Practical Workplace Wisdom
from the author of The Napkin, The Melon & The Monkey

Enjoy your Personal Aha! for the Week of Oct 11 2010

What makes us want to get out of bed in the morning has changed.

According to author Daniel Pink, we are moving out of the era of extrinsic rewards to internal satisfaction. In his new book Drive: The Surprising Truth About What Motivates Us, Pink uses the latest research in psychology to show that reward-based motivation can actually backfire. The big prize that you thought was getting people to get the job done can actually be getting in the way of real satisfaction.

Pink presents conclusive evidence of what we already know deep down -- that what makes us want to get out of bed every morning has nothing to do with "increasing shareholder value." It is knowing that the people who matter to us value our contribution. It is the satisfaction that comes from getting something done that required us to stretch ourselves to our limits.

The carrot-and-stick pattern of motivation, what Pink calls motivation 2.0, is giving way to the recognition that people have a stronger drive for purpose and meaning than they do for rewards, what Pink calls motivation 3.0. Bonuses and other rewards work well for short-term gains but can become an obstruction to long-term satisfaction. If your team does something for the money or the prize, you forfeit the real reason people want to work at something - as a display of autonomy, mastery and purpose.

Now that you have this information, I challenge you to re-think your approach to rewards and recognition. If your goal is to have a highly engaged work force, make it a practice to involve your people in decisions, do everything you can to help them master their craft, and never forget to let each and every employee know that their hard work really does make a difference to you, your company and your customers.

Have a terrific week.

Barbara Burke
2010 � Barbara Burke. All rights reserved.

Resource: Check out the excellent video of Daniel Pink's TED presentation. (about 19 minutes, but well worth it.)

This Monday's Aha! is from my customer service fable about a service rep in a call center, The Napkin,The Melon & The Monkey.
> Quantity Discounts Buy direct from the Publisher (at 50% off the cover price)
> Listen to Chapter One.
October 25-27 San Diego ~ EMACS Annual Conference

When was the last time you heard the words

"fun and a little wierdness" to describe a utility's call center?
Hear Barbara Burke and Maura Sullivan from Zappos present practical strategies any utility can use to improve employee engagement & customer satisfaction.

See you there!
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