Discretionary Work and Intrinsic Motivation Donna Needs Whitehorse Consulting May 31, 2010
<ul><li>In a perfect world, how would we like our employees to think, feel and behave at work? </li></ul>
Some Definitions… <ul><li>Discretionary Work:  Work effort that is voluntary, above what is minimally required. </li></ul>...
Benefits of an Engaged Workforce <ul><li>enhance customer service and help drive customer satisfaction </li></ul><ul><li>i...
Scary Statistics! <ul><li>According to the Gallup Management Journal’s Employee Engagement Index 29% of employees are acti...
<ul><li>Do we always know when someone is only doing the minimum? </li></ul><ul><li>If they are NOT choosing to do more th...
Exercise <ul><li>How engaged are you in your current role on a scale of 1 – 10 (10 being high)? </li></ul><ul><li>Now, ima...
Intrinsic Motivation <ul><li>Definition:   Motivation that comes from within, not external (boss, money, reward) </li></ul...
How to Kill Intrinsic Motivation <ul><li>Control:  micro-managing, lack of flexibility, lack of trust </li></ul><ul><li>Po...
How to ensure employees are intrinsically motivated? <ul><li>Recruitment – psychometric testing </li></ul><ul><li>Can be l...
How to encourage discretionary work and intrinsic motivation <ul><li>Everyone is responsible, not just HR! </li></ul><ul><...
Whitehorse Consulting <ul><li>L&D Consulting </li></ul><ul><ul><li>TNA </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Sourcing training </li><...
References <ul><li>Edward L. Deci,  Why we Do What We do; The Dynamics of Personal Autonomy </li></ul><ul><li>Marcus Bucki...
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Discretionary Work And Intrinsic Motivation Dhrf

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This is the presentation I recently gave for the Dubai Human Resources Forum.

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  • Knowledge workers face problems that do not have a clear set of rules and a single Solutions. Rules are mystifying, solutions are surprising and not obvious.
  • We can’t see the mental or emotional side, we can only see behaviour: absenteeism, longer breaks, presenteeism, make excuses to leave the office, impatience, hurt others, rumours, gossip, talk about the boss/employer in a negative way. Knowledge workers – can we see what they are NOT doing – thinking? Analyzing? Having and sharing ideas? Creating? This is the difficult part.
  • In a group of 2 or 3 discuss these ideas and possibilities After #2 ask for volunteers! What do these have in common? Energy, purpose, autonomy
  • Benefits Make decisions based on values and principles – turn down short-term reward that could compromise ethics. Listen to others without being unduly influenced Ignite the fire within for enduring stamina Don’t waste time and energy trying to “look good”, please others Three levels of motivation: basic for survival, motivation based on rewards and punishment and the third drive (Daniel Pink) “ Third drive” : has been neglected in business – we do things because we are curious, to improve our skills, and for a larger purpose. Daniel Pink has looked into research in the field of motivation: economists biologists psychologists etc. When it comes to really high performance – creative stuff – third drive is the biggest factor.
  • Incentive programs narrow the focus and restricts possibilities The kind of motivation that changes the world does NOT depend on the money drive. Example - three tier financial reward structure – MIT experiment – economists – Dana Ariely Results – if the task involves only mechanical skill – performance is correlated with reward. However if the task requires even rudimentary cognitive skill, a larger reward &gt; POORER performance. “… in 8 of 9 tasks higher incentives lead to worse performance.” Pink – ‘This is “not allowed” in conventional economics.’ Ariely, Gneezy, Lowenstein, Mazar… 2005 Another example – a study of kids . 1972. Stanford; Psychology experiment. One way mirror; preschool classes observed for a few weeks. What do kids do in free play time? many like to draw. Those kids who like to draw are assembled and divided into 3 groups. 1) “if you draw, I’ll give you &gt; certficate with your name on it” 2) “if you like to draw, draw.” + cert given after anyway. 3) “draw if you want to” + no reward after, not promised even 2 weeks later – group 1 kids have stopped drawing. &gt; third drive is very delicate. Group 1 have been subjected to a contingent reward. So there is a mismatch between what science knows about human motivation and what business generally does.
  • Everyone responsible – make it part of the appraisal process of managers Flexibility – hours, location Marcus Buckingham – definition of strengths is not just talent, but talent plus energy. I could be an excellent executive secretary, but I find it saps my energy Communication – thank people for the extra effort they are putting in as a result of layoffs. Engaging work: in groups of three, one person tell of a position in their organization that it will be hard to make the work engaging for. The other two give ideas. Swap. Autonomy &gt; self-directed. Our natural state? Example business practice – Once a quarter – “work on anything you want, with whoever you want, show the results 24hours later”. They call them FedEX days – you have to deliver something overnight. Amazing fixes for software, upgrades etc. have come out of these days. ‘20% time ‘ at Google – you can arrange to spend 20% of your time working on anything you want. This was an idea pioneered by 3M – ‘15% time’. 3M’s biggest cash cow – the post-it note – came from this 15% time. Gmail was a 20% project. “Just about all the good ideas here have bubbled up from 20% time”. Google Engineer. Terrifying proposal for business – Try 10% time – it’s one afternoon a week for full time workers. Try it for 3 month, or 6 months, see how it works for your business. Example – Open Source This kind of project is “not possible” by conventional economics-thinking. Wikpedia – biggest encyclopedia in the world (whatever drawbacks it has!) – whereas – Incarta – Microsoft’s encyclopedia – went out of business What are they after, the Open Source folks? Behavioural economists love to ask this kind of question and work out what people are getting out participating, giving their labour away – people tend to say they are getting enjoyment-based intrinsic rewards – they feel creative when working on it. When I have seen all of the above: When I was with an engineering company, most of the engineers gave 110% because they LOVED what they did. One senior engineer said, “I just want to build stuff.” They were doing engaging work and had autonomy and were well compensated. However, many were frustrated, however, with the quality and quality of communication. One fellow said to me, “The MD is just like God, you know he’s out there, but you never see him!” I did a short (8-week) consultancy at twofour54, there the senior management are consciously creating this culture. I could confidently say that all of these points are in place or in the planning to deliver. A retail org I worked for had difficulty creating providing engaging work for many of the 1500 junior retail employees. However, but providing the other pieces of this puzzle, the rate of engagement went up substantially including a reduction in turnover.
  • Discretionary Work And Intrinsic Motivation Dhrf

