This animation by RSA illustrates the hidden truths behind what really motivates us at home and in the workplace. Adapted by Dan Pink's talk at the RSA, this animation challenges the status quo of what motivates.
Typically we think that higher wages, bonuses or incentives will motivate our teams, but research shows that a sense of purpose, a sense of doing something for the greater good causes people to perform, especially those who are technically sophisticated, highly skilled and educated.
This study points out that for simple, straight forward tasks, money works great! But when tasks get complicated and require conceptual, creative thinking, the reward of money doesn't work!
I think it's noteworthy that, as a manager, it's essential to pay people enough to take the issue of money off the table! Much of the connection to purpose-driven work comes once basic needs are met! Even the best laid plans, without funding, may not come to fruition.
Once the issue of money is off the table, people value three things: autonomy, mastery and purpose. The result is employee engagement! In terms of autonomy, this study points to the Australian company Atlassian, who, once a quarter, has a 24 hour period on a Thursday where people can work on whatever they want, with whoever they want; all the Company asks is that they show the result to the company at the end of that 24 hours. This has led to dramatic results with a whole array of software fixes and new product ideas.
In terms of mastery, the reason people with jobs work for free using their highly technical skills is for the challenge, mastery and to make a contribution!
The study concludes that the purpose motive is essential to helping a company grow. It prevents bad things from happening (bad products, poor service, and an uninspiring place to work). The purpose motive helps people benefit financially and also makes the world a little bit better!
This message is unique not only because it flies in the face of conventional management, but also because of the way it is illustrated with fast motion marker drawings, to capture the essence of the study.
Are you looking to inspire your organization with a motivational video like this one for RSA, to get results and incorporate purpose into the organization? Contact us for ideas.