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What Motivates Employees
January 27, 2010
In regard to the growth of the mind, we should set our goals very, very high, because we know that most people are capable of more than they do or are.
-Seymour B. Sarason, Yale University
What bosses think motivates employees, and what employees say they are motivated by typically is totally different.  Teresa Amabile, as reported in Harvard Business Review (January 2010; hbr.org), recently asked 600 managers to rank the factors that motivate their employees.  Their number one motivator was "recognition for good work."

However, when Amabile conducted a multi-year study tracking day-to-day activities, emotions, and motivation levels of hundreds of knowledge workers in a wide variety of settings, she found that the motivator that bosses ranked last, ended up being the most important motivator for employees — progress!  Amabile observed:

"On days when workers have the sense they're making headway in their jobs, or when they receive support that helps them overcome obstacles, their emotions are most positive and their drive to succeed is at its peak.  On days when they feel they are spinning their wheels or encountering roadblocks to meaningful accomplishment, their moods and motivation are lowest."

The Exchange CD Book, Leading People in Early Childhood Settings, offers an inspiring collection of 50 articles in PDF format offering a plethora of practical ideas and strategies for meeting the challenges of leadership in an early childhood settings, covering these topics:

  • Leadership Basics
  • Leadership Challenges
  • Supervisory Basics
  • Meeting Staff Needs
  • Motivating Staff
  • Managing Difficult People
  • Managing Difficult Issues


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Comments (2)

Displaying All 2 Comments
Cathy Abraham · January 27, 2010
United States

It never ceases to amaze me that some supervisors/managers are oblivious to the fact that treating people badly or disrespectfully is just not effective on any level!

dolly · January 27, 2010
Calgary, Alberta, Canada

All sounds ver good to me but just to be more clearer, and before I decide to subscribe, I would like to talk to someone in charge. Please call me at 403-441-8858 after 4pm ourtime.

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