It Pays to Be Happy: The Progress Principle at Work (Video)
From 2011-2014, Daniel Honan was the Managing Editor at Big Think. Prior to Big Think, Daniel was Vice President of Production for Plum TV, a niche cable network he helped launch in 2002. The production team he oversaw won over two dozen Emmy awards. Daniel has created numerous shows and documentaries for television, and his film credits include Stealing the Fire, a documentary on the black market for nuclear weapons technology.
Follow Daniel on Twitter @DanielHonan
What's the Big Idea?
What motivates you to get up every morning and go to work? To earn a buck? Sure. But that is not always the most powerful motivator, says Harvard Business School Professor Teresa Amabile, who studies the psychology of everyday work life.
In fact, seemingly mundane events can either make or break an employee's "inner work life," Amabile argues in a new book she co-authored called The Progress Principle. Amabile argues that removing obstacles to progress, such as meaningless tasks and toxic relationships, are key to employee engagement and job satisfaction.
Watch the video here:
What's the Significance?
According to Amabile, managers need to "figure out how to support everyday progress," which is measured by "small wins," as opposed to huge daily breakthroughs. In other words, these wins may seem incremental, "almost trivial on the face of it," Amabile says. And yet, these successes can have "an enormous positive impact on people’s everyday inner work life."
One clear example Amabile sites is a programmer she calls "Tom" who was working on a complex program for an important software client. For almost an entire frustrating week Tom struggled to fix a bug. When he finally "smashed" it, he was all "hyped." Unfortunately a number of his team members were out of the office that day so Tom had to celebrate his small win in "solitary smugness.”
While this small win may not have been a big deal in the grand scheme of things, Amabile points out that it was certainly a big deal the day that it happened. "He was at the very top of the scale that day in his emotions," Amabile says. And as her research shows, people in Tom's position are not only happier and more engaged, but ultimately more creative and productive at work.
Image courtesy of Shutterstock
Follow Daniel Honan on Twitter @Daniel Honan
No, the Syrian civil war is not over. But it might be soon. Time for a recap
- The War in Syria has dropped off the radar, but it's not over (yet)
- This 1-minute video shows how the fronts have moved – and stabilised – over the past 22 months
- Watching this video may leave you both better informed, and slightly queasy: does war need a generic rock soundtrack?
Sarco assisted suicide pods come in three different styles, and allow you to die quickly and painlessly. They're even quite beautiful to look at.
Death: it happens to everyone (except, apparently, Keanu Reeves). But while the impoverished and lower-class people of the world die in the same ol' ways—cancer, heart disease, and so forth—the upper classes can choose hip and cool new ways to die. Now, there's an assisted-suicide pod so chic and so stylin' that peeps (young people still say peeps, right?) are calling it the "Tesla" of death... it's called... the Sarco!
Entrepreneur and author Andrew Horn shares his rules for becoming an assured conversationalist.
- To avoid basing action on external validation, you need to find your "authentic voice" and use it.
- Finding your voice requires asking the right questions of yourself.
- There are 3-5 questions that you would generally want to ask people you are talking to.
SMARTER FASTER trademarks owned by The Big Think, Inc. All rights reserved.