Tuesday, April 5, 2011

Seth Godin on intrinsic and extrinsic motivators at work

The following is an excerpt from Seth Godin's book Linchpin.

What's in it for me?

Author Richard Florida polled twenty thousand creative professionals and gave them a choice of thirty-eight factors that motivated them to do their best at work.

The top ten, ranked in order:

1. Challenge and responsibility

2. Flexibility

3. A stable work environment

4. Money

5. Professional development

6. Peer recognition

7. Stimulating colleagues and bosses

8. Exciting job content

9. Organizational culture

10. Location and community

Only one of these is a clearly extrinsic motivator (#4, money). The rest are either things we do for ourselves or things that we value because of who we are.

The interesting thing about money is that there's no easy way for an employee to make it increase, at least not in the short term. Most of the other elements, though, can go through the roof as a result of our behavior, contributions, attitudes, and gifts.

And yet, cynical management acts like a factory, figuring that the only motivators are cash and freedom from scolding.

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