Rethinking 5 Beliefs that Erode Workplace Motivation

Can you fill-in-the-blanks on these common workplace belief statements? It’s not personal, it is just ________. The purpose of business is to _____ _______. We need to hold people ___________. The only thing that really matters is _______. If you cannot measure it, it _________ ________. We have embedded these beliefs so deep in our…

Not All Goals Are Created Equal

I’ve just returned from the 5th International Conference on Self-Determination Theory.  The remarkable and often mind-blowing research on motivation that was shared and debated by 500 scholars from more than 38 countries will be impacting our world over the coming years.  But there are also little tidbits you can put into application immediately. For example, even…

3 Activities to Build Virtual Team Spirit

The more that virtual teams become our normal way of working, the more we realize how difficult it is to build the positive relationships so critical for team success.   A face-to-face meeting for team building is best, yet most teams can’t afford that luxury. So how do you build team spirit when you can’t have…

Employee Engagement–What’s Love Got To Do With It?

In a recent post for the Harvard Business Review blog, editor Gretchen Gavett reported the latest Gallup research on employee engagement.  In the article, Ten Charts That Show We’ve All Got a Case of the Mondays, we learn—again—that the majority of the U.S. workforce is woefully disengaged and has been for many years.  We read—again—that…

3 Ways People Cope–Instead of Flourish–at Work

“Not looking out for the emotional well-being of our people hurts individuals and organizations in terms of increased illness, stress and disability claims—not to mention the opportunity losses of productivity and creativity,” explains motivation expert Susan Fowler. Surprisingly, when Fowler talks with leaders about what is motivating them on their current tasks and responsibilities, people…

The High Price of Perceived Unfairness—a mini case study

Alexa has been with a global telecommunications company for 15 years, most recently as an upper mid-level leader in the company’s consumer products division. Alexa took her current post in 2010.  That year she led her group to earn Best Retail Operation for the region, going from worst-to-first in a single year.  Along with a…

The High Price of Money (a five-question happiness quiz)

Consider these five statements. True or False? Money cannot buy you happiness. Money may not buy happiness, but it will buy things that make you happy. The more money you have, the happier you are. Seeking wealth, status, or image undermines interpersonal relationships and connectedness to others. Pursuing money or other materialistic values results in…

Optimal Motivation in the Wee Hours

My team and I have been working on a new motivation program that shows leaders how to foster an environment in which employees experience high quality, or optimal, motivation—as opposed to suboptimal motivation based on stress, relentless pressure, aggressive competition, harsh deadlines, and fear. The program explains the link between three basic psychological needs for…