What drives people? Most of us answer beyond money or tangible gains. Assessing what encourages people to work hard and show up every day leads to a bigger question: What motivates people in life? Values, ideas, feelings, experiences, and basic human needs like growth and connection impact people’s complicated behaviors.
Fortunately, best-selling business and human behavior author Daniel Pink thinks about these things a lot. The Royal Society for Arts, Manufacturers, and Commerce animated his speech on motivation.
Daniel explores scientific studies on job motivation in this fascinating video. It’s passion, growth, and contribution, not money.
MOTIVATION THEORY & SCIENCE
Researching job motivation yields fascinating findings. Science contradicts many ideas. As workers and consumers, we are not as easily manipulated as “pop” behavioral economics may suggest.
Research shows that enthusiasm and creativity drive. In a Journal of Neuroscience study, participants’ amygdalas engaged more when they were inspired. Values, not external circumstances, guide people. This applies whether you want to discover what drives you to work hard, attain goals, or alter yourself.
What drives people? We all have deep, unexplained needs and desires. Push vs. pull and pain vs. pleasure motivate. You can inspire others and yourself by understanding the factors in each area.
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There are lots of non-monetary factors that keep workers working hard as long as they are paid enough to be fulfilled.
Employees need to feel skilled and trusted to contribute. Hence, job autonomy motivates people.
Whether you own a tiny business or work for a growing company, job mastery inspires employees. Make sure everyone has the tools and information they need to succeed on the job to encourage people.
Why work hard? Purpose in the workplace, one of Anthony Robbins’ key company growth concepts, motivates most of us. Money does not motivate individuals. Job purpose and contribution motivate people. Invest in employee retention and morale to learn what inspires people and what makes happy, devoted employees.
Motivators: Fear is frequent enough. You may over-practice a presentation out of fear of embarrassment. You may try harder to avoid disappointing people. Be sure your fears don’t rule you.
This personality type excels when told they can’t. Opposition drives such people. They hate proving you right. Barbara Corcoran’s ex said she’d fail without him. She created a multimillion-dollar real estate empire.
Opposition is proving oneself capable when others doubt you. Competing proves your supremacy. It’s common. Competitors hate losing. Bill Gates and Richard Branson’s competitiveness has paid off.
Needs are physical. We need shelter. Need food and water. Avoid the discomfort of not having these items. Fear of loss motivates people. If you’re an employer, you can use necessity to drive your team.
To feel safe and secure, we need clarity and reliable people. Certainty, like a necessity, can lead to less achievement. You don’t want to risk a better job while you’re comfortable. It’s simpler to ignore unfulfillment in a safe relationship. Motivation can be negative.
Vision determines life quality. That motivates people because of that. Visioning can be difficult. Introspection, self-awareness, and honesty are needed to identify what drives you.
Passion is life. Relationships, career, family, and giving require passion. It provides endless energy. Tony can handle six-day, 12-hour competitions because of it. Passion drives him.
The Six Human Needs motivate humans. Significance. People need acknowledgment to feel significant. Valued people work harder.
We all need progress, but some are more motivated than others. Growth-driven persons want career advancement. They aim to improve their talents, fitness, and mental state.
Contribution is another motivating human desire. Give-back workplaces inspire millennials. Tech entrepreneurs often say they want to “improve the world.” Contribution motivates.
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