Ted Talks: What Motivates us at Work More Than Money?

When you look carefully at the way people work, you find out there’s a lot more at play – and at stake – than money. Evidence provided by Ted Talks Speaker, Dan Ariely, shows that we are also driven by the meaningfulness of our work, by others’ acknowledgement – and by the amount of effort we’ve put in: the harder the task is, the prouder we are.

“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.,” says Ariely.

Ariely provides us with the following 7 implications that make us feel good at work:

  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

Interested in reading further into each of these? Click here to read the full Ted Talks article.