If you were asked what motivates people the most at work, what would you say? Common answers that managers give on what they believe the answer to be may include: incentives, recognition, or perhaps clear goals. A less frequent answer is: support for making progress on goals.
Teresa Amabile and Steve Kramer gathered and analysed 12 000 daily work diaries to come to the conclusion that, in fact, making progress on meaningful work is what motivates people the most on a day-to-day basis – this is the progress principle.
In their article ‘Three Secrets of the Video Game Designer’, Amabile and Kramer describe three ways in which managers and leaders can effectively support the progress of their subordinates:
- Keep everyday progress on your mental agenda
- Find small wins, even in setbacks
- Mark progress in many ways, large and small
Dan Pink conducted an interview with Amabile, which he shared on his blog – take a few minutes to read what she had to say!
Update: Another great article by Teresa and Steve – ‘The Power of Small Wins in Times of Panic‘