7 Findings On What Motivates People To Work Beyond Money

June 16th, 2015

While money may be necessary for most to survive and pursue their interests, it isn’t the only essential motivator: a balance of material and psychological value is vital. Employers who fail to optimize for this reality are simply wasting their talent (and money!). But what exactly are the important variables? From various studies, behavioral economist Dan Ariely has identified a number of distinct dimensions that define a satisfying work relationship.

“When we think about labor, we usually think about motivation and payment as the same thing, but the reality is that we should probably add all kinds of things to it: meaning, creation, challenges, ownership, identity, pride, etc.,” Ariely says. In her review of Ariely’s work, TED’s Jessica Gross shares Ariely’s conclusions drawn from seven clever studies:

1) Seeing the fruits of our labor may make us more productive.

2) The less appreciated we feel our work is, the more money we want to do it.

3) The harder a project is, the prouder we feel of it

4) Knowing that our work helps others may increase our unconscious motivation

5) The promise of helping others makes us more likely to follow rules

6) Positive reinforcement about our abilities may increase performance

7) Images that trigger positive emotions may actually help us focus

10x is built on this realization: that a holistic approach to motivating and supporting workers as humans is the only way to not only consistently bring out their best – but to steadily improve their performance over time. Read the full review and watch Ariely’s excellent TED Talk to learn more, What makes us feel good about our work?