Intrinsic motivation and employees
EXTENDED SUMMARY OF DRIVE THE SURPRISING TRUTH ABOUT WHAT MOTIVATES US
I had an inspiration to read the book because I had a hard season with my limited company called Pihuri Oy. I own the company with my partner Joni Sydänlammi. We decided to found the limited company because we wanted to grow our business. Basically we succeeded in that goal but it was not optimal. It took a bigger toll on us because it was not only me and Joni doing all the work anymore. In this season we had eight employees and it turned out that things did not work like they used to. The cornerstone of this was the employees. The problem was how to motivate them and make them do their best. This book which was based on Daniel Pinks’ written book ”Drive” had answers to many questions that I struggled with this season. This book made me understand the reasons why certain things did and did not work out with the employees.
There are no old school ways that are optimal in our modern world. It is not possible to lead millennials with leadership skills that have worked 30 years ago. The book tells the recipe for success that works in the world we are living in right now. That secret recipe is based on motivation. Daniel Pinks says that there are three types of motivation. Those types are biological, external and intrinsic (Mentors library 2019, 8-9). In common sense, intrinsic motivation is the most important. However, it is important to understand the theory behind it because then we can use it and make better choices and also develop our leadership skills.
There are two specific areas where people carry out their everyday life. Those are ”routine activities” and ”heuristic tasks”. Routine activities are those everyday normal manual tasks which really do not need any creativity. External motivation is usually present in routine tasks. For example, that’s why money bonus systems work well for routine activities in a short time period and make good results. As we know technology is constantly developing and it is changing our daily lives. Technology replaces routine tasks more and more every day. That is why we should focus on heuristics tasks in the future. Heuristics tasks do not have the same strict formula. Heuristics tasks need creativity that machines can not do. It is the merging of existing knowledge and the creation of new ones. Motivation to that kind of work is based on intrinsic motivation. Money is not the right way to motivate instrict work. Instrick work needs long term motivation. That is why it is important to know how to boost the motivation of the employees. (Mentors library 2019, 14-16.)
There is a problem with our society’s structure. The book has a good example of it. There are children that are playing outside full of joy. That joy comes from the inside. No one can make them play any specific games or make them change the games. As a result children play meaningful games for themselves and invent new ones. The real world where children grow up now is a little bit different. They have to be successful in school in order to make their parents happy and get good grades. They have to work in boring everyday jobs to get a salary. Do you see it? The book tells us that we embrace a bad mindset which kills our natural creativity and instrict motivation. The book tells much about our toxic society which rewards good and punishes bad. Where is that intrinsic motivation that gives better results? Understanding the society around us gives us a chance to change it. (Mentors library 2019, 20-25.)
Professionals in their field combine the same thing, intrinsic motivation. Big paychecks do not make the best of the best. Bigger paychecks can still have many good side effects. For example, bigger paychecks give all basic needs and opportunities for the best employees to express themselves. There still has to be strong intrinsic motivation which makes guidelines. Statistics show that 50% of employees do not feel committed to their work in the United states. Employers and business leaders have a big part in that. The book lists reasons for it: underestimation of abilities, ignorance of employees, indifference etc. However, one thing is not mentioned in this book. I know from personal experience that allocating resources correctly is really challenging. The situations are also complex. This contributes to these problems but that is not a reason to accept the current situation. However, it is also good to understand the opposite view. (Mentors library 2019, 26-29.)
The book tells about a study conducted by psychologists on university students. In the study, students were interviewed about their goals. Some wanted to succeed externally such as making money and becoming famous. Some on the other hand wanted to seek sources of intrinsic motivation and not tie themselves to external temptations. The research showed that the pursuit of internal factors was better than that of external factors. The pursuit of external motivations caused more unhappiness and anxiety. The implementation of the right sources of motivation in the corporate culture is slow. The current model does not cause direct damage so it works well for now. However, this slows down the pace of change but thanks to the good results obtained from the study this pressure for change is increasing. (Mentors library 2019, 30-34.)
The book lists examples of how to create a better work environment in the workplace which leads to development of intrinsic motivation. Caring for employees is the key here. Employees should be praised and considered when there is a reason to do so. They need to be guided in their careers and offered sufficiently challenging tasks. Involving employees in decision making makes them feel important and appreciated. As a result they will become more committed and motivated. (Mentors library 2019, 30-34.)
I hope this made you realize the importance of motivation and its sources. Our developing technology makes our operations more efficient and productive. For humans development and productivity works differently. It is not possible to increase working hours. Instead we should invest in the quality of work which brings better results and puts less strain on employees. Psychology provides us with the right tools for that, such as intrinsic motivation.
Mentors Library. 2019. Extended Summary Of Drive: The Surprising Truth About What Motivates Us – Based On The Book By Daniel Pink. Nextory.