Motivate Employees by Turning Work Into Play

Turn Work to Play, Not Play to Work

According to Daniel Pink, author of “Drive: The Surprising Truth  About What Motivates Us,” we need to be careful that we aren’t unintentionally de-motivating people by overly emphasizing extrinsic motivators such as cash bonuses. Study after study has found that when highly creative tasks become monetized, people’s intrinsic motivators fell, and quality often dropped. External rewards were turning tasks that people enjoyed inherently for the pure joy of doing them into a chore! Once money entered the equation, what had felt like play, started to feel like work. Pink suggests that external rewards such as cash bonuses or prizes are great motivators when it’s a non-creative, boring task, but may actually de-motivate people working on highly creative projects by turning play into drudgery. Isn’t this, though, the key to so much at work? Stifling policies, over burdensome processes and office politics too often turn what should be inherently fun meaningful work into a dreaded chore. Instead, we need to continually ask ourselves how we can make work feel like play? After all, when was the last time you needed to feel “motivated” to go and play?

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Mike’s Fun at Work Tip

The Flatbread Company restaurant in my stunningly gorgeous town of Canmore, Alberta has a fun way of promoting some community spirit. Partnering with a local school, the restaurant has created displays of local “heroes” along their walls above the dining tables featuring photos and bios explaining why they are local heroes. Now which restaurant do you think these local heroes take their visiting relatives to? Hmmmm. So how could your workplace recognize, honor, or  celebrate your customers or local community members in a fun way, and maybe, in the process, generate a little more customer loyalty?

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Quote of the Week

“The most completely lost days of all is the one in which we have not laughed.” French proverb.

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It’s a Wacky, Wacky World

In case you were wondering, a study by a Canadian scientist found that drunk bats have little trouble flying. Just thought you’d like to know.

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