The Science of Motivation

Traditional methods of rewards and punishment aren’t as effective as we think. Social scientists have researched what truly motivates people. The carrot and the stick method of offering rewards for good behavior and punishments for bad behavior don’t really apply to motivating humans.

You may discipline a child or an animal that misbehaves because the true gray nature of right and wrong is often beyond their comprehension. A grown person, fully developed, draws motivation and inspiration from other factors. We want to truly believe in what we are doing. To believe it is right and benefits others.

Yet our corporate infrastructure is based on the traditional reward system. This system does not promote thinking outside of the box. For assembly line, crunching the numbers work this makes sense. The faster and better you work the more you make. You don’t need to think of creative solutions to problems, merely work within set parameters following protocols. When creative thinking is removed from the job, and all you need to do is follow the set rules quickly and efficiently a reward is enticing.

Not so for many rising job opportunities in creative fields where passion is the driving force. When I work on projects I truly care about the end result is so far beyond what I could produce for hourly compensation.

There is no right or wrong solution, but free thinkers thrive in an environment where they are free to experiment, try new things and most importantly to fail. They need to be rid of the shackles of productivity, management and time constraints.

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