Here is a Ted Talk I enjoyed listening to today. It is Dan Ariely who talks about what makes us feel good about our work.
I enjoyed hearing about the various experiments he conducted and especially related to the example of the large computer software firm in Seattle.
In the story, the CEO unexpectedly announced the cancellation of a big project that involved a large number of employees. There was no recognition or acknowledgement of the work they had done – it was just cancelled with all their work becoming meaningless.
In a meeting, the employees were asked how many now come to work a little later and leave work a little earlier than they did before. Most raised their hands. They were also asked how many now fudge on their expense reports since the announcement and while nobody admitted it at the meeting, they did confirm they do later at a more private get together.
This goes to show you that, despite the fact that these people were still employed and making the same income as before, they became disgruntled employees because their hard work was relegated to the trash can with no acknowledgement that what they were doing and toiling away at was important.
They lost their motivation to give 100% at work and are now even working against the company to a degree.
Our workforce regularly needs that ‘pat on the back’ and the recognition that we are doing a good job and contributing to the company – even when what we have been working on has been cancelled or ended.
Simple regular recognition and acknowledgement can make a huge difference in a workforce’s effectiveness and motivation.