Setting workers FREE whilst growing business

Author Daniel H. Pink is on a mission to set workers FREE.

An American business guru and former speech writer to Al Gore, Pink has written on human motivation in the workplace, exploring ways in which businesses can unlock worker potential by giving them greater freedom.

After chewing over research on human motivation and consulting both scientists and businesses, Pink found many high performing companies taking a new approach to motivation.

Pink suggests that mistakes in the workplace are the product of two flawed assumptions:

1) People are like machines and will do what is expected of them.

2) Without the threat of a stick, or the enticement of a carrot, people will do nothing.

In contrast, Pink suggests upgrading motivational systems to allow workers to reach new desires – including an increasingly modern trend to “learn, create and better the world”.

He points to companies leading the way in worker motivation, including Google who have experimented with a scheme named 20 percent time – in which employees can spend 20 per cent of their time working on anything they want.

“We need to get past the idea that motivation is something that one person does to another and realise its something that people do for themselves”

Pink suggests five motivational strategies for business:

1) Understand the limits of carrots and sticks – and use them only where they’re effective.

2) Do whatever you can to provide employees with more autonomy over their time, their team, their task and their technique.

3) Encourage people to supplement traditional performance reviews by reviewing their own performance.

4) Take a day when people can work on any idea they want – then show the results to the rest of the company the following day.

5) Infuse the workplace with a purpose larger than simply increasing earnings.  Supplement the profit motive with a purpose motive.

What do you think? Does your business or working environment motivate your permanent AND freelance employees?

Read more on Pink’s book at Regus Business Sense.

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Written by Alistair Beech on February 28, 2011 and filed in Entrepreneurs, Freelancers , , ,

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