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To Give Your Employees Meaning, Start With Mission - Teresa Amabile and Steve Kramer

To Give Your Employees Meaning, Start With Mission - Teresa Amabile and Steve Kramer
by Teresa Amabile and Steve Kramer | 11:00 AM December 19, 2012 It is impossible to have a great life unless it is a meaningful life. And it is very difficult to have a meaningful life without meaningful work. -Jim Collins Do you feel that you have work worth doing? Must it be this way? Why is meaning so important? Unfortunately, too many companies don’t even try to make work meaningful for the people doing it. The Company’s primary objective is to maximize long-term stockholder value, while adhering to the laws of the jurisdictions in which it operates and at all times observing the highest ethical standards.Dean Foods Company Mike Brenner and Steve Van Valin, of the consulting firm Culturology, talk about sources of “meaning amplification” that managers can tap in their quest to sustain employee engagement. To accomplish this, leaders have two tasks. Our mission: to inspire and nurture the human spirit — one person, one cup and one neighborhood at a time.Starbucks Coffee Related:  Motivation

Keep Me Company Michael has published a post called “Curious Company” the other day. I swirled with reactions as I read it. Whereas it was mostly delight, I’d like to apply a bit different focus to the subject. Let’s see. The common concept about businesses and corporations is that they should have a goal. TargetProcess as a company has the goal to develop the best project management tool in the world for small to medium companies. I want to put an emphasis on some other, more important things. It might sound weird and totally groundbreaking, but the new paradigm for companies and corporations is not the “correct goal-setting”, whatever this is, but the optimal experience. It’s about enjoyment. Recently I talked to one of my former associates. What he said is, unfortunately, the mainstream belief for many more people than we can imagine. I wanted to explain so many things to him. Again, it might be that some people don’t have this ability to create. Friends, keep me company. Olga Kouzina,

A Simpler Way to Get Employees to Share - Michael Schrage by Michael Schrage | 9:00 AM December 13, 2012 A few years back, I helped a large, very compartmentalized and extremely silo-ed global organization launch an internal competition. Its goal was to promote greater sharing of ideas, information, best practice and innovative processes. Leadership recognized that business units and functions had effectively been allowed to ignore the rest of the enterprise. Significant opportunities and resources were left underexplored or untouched. The design was simple, clever and cheap: top management would recognize and reward people who demonstrated an ability to cross-functionally get real value from their colleagues and cohorts. Dual prizes created a symmetrical “marketplace” where employees were simultaneously encouraged not just to look for interesting ideas to “steal” but to think about which of their own best practices deserved wider internal promotion. It worked well. Today’s tools are so much better.

Create positive pressure around releases If you’re working towards a key release, the pressure mounts for everyone involved as it approaches. For the technical team responsible for delivery the rising pressure in this situation is nearly always negative if left unchecked. As time runs out the drumbeat gets faster and faster as the team is whipped up to ramming speed, a bit like the galley slaves in Ben Hur. This type of pressure creates a negative spiral. Rather than stress the team out about getting everything done in time, there’s an opportunity for the customer to create positive pressure within the team.

Where Culture is King Where Culture is King Despite size, scope or industry, the Most Admired Companies for HR share a commitment to culture centered on values every employee lives by. By Maura C. Ciccarelli Thursday, December 6, 2012 When it's good, you can feel it when you walk in the door. Corporate culture is not about great brand messaging (think Apple) or a consistent customer experience anywhere you go around the world (think McDonald's), though these can contribute to a unified purpose for employees. Since 2005, Human Resource Executive® magazine has teamed up with Philadelphia-based Hay Group to identify organizations among Fortune magazine's Most Admired Companies that typify best HR practices. "Don't tell me; show me" is how Hay Group's Melvyn Stark describes the manifestation of a corporate culture. "Culture is not the kind of thing that companies would herald publicly," says Stark, Hay's vice president and regional reward practice leader located just outside New York City. management. Values in Action

The Myth of Passion and Motivation: How to Stay Focused When You Get Bored Working Toward Your Goals 4.1K Flares Made with Flare More Info'> 4.1K Flares × We all have goals and dreams, but it can be difficult to stick with them. Each week, I hear from people who say things like, “I start with good intentions, but I can’t seem to maintain my consistency for a long period of time.” Or, they will say, “I struggle with mental endurance. Don’t worry. For example, I’ll start one project, work on it for a little bit, then lose focus and try something else. Maybe you have felt this way too. This problem reminds me of a lesson I learned while working out one day… The Myth of Passion and Motivation On this particular day in the gym, there was a coach visiting who had worked with thousands of athletes over his long career, including some nationally-ranked athletes and Olympians. I had just finished my workout when I asked him, “What’s the difference between the best athletes and everyone else. He briefly mentioned the things that you might expect. Working When Work Isn’t Easy In other words…

The Real Point of Gift-Giving - Peter Bregman by Peter Bregman | 1:18 PM December 15, 2010 A few weeks ago was my birthday. I turned 43. 43 doesn’t mark a new decade. And yet as I emerge from this birthday, I can’t imagine feeling any more appreciated, respected, and loved. As we enter this holiday season, it makes sense to pause for a moment and think about gifts. On a basic level, we give gifts because we’re supposed to. Underlying that custom is an important purpose: appreciation. But here’s a common misconception: the bigger, more valuable the gift, the more it expresses our appreciation. Because gifts don’t express appreciation, people do. The gifts I received that meant so much to me on my forty-third birthday? Just as he is. And yet we almost never do this. Think of our corporate end of the year rituals: performance reviews, holiday parties, and, sometimes, if we’re lucky, bonuses. Performance reviews are supposed to identify our strengths, and the best reviewers spend most of their time dwelling on strengths. That’s OK.

The science behind what motivates us to get up for work every day 2.6K Flares 2.6K Flares × The following post is a guestpost by Walter Chen, founder of a unique new project management tool IDoneThis. More about Walter at the bottom of the post. So, here is the thing right at the start: I’ve always been uncomfortable with the traditional ideal of the professional — cool, collected, and capable, checking off tasks left and right, all numbers and results and making it happen, please, with not a hair out of place. I admit that I’ve never been able to work that way. Feelings provide important feedback during our workday. What does emotion have to do with our work? It turns out, quite a lot. Psychologists Teresa Amabile and Steven Kramer interviewed over 600 managers and found a shocking result. 95 percent of managers misunderstood what motivates employees. “The larger the monetary reward, the poorer the performance. – money doesn’t motivate us, at all, instead emotions do.” In the famous expriment by Dr. Amabile and Kramer tell us this:

Make It a Habit to Give Thanks - Ron Ashkenas by Ron Ashkenas | 12:00 PM November 20, 2012 While Thanksgiving in the U.S. is celebrated with sports events, family dinners, and time off from work, its real purpose is to reflect on everything that we have to be thankful for — such as health, family, material possessions, and general success. It’s also a good reminder that “thankfulness” and “appreciation” are important managerial behaviors in effective organizations — behaviors that need to be fostered throughout the year, not just when there’s a holiday. There are actually two kinds of appreciative behaviors that managers need to develop, interpersonal and organizational. Interpersonal appreciation is the day-to-day ability to genuinely and graciously thank other people for what they do. This may sound like Etiquette 101, and we assume it’s the basis for most of our interactions in organizations. The reality is that all of us need affirmation and positive feedback, at least occasionally.