I am a huge fan of TED Talks and the one given by Dan Ariely on our motivations at work is a great one. My biggest takeaway from it though is how obvious most of them are. I think all of us are clear that being challenged, feeling appreciated, helping others, and getting positive reinforcement all create a work environment that has employees want to work. But then why do so few people have a work environment that they would describe that way?

These companies are created intentionally, not through luck. It takes leaders, not simply managers, to create the environment where people are eager to work, and excited to stay. The average Baby Boomer has had 11 jobs by the time they turn 35. Part of what I coach leaders in is seeing the world from the eyes of the people around them. It’s easy to think that the world really is the way we see it, Rather than that the world is, and we see it our own way. When people can see the world through another person’s eyes it becomes easy, almost automatic, to be able to assist them and make their experience better.


What Motivates Us at Work?

Dan’s talk is here and the image above is a graphic created by Social@Ogilvy outlining the seven things mentioned in the talk. The picture links to a larger version. What is your work environment like? How many of these seven factors do you have in your office?