Identity – Make sure your team can see themselves and their job as one.
  12. Pride – Set the opportunities for your team to see the gradual progress they gain. Acknowledge them for their uniqueness and efforts.

As you watch the video, let me know if you see more that we should look into…