3 Intangible Reasons We Work

by Jay Deragon on 03/25/2013

why we workWhy don’t you simply go get a job? I don’t want a job I just want to work.  What is the difference? The difference between a job and work is a labor of love vs. simply labor. A labor of love is when we are given the freedom to choose the type of work we love to do and work we can become masters at doing.

When we are enabled to do what we love and empowered to become better at doing it we fulfill a sense of purpose. Fulfilling a sense of purpose motivates our hearts and minds to do more for others whom are fulfilled by our work.

And We Are Just Realizing This?

For some reason and for a long time employers thought they could motivate and control employees with the power of money.  Understanding why we want to work beyond the money has not been a significant consideration and subsequently there has been a misalignment of rewards with motivations and a loss of value.

From The Intangible: Job Benefits That Make Work Rewarding – Business Exchange writes: Ever since Daniel Pink wrote his legendary book, Drive: The Surprising Truth About What Motivates Us, the structured world of organizations has never been the same. Pink debunked the most popular myth embraced by a majority of organizations and working individuals: Money equals more motivation. There’s more to work than money, Pink argues, and he backs up his thesis with 40 years of scientific research on human motivation.  If you’re contemplating offering better opportunities to your employees, focusing on these three concepts will boost company performance.

  1. AutonomyGiving people autonomy to pursue their own work projects empowers them. It fosters passion, creativity, and productivity in the workplace.
  2. Mastery: People like to get better at something. Most organizations don’t really understand what mastery is when they equate it with perfection. It isn’t. Mastery requires effort and is never fully attainable. Mastery, most importantly, is also a mindset.
  3. Purpose: In a recent study published in the Journal of Applied Psychology, scholars recognized the causal link between job performance and task significance.[2] Their extensive research and field experiments helped them arrive at this powerful conclusion: Employees who perceive the social impact of their jobs and see themselves as playing an important role in others’ welfare perform better.

The difference between getting a job and working is the difference between the tangible and intangible rewards. One feeds us for a day and the other feeds us for a life time.

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