Lessons on motivation from the odd friendship of Maslow and Frankl

Recently I was surprised to discover that two men whose philosophies I’ve compared and contrasted for years to help explain modern motivation science had a relationship where they did the same thing during their lifetime. We can all benefit from the relationship between Abraham Maslow and Viktor Frankl.

Pay for Performance: When Does It Fail?

The consensus in social psychology is that monetary incentives for performance have a detrimental impact on individual performance. Yes, under certain specific and limited conditions, rewards can reduce performance. Yet pay for performance schemes are ubiquitous. How can we resolve this divergence between theoretical recommendations and observed practices? Nirmalya Kumar and Madan Pillutla recommend solving the problem by designing smarter incentives that avoid these detrimental … [ Read more ]

5 Habits To Maximize The Effect Of Recognition

Unlike pay and other financial rewards, being praised and recognized is an expression of care, and this—and not money—affects the hearts in people. Here are five habits leaders must develop in order to maximize the effect of recognition and thereby derive its greatest benefits.

Stop Overcomplicating It: The Simple Guidebook to Upping Your Management Game

Russ Laraway’s book When They Win, You Win, weaves together tons of existing management studies from top-notch sources like Gallup, his own primary research, as well as thoughtful stories from his own decades-long career.

From the Marines to software to VC, Laraway has spotted a pattern that frequently crops up and muddies the waters for managers everywhere. “People have become far too focused on all the … [ Read more ]

A Better Way to Recognize Your Employees

Although most great managers want to recognize their people, the challenge, which has only been made more difficult in the hybrid world, is finding meaningful things to recognize them for. The limitation to our typical approach to praise is that we can only recognize what we see, observe, or learn about from others and our recognition focuses on what we appreciate, which is not always … [ Read more ]

Meet the Psychological Needs of Your People—All Your People

Too many employers pay too little heed to the needs of the lower earners in their company. Here’s why—and how—they should shift gears.

How Companies Can Improve Employee Engagement Right Now

Managers must take proactive steps to increase employee engagement, or risk losing their workforce. Engaged employees perform better, experience less burnout, and stay in organizations longer. The authors created this Employee Engagement Checklist: a distilled, research-based resource that practitioners can execute on during this critical period of renewed uncertainty. Use this checklist to boost employee engagement by helping them connect what they do to what … [ Read more ]

Employee Engagement: Making a Difference

When clients, customers and other end users express feedback and appreciation, employees develop stronger beliefs in the impact and value of their work. Interaction also increases empathy for customers, even when the interaction is virtual.

The Little Things That Make Employees Feel Appreciated

In our combined 50-plus years of working to improve organizations, we’ve observed that many managers struggle to make employees feel that their talents and contributions are noticed and valued. To explore this problem, we recently took a deep dive within an organization to see how organizational efforts to show appreciation and gratitude were perceived. In that project we engaged with both employees and managers through … [ Read more ]

Forget Cash. Here are Better Ways to Motivate Employees

In today’s tight job market, employers must focus on how to attract and keep top talent. Giving away stacks of money may not always be the best incentive.

What Really Motivates Us

What really motivates us? Humans have pondered this question for decades. Is it money, power, and fame? Or rather fear and punishment? Psychologists’ answers have varied, along with a broad transformation in prevailing views. Developed by Richard Ryan and Edward Deci nearly four decades ago, self-determination theory (SDT) has become one of the most widely accepted theories of human motivation in contemporary behavioral science.

Take 5: How to Motivate Employees

Research sheds light on which employee incentives work best.