Two studies that call into question the ideas that:
– If you reward something do you get more of the behavior you want?
– If you punish someone you get less of the behavior you want.
As long as the task involved used only a mechanical skill the bonuses worked as expected. Higher pay = better performance. That makes sense.
Once the task called for rudimentary cognitive skill the larger the reward led to poorer performance.
For simple, straight forward tasks reward mechanisms work great.
When a task gets more complicated, it requires some conceptual, creative thinking, those types of motivators don’t work.
Fact. Money is a motivator. If you don’t pay enough, people won’t be motivated.
Pay people enough to take the issue of money off the table. So pay people enough to take money off the table so they aren’t thinking about money, but rather the task/work at hand.
3 factors lead to better performance & personal satisfaction…
– Autonomy (the desire to be self directed).
– Mastery (mastery is the urge to get better at stuff).
– Purpose. More and more organizations want a transcendent purpose.
Traditional notions of management run foul of this. Management is great if you want compliance but if you want engagement, self directed is better.
When the profit motive gets unmoored from the purpose motive, bad things happen.
Skype: Our goal is to be disruptive but in the cause of making the world a better place.
Steve Jobs: I want to put a ding in the universe.
We are purpose maximizers not profit maximizers. We care about mastery very deeply and we want to be self directed.