C’mon Work Happy 2

TEDCRUNCHY NUGGETS:  Seriously, I didn’t mean to prolong this topic, but I couldn’t help it.  I am a big fan of TED talks. If you haven’t yet explored the world of TED talks you should, they cover a ton of interesting topics delivered by world experts, all in nice, bite-sized videos that are well under 15-minutes each (if not much less).  Anyway…so the newest talk to bubble-up when I went to their site was given by Dan Ariely: “What makes us feel good about work?”  Honestly, I didn’t mean to continue the conversation about happiness…but like I said, I love these talks and so I decided to watch it to get another POV on human behavior and what motivates us.  According to Mr. Arierly and his research, it’s a few common elements:

Purpose & acknowledgement & meaning: He shared tales of experiments that required participants to build things, make things for pay and for some sort of feedback.  And then had the outcomes (the rewards, if you will) of the building/making different.  Specifically: participants built Legos and had these pieces either set aside and told that they’d be re-used – or – taken apart in front of them.  There were also participants who completed word puzzles and had these puzzles either acknowledged very simply (just a “hmm…” FYI) and put aside – or – simply put aside (nothing said) – or – shredded in front of them.  And in every case, the participants who were torn-down or shredded before their eyes were less happy, less productive despite the income earned.  What I thought was most interesting was the same feelings were shared by were the participants who were not acknowledged – they felt just as badly for not having their work noticed.  There was also a difference in people who liked doing the work – they liked Legos already, e.g.  They, too, did and felt better.  As well as a difference in people who felt value out of what they were doing: these people were proud of what they did and saw value and meaning in it.

OK…so what now?  What do I do with this, nugget girl?  you’re asking, I’m sure.  Thanks for asking, I do appreciate the participation!  My take is less of a marketing nugget and more of a life-behavior-motivation nugget.  It’s that acknowledgement is an important means of driving productivity.  And not big grandiose stuff, just make your team feel like they’re part of a journey and an effort –versus working to no-end. If you want your teams to do more-do better, you need to let them know how they’re doing, and make them feel that there is meaning and value in what they’re delivering. 

I’m pretty certain I’m done with this topic now. Again I swear I didn’t purposely seek it out.  I was just a girl in search of a good TED talk.  Find them here starting with the one I watched for this post: http://www.ted.com/talks/dan_ariely_what_makes_us_feel_good_about_our_work.html

What do you think?  What motivates YOU?  Perhaps the thought of a good weekend?  Enjoy it!  #humanbehavior #deliveringhappiness #insights #motivation

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