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Independence Day at Work?

With the July 4th Independence Day in the USA and July 1st Canada Day holidays happening in the next week, let’s see what role independence has on employee motivation.
 
This week we celebrate independence in North America. How much independence is there to celebrate in your workplace?
 
A friend sent me the link to an interesting video on what really motivates people at work. You can watch it http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=u6XAPnuFjJc
 
Researchers measured the impact that money had on performance. For basic, non-thinking tasks more money equaled more output. Interestingly, if even a moderate amount of thinking was involved, more money resulted in a DECLINE of performance.
 
The three top motivators were Autonomy, Mastery and Purpose. Autonomy focuses on the freedom to act independently. Employees given this freedom to work on projects or opportunities of interest added greater value to their organization through innovation and customer focus. Mastery is about the opportunity to get really good at something and purpose is a connection to the big picture.
 
One of the leader’s responsibilities is to continually remind people about purpose – how their work impacts the customer and the greater mission of the organization. It is easy to forget this and work can become a boring chore.
 
Reflection Questions

  1. Does your organization purposely create an opportunity for employees to have the freedom to think outside the box? Or is everything and everyone overly controlled?
  2. How could you reward employees by giving them some free time to work on a project or opportunity of interest? Notice that autonomy or independence isn’t goofing off.
  3. Are you giving employees the opportunity to develop mastery though training, coaching and challenges?
  4. Do you keep reinforcing the purpose of why your organization or department exists? And no it isn’t just to make money – it is to serve customers.

Action Items

  1. See how you can create time and space for employees to have the autonomy to be creative.
  2. Keep reminding your team about its greater purpose in serving customers and helping the organization succeed.

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