Saturday, November 29, 2014

The real reason we are motivated to work

"Rewards, both intrinsic and extrinsic, can scramble our narratives and justifications for working, and so the stories we tell ourselves can become weird fictions that keep us going, not that this is a bad thing. It’s just that we tend to believe we have access to the motivations behind our actions, and we tend to believe we know the source of our emotions and drives, but the truth is that we often do not have access to this information despite how easy it seems to come up with rational explanations as if we did.

"This presents a problem for employers who want to build better workplaces and employees who want to enjoy their 11 to 15 years of life working in those workplaces. If people don’t know what drives them, and employers don’t know how to incentivize people to be more engaged, and overall we have a terrible grasp of how to be fulfilled and happy in our work, yet everyone kind of thinks they know what they are doing even though they don’t, then what should we be doing instead? Well, the good news is that this whole system of rewards, incentives, motivations, and related phenomena has been studied for long enough that psychology and neuroscience have some practical, actionable advice for workplaces and individuals when it comes to harnessing our motivations and drives."

At this link: is a discussion of why we work and why we tell ourselves we work along with a fascinating interview with Daniel Pink at this link:

Happy holidays to all!


Monday, November 17, 2014

Does Increased Employee Happiness Result In Improved Worker Productivity?

There is empirical evidence linking employees’ wellbeing to their individual performance. For example, greater subjective wellbeing feeds through to individuals’ performance in the labour market (Judge et al. 2001, Lyubmirsky et al. 2005). There is also recent evidence of a causal link between increased wellbeing and improved worker productivity, at least in a laboratory experiment setting (Oswald et al. 2014). But the empirical evidence at the organisation level is extremely sparse.

Perhaps the most compelling evidence of a link comes from a survey of manufacturing in Finland, which found that mean workplace job satisfaction was independently associated with subsequent value-added per employee. A one point increase (on a six-point scale) in the average level of job satisfaction among workers at the plant increased the level of value-added per hour worked two years later by 3.6 percentage points, after controlling for other factors. This estimate rose to 9 percentage points in a two-stage estimation approach designed to account for unobserved establishment-level heterogeneity (Bockerman and Ilmakunnas 2012).

Saturday, November 15, 2014

Is It No Jobs Or No One Who Wants A Job?

Here's a chilling look into America’s work ethic: A new survey by the Pew Research Center found that 39% of people between 16 and 24 have no interest in working. At all.

By the Numbers

37 Percentage of all Americans age 16 and over who are neither employed or actively looking for work.

86 million Americans not in the work force who don’t want a job now.

29 Percentage of American men not in the labor force today who said they don’t want a job.

24 Percentage of US men outside the labor force in 2000 who said they didn’t want to work.

40 Percentage of American women not in the labor force today who said they’re not interested in being employed.

131,000 Unemployed people who are able to work, but didn’t look for a job during the past four weeks because of family responsibilities.

Source: Pew Research Center