The Strategist

Give, not take: Creating better motivation for everyone

08/30/2019 - 04:38

Speaking of rewards, we usually mean individual prizes for personal achievements. However, such rewards are often ineffective, writes Tom Rath in his book Are You Fully Charged? It is often thought that people care only about their own interests and they are not concerned about helping others. How to properly encourage your team then?

Many studies confirm that the desire to help others is an important component of our humanity. Scientists believe that the ability to give can be a much more powerful motivator than the ability to take. A series of three astounding experiments conducted by Lalin Anik, associate professor of marketing at Duke University, showed that pro-social rewards help people do more and feel more satisfied.

In one of these experiments, good work was rewarded with money that participants had to spend to pay bills, cover expenses, or just save. Participants of another, “pro-social” group were instructed to spend the prize not on themselves, but on a fellow participant. Despite the fact that the experiment was conducted among sales professionals from the pharmaceutical industry, traditionally set up for fierce rivalry, the group that spent the award for the benefit of other people showed a greater increase in productivity than a more “selfish” one.

The second experiment was conducted in a sports team: players were also offered to spend money on themselves or on another team member. Prosocial behavior resulting a significant improvement in athletic performance. The third experiment involved bankers: they were given a $ 50 bonus, which they had to donate to charity on behalf of the company. The donation group noted a significant increase in job satisfaction and overall happiness compared to the control group.

If you want to motivate people to achieve greater achievements, offer them rewards that will benefit other people or the whole team. Encouraging victories of your friends, colleagues or children, try giving them something that will be a pleasant surprise for someone else. Create a donation structure for time or resources. Plan a trip for them and their closest friends. If this is a material gift, choose something that they can share with loved ones, such as a certificate for dinner at a restaurant. Try to approach motivation of yourself and others in this way - you may be able to start the flywheel of mutual happiness.

Remember: the greater motivation comes not from taking, but from giving.

Based on "Are You Fully Charged? The 3 Keys to Energizing Your Work and Life" by Tom Rath

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