How do you stay motivated on the job in an era of fewer bonuses? Forget the money and discover non-monetary ways to motivate yourself, says author Daniel Pink in his new book, Drive.
Pink was interviewed recently by Barbara Chai in the Wall Street Journal (“How to Stay Motivated—and Get That Bonus”) and had this to stay about the corporate reward system: the old ways no longer work. The traditional carrot-and-stick method, in which companies offer money as a reward for the successful completion of a task, is not only ineffective for motivating employees but potentially harmful.
He draws two conclusions from the current recession. One, the U.S. economy is moving toward conceptional work, and creatives don’t always do their best work when they’re motivated by money alone. And, two, the consensus in America after the meltdown in the financial system is that providing executives and shareholders with more money isn’t the primary motivation in their lives.
That does not rule out bonuses, he points out. Companies could combine financial with other rewards. That said, employees can’t count on their bosses to provide the appropriate motivation. So what can people do? Investigate a better career path. And how do they do that? Start with a few questions. “It’s a process of discovery,” he says. “What do you do for fun? What would you do for free? What do you do in your spare time? Think about whether you can make a living doing that.”
That’s the conclusion of Christine Hassler, 33, a Los Angeles resident who realized she’d made a mistake after landing her dream job as a Hollywood agent. “I didn’t like the job, and I didn’t like the person I was becoming while doing it—stressed out, irritable and unmotivated,” she tells Alexandra Levit in the Wall Street Journal (“A ‘Career-Life’ Crisis”).
Hassler’s advice? “”Relax and spend some time getting to know yourself. As we get a clearer picture of who we are, then what we want to do becomes easier to identify.”