    1. 1. Discretionary Work and Intrinsic Motivation Donna Needs Whitehorse Consulting May 31, 2010
    2. 2. <ul><li>In a perfect world, how would we like our employees to think, feel and behave at work? </li></ul>
    3. 3. Some Definitions… <ul><li>Discretionary Work: Work effort that is voluntary, above what is minimally required. </li></ul><ul><li>Engaged employee: Someone who is “mentally and emotionally invested in their work and in contributing to their employer’s success.” </li></ul><ul><li>Knowledge worker: a person employed to produce or analyze creative ideas and information. </li></ul><ul><li>Intrinsic Motivation: Motivation that comes from within, not external (boss, money, reward) </li></ul>
    4. 4. Benefits of an Engaged Workforce <ul><li>enhance customer service and help drive customer satisfaction </li></ul><ul><li>improve organizational productivity </li></ul><ul><li>improve the bottom line </li></ul><ul><li>improve teamwork and morale </li></ul><ul><li>reduce turnover, attract new employees </li></ul>
    5. 5. Scary Statistics! <ul><li>According to the Gallup Management Journal’s Employee Engagement Index 29% of employees are actively engaged in their jobs, 54% are not-engaged, and 17% are actively disengaged. </li></ul><ul><li>71% of employees are CHOOSING not to give as much as they can to the organization! </li></ul>
    6. 6. <ul><li>Do we always know when someone is only doing the minimum? </li></ul><ul><li>If they are NOT choosing to do more than the minimum, WHAT ARE THEY DOING (Not doing)? </li></ul>
    7. 7. Exercise <ul><li>How engaged are you in your current role on a scale of 1 – 10 (10 being high)? </li></ul><ul><li>Now, imagine what a “15” would look like. What job would you be doing? Where would you be? What projects would you work on? What kind of people would you be surrounded by? How would people react to you? </li></ul>
    8. 8. Intrinsic Motivation <ul><li>Definition: Motivation that comes from within, not external (boss, money, reward) </li></ul><ul><li>Benefits to individual and organization </li></ul><ul><ul><li>People who take initiative and make decisions that inspire loyalty </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Not easily swayed </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Enduring stamina </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Not trying to “look good” or “please others” </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Self-assured, self-reliant </li></ul></ul>
    9. 9. How to Kill Intrinsic Motivation <ul><li>Control: micro-managing, lack of flexibility, lack of trust </li></ul><ul><li>Poor management – lack of accountability, skills, recognition and empathy </li></ul><ul><li>Poor systems – performance appraisals </li></ul><ul><li>Incentive programs – narrows focus and restricts possibilities </li></ul>         
    10. 10. How to ensure employees are intrinsically motivated? <ul><li>Recruitment – psychometric testing </li></ul><ul><li>Can be learned – two components </li></ul><ul><ul><li>Reduce the need for external validation and reward </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Be passionate about what is important and make that the centre of his/her work </li></ul></ul><ul><li>          Simple, but not easy…. </li></ul>
    11. 11. How to encourage discretionary work and intrinsic motivation <ul><li>Everyone is responsible, not just HR! </li></ul><ul><li>Provide engaging work – authentic challenge and opportunities to use strengths </li></ul><ul><li>Communication – transparent, frequent: leaders need to have conversations with people </li></ul><ul><li>Autonomy – self directed work - giving choices on how to do the job </li></ul>
    12. 12. Whitehorse Consulting <ul><li>L&D Consulting </li></ul><ul><ul><li>TNA </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Sourcing training </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Coaching </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Performance management systems </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Evaluating training programs </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>E-learning implementation </li></ul></ul><ul><li>www.whitehorse-consulting.biz </li></ul>
    13. 13. References <ul><li>Edward L. Deci, Why we Do What We do; The Dynamics of Personal Autonomy </li></ul><ul><li>Marcus Buckingham, Putting Strengths to Work </li></ul><ul><li>Robert St. Jacques, HR Director, twofour54 </li></ul><ul><li>ASTD, Learning’s Role in Employee Engagement </li></ul><ul><li>Daniel Pink, Drive </li></ul>

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