May 10, 2013 at 10:53 am #178588
IMO excellent TED video (~20 min) on employee motivation
What motivates us to work? Contrary to conventional wisdom, it isn’t just money. But it’s not exactly joy either. It seems that most of us thrive by making constant progress and feeling a sense of purpose. Behavioral economist Dan Ariely presents two eye-opening experiments that reveal our unexpected and nuanced attitudes toward meaning in our work. (Filmed at TEDxRiodelaPlata.)
It’s become increasingly obvious that the dismal science of economics is not as firmly grounded in actual behavior as was once supposed. In “Predictably Irrational,” Dan Ariely tells us why
May 10, 2013 at 12:59 pm #178598
Though I was already familiar with work in the field, my wife got me Dan Kahneman’s recent book “Thinking Fast and Slow” for an anniversary gift, which covers much of the same ground.
I might also recommend folks looking into “self-determination theory”, which has captivated motivational and social psychology of late. Not only does chief proponent Ed Deci have a website for it, with lots of useful reading material – http://www.selfdeterminationtheory.org/ – but there is an upcoming (June 27-30) conference in Rochester on SDT, with full-day workshops on business and health applications of SDT – http://www.sdtconference.org/
May 10, 2013 at 9:13 pm #178596
David B. GrinbergParticipant
Thanks for sharing this, Henry, very interesting.
I agree, it’s not all about money, however, salary does play a big part in job satisfaction. Most govies serve not for pay, but the principle of civil service and patriotic duty. It’s that inner feeling of job satisfaction one has at the end of the day/week that comes from helping others and making America a better place for everyone.
Now that we’ve got that out of the way, where the heck is our fed pay raise!
This 3-year pay freeze has me feeling like an icicle.
Check out today’s Presidential Memorandum about advancing pay equity for feds. Thank you, Mr. President!
According to the aforementioned memo from the POTUS:
“The Federal Government is the Nation’s largest employer. It has a special responsibility to act as a model employer. While salary ranges in the Federal workforce are generally determined by law, the fixing of individual salaries and other types of compensation can be affected by the exercise of administrative discretion. Such discretion must be exercised in a transparent manner, using fair criteria and adhering to merit system principles, which dictate that equal pay should be provided for work of equal value. In order to further understand how the practices of executive departments and agencies (agencies) affect the compensation of similarly situated men and women, and to promote gender pay equality in the Federal Government and more broadly, I hereby direct the following actions, pursuant to the authority vested in me by the Constitution and the laws of the United States…”
May 11, 2013 at 7:50 pm #178594
Dr. Phuong Le Callaway, PhDParticipant
I think most of us work to search for a meaning and for self-worth!
May 13, 2013 at 7:32 pm #178592
as per Maslov and the video if there is no money or less money can be a big time “de-motivator”…
Another failure of thinking, which was sort of pointed out in the video, x amount of money regardless of amount could change the motivation or lack of regardless of whom one is trying to motivate
May 13, 2013 at 11:13 pm #178590
There are those that are blessed to find their vocation. A true sense of calling and purpose in what they do. I once knew a young man who stood 6’9″ and weight 320 and was being recruited by every D1 school in the nation (he showed me his letters). He chose to pass on football because he wanted to become a pediatric surgeon. He made that dream happen. He felt it was his calling.
Then we have those of us in an occupation. For whatever reason, we slid into a job. It was not our dream, but it paid the bills, afforded us some measure of satisfaction, and allowed us to live our lives reasonably. Government work became this type of job for me. However, there is a part of me that is passionate about teaching and helping make training products in my organization the best they can be. Not for my government, but for the people of this country paying my salary.
Three years into a hiring and salary freeze. I cannot pay my bills. My costs keep going up, but my salary does not. My government keeps asking more of me because they refuse to hire new people, but they pay me nothing extra. I am tasked with work which was never my obligation to do based on the systems the government put in place (grade specific work). I see senior leadership being promoted and detailed. I am stuck in a perpetual limbo. There was a time when a pat on the back and a “job well done” might have sufficed. But no longer. At this point, I want what I am due…a pay raise and a promotion. I want the government to treat me properly for the valuable work I do. So, what can they do to motivate us?
Hmm….not much at this point. So many of us are burned out at the crap they do. We are always being told to do better. Be better. Exemplify the best. I have sat through scandal after scandal. Lavish conferences. Star Trek videos. Unfairly targeting groups that are not popular. These are senior level people making these choices. And at every turn, the hard-working little government employee suffers. It is a damn shame.
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