Three Things that (Actually) Motivate People

Today we have an entertaining, yet educational video that focuses on the topics in Drive: The surprising truth about what motivates us, a book by Dan Pink. It’s a neat little video that tells a visual story about motivation-based research.

That’s the easy part.

The hard part is checking out the items below the video and actually doing something with the information you learn. Look forward to seeing who takes the lesson to heart!

Video source link (subscribers click through)

Video Notes

If you can’t watch the video, the key point is that for knowledge-based work (white collar), just offering more money to someone doesn’t necessarily translate to better performance (it can actually cause just the opposite in some testing!). The three keys to motivating people are autonomy, mastery, and purpose.

  • Autonomy-how much control do I have over my job, the tools I use, and how I work?
  • Mastery-am I becoming better at what I do? How do I compare to others? Are my skills and knowledge  growing?
  • Purpose-is this job bigger than the paycheck? Do I have something that I can believe in and stand behind?

The challenge

After reading/watching this information, pick at least one question below and answer it in the comments section. Then share it with a manager in your organization who might find it helpful (we all know someone who is struggling with motivating their staff!).

  • How many of the three keys (autonomy, mastery, purpose) are present in your own job? Is that enough for you?
  • How many of these three items do you actually, honestly offer your employees?
  • How many employees take advantage of any of these three opportunities (if available) within your organization?
  • What management roadblocks may exist that prevent these three motivational tools from being a reality?
  • If you had to pick one that was most important to you today, which would it be? Would your answer be the same in three years? Why or why not?
  • How can you use these concepts to coach managers or employees with regard to professional development?

I’m really excited to hear some thoughts on these questions, and I highly encourage you to share this with a manager within your organization. It might be just what they need to see today!

3 thoughts on “Three Things that (Actually) Motivate People

    1. Ben Post author

      @Paul Thanks for the feedback! The long term focus is why I asked some of the questions that I did. If I look up and realize that we’re not really offering any of those aspects as part of the career/professional/personal development side of the job, then you’ll have trouble finding people who want to stick around long-term.

      Thanks for the link! I appreciate it, amigo.

  1. Rory Trotter

    As a person motivated almost exclusively by extrinsic reward, this entire intrinsic reward space is fascinating to me.

    Thanks for sharing this video.



Comments are closed.