Maybe we are doing this wrong
So I was watching a speech over on TED.com. If you haven't been there...wait until after you read this because I may never see you again. It is AMAZING. Here is the speech ==>> Surprising Science of Motivation Basically the speech was about how we reward people wrong.
He states that, "There is a mismatch between what science knows and what business does. And what worries me, as we stand here in the rubble of the economic collapse, is that too many organizations are making their decisions, their policies about talent and people, based on assumptions that are outdated, unexamined, and rooted more in folklore than in science. And if we really want to get out of this economic mess, and if we really want high performance on those definitional tasks of the 21st century, the solution is not to do more of the wrong things. To entice people with a sweeter carrot, or threaten them with a sharper stick. We need a whole new approach."
Here is the basic problem. We reward extrinsically for creative tasks and linear tasks alike. This does not work. In other words, if you pay people to be creative quicker, they get slower. Let's say you need a logo designed or someone to figure out where your new roof is leaking and how to fix it. If you offer an extra $100 to motivate these problem solvers, they will actually solve the problem slower and with worse results than if you rewarded them with autonomy, mastery, and purpose.
"Let me give you an even more radical example of it. Something called the Results Only Work Environment. The ROWE. Created by two American consultants, in place in place at about a dozen companies around North America. In a ROWE people don't have schedules. They show up when they want. They don't have to be in the office at a certain time, or any time. They just have to get their work done. How they do it, when they do it, where they do it, is totally up to them. Meetings in these kinds of environments are optional.
What happens? Almost across the board, productivity goes up, worker engagement goes up, worker satisfaction goes up, turnover goes down. Autonomy, mastery and purpose - these are the building blocks of a new way of doing things."
So I ask you...if you are asking people to do ANY task that involves problem solving, how are you rewarding them?