Feeling motivated at work feels good, and it’s good for business. But employees and managers don’t always see eye-to-eye on this very important topic, as behavioral economist Dan Ariely explains. Managers too often associate motivation with efficiency — since their goal is typically to run the company more efficiently — and try to achieve efficiency by automating workflow and prioritizing short-term goals. Those efforts, however, tend to demotivate employees. Managers should encourage workers to use their creative energies, rather than be automatons, and help them set long term goals, which according to Ariely are the real key to motivation and satisfaction. Ariely’s latest book is “Payoff: The Hidden Logic That Shapes Our Motivations

Transcript – So the reality is that businesses are complex. People do lots of things. We need to change lots of things all the time. And everybody is stressed for time. So we start treating things a bit more mechanical. People are automatons and they are producing some gadgets or they’re making some output. And part of it is lack of time, part of it is lack of attention. But there’s a consequence I think we’re really killing the motivation that the people have. I think that this idea that we need to from the company to employees say thank you more frequently. Saying we’ve seen your effort, here’s what you contributed to. Here is your name connected to it is important. The other things we don’t spend enough time on is the commitment of the team members to each other. Again we had this functional view. We’re paying for your time. Come here but we don’t really get people’s minds and souls and so on. And one way to do it is to get the team members. I was in California not too long ago and I was visiting a startup and I asked them how often do they stay after midnight working. And they said quite often and they told me that the night before they stayed until they said after midnight. I said how did it work out? And they said that one of the team members was late on something and she was going to stay until late. And the other team members decided out of camaraderie to stay with her. Read Full Transcript Here: https://goo.gl/Zs7nvV.

Payoff: The Hidden Logic That Shapes Our Motivations – More on the book below

Bestselling author Dan Ariely reveals fascinating new insights into motivation—showing that the subject is far more complex than we ever imagined.

Every day we work hard to motivate ourselves, the people we live with, the people who work for and do business with us. In this way, much of what we do can be defined as being “motivators.” From the boardroom to the living room, our role as motivators is complex, and the more we try to motivate partners and children, friends and coworkers, the clearer it becomes that the story of motivation is far more intricate and fascinating than we’ve assumed.

Payoff investigates the true nature of motivation, our partial blindness to the way it works, and how we can bridge this gap. With studies that range from Intel to a kindergarten classroom, Ariely digs deep to find the root of motivation—how it works and how we can use this knowledge to approach important choices in our own lives. Along the way, he explores intriguing questions such as: Can giving employees bonuses harm productivity? Why is trust so crucial for successful motivation? What are our misconceptions about how to value our work? How does your sense of your mortality impact your motivation?

Payoff: The Hidden Logic That Shapes Our Motivations