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  • Restorative Readings: The Old Testament, Ethics, and Human Dignity
    Restorative Readings: The Old Testament, Ethics, and Human Dignity
    Pickwick Publications

    Foreword by Walter Brueggemann, my chapter is entitled 'In conversation: The Old Testament, Ethics and Human Dignity'. A superb resource edited by Julie Claassens and Bruce Birch

  • What are we thinking? Reflections on Church and Society from Southern African Methodists.
    What are we thinking? Reflections on Church and Society from Southern African Methodists.
    by Dion A Forster, Wessel Bentley
  • Methodism in Southern Africa: A celebration of Wesleyan Mission
    Methodism in Southern Africa: A celebration of Wesleyan Mission
    by Dion A Forster, Wessel Bentley
  • Christ at the centre - Discovering the Cosmic Christ in the spirituality of Bede Griffiths
    Christ at the centre - Discovering the Cosmic Christ in the spirituality of Bede Griffiths
    by Dion A Forster
  • An uncommon spiritual path - the quest to find Jesus beyond conventional Christianity
    An uncommon spiritual path - the quest to find Jesus beyond conventional Christianity
    by Dion A Forster
Transform your work life: Turn your ordinary day into an extraordinary calling. by Dion Forster and Graham Power.
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Wednesday
Feb232011

Do you want a bigger bonus? Perhaps not! Money and performance.

Would you work harder, and do better work, if you were paid more?  I am guessing that most of us would answer 'absolutely'!

However, this great video by Daniel Pink (that deals with the research he did for his book 'Drive') suggests otherwise.  In short his research shows that the relationship between monetary reward and performance does applies differently to manual and cognitive tasks.  Persons who performed basic manual tasks did better work for higher rewards.  However, persons who performed cognitive tasks seemed to perform worse when presented with a financial incentive to do so!

In the video he suggests three alternative rewards that motivate better performance among skilled, technical, cognitive workers.

 

What do you think? I sure would love to have 'the question of money' taken off the table! If I had the freedom not to worry about money I guess I would be able to concentrate on doing better work.  How about you?

Reader Comments (2)

Hi Dion

Let's approach this from another angle. If "the question of money" is taken off the table for everyone, every where what would we all be doing? Would we all be doing things that were simply challenging and had purpose? Would we all be motivated by intrinsic rewards? Would we all be happy with our lot? I doubt it. Someone, somewhere will want more than the person next to him or her, setting in motion a chain of events that brings us back to where we are now... in a world where greed and fear dominate all decision making.

How does this relate to the video? Well I agree that purpose and challenge are the key motivators but how many people would do the work they currently do for nothing (i.e. they love what they are doing so much that if money were not an issue for them they would continue doing what they are doing)?

I think that you have a lot of people whose primary motivation at the office is money - doing jobs they loathe simply to bring home the bacon (and perhaps enough bacon so they can spend the rest of their time doing things they really really enjoy). I have found that the unhappier people are at the office, the more money they feel they need to justify sticking around.

So how do we get the best our of employees? Find roles and tasks that are aligned with (a) the kinds of tasks that generate intrinsic reward for that employee (tasks that are challenging but not so challenging that they cannot cope) and (b) ensure that their roles (or part thereof) are aligned with their own personal needs and goals. Now it would be ideal if you could do this at the recruitment phase but I have found this incredibly difficult.

Now I am thinking how this might apply to professional sports - would amateurs with the same time to train and coaching support do better than professionals? Mmm...

Cheers,

Philip

February 24, 2011 | Unregistered CommenterPhilip

Hi Phil,

Thanks for your comment.

This is why I love commenting on blogs! It allows for unique and varied insights - your comment has given me a lot of food for thought.

Indeed, I think you're quite right. Many people would not do what they what do each day if money was not a pressure. But, perhaps if we had people doing the things that they wished to do and were passionate about we would not face some of the challenges we do with poor service, corruption, and abuse that we find in so many parts of SA.

But, practically you are quite correct! That's why you're the psychologist!

God bless,

Dion

March 7, 2011 | Registered CommenterDr Dion Forster

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