The surprising science of motivation

There has been a lot of research done on exactly what motivates employees.

Although money can be a motivator if the work is mechanical, mindless and repetitive, for cognitive or creative work financial rewards can actually reduce performance!

What works is providing work that offers autonomy, mastery and purpose.

Here’s one of the best explanations or the research I’ve seen: Daniel Pink speaking on The Surprising Science of Motivation at TED:


It’s well worth the 18 minutes to watch if you have employees – live or virtual. Hope you enjoy it.

12 Responses to “The surprising science of motivation”

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  1. Chris says:

    Hello Kerrie,

    You have such an informative content on your blog. Very interesting! Hope to read more great posts here.

    I love the video, will keep this in mind.


  2. Jackie says:

    Hi Kerrie,

    Possibly it’s the Olympics coverage coming up, but sports motivation is in the news and if it works for athletes, why not for everyone? Thanks for sharing this vid –

  3. Kay Franklin says:

    Hi Kerrie

    Thanks for visiting my blog.

    I love this video. Very thought provoking.

    I have to say that for Deans challenge incentives definitely do motivate! But even more of a motivation is having people leave comments on your blog!


    • Kerrie says:

      Glad you enjoyed it Kay.

      Yes it’s really motivating when visitors do leave comments, isn’t it. I think is because it makes all the effort that goes into writing down our thoughts and experiences meaningful and worthwhile when we know someone has actually read it and appreciates it. 🙂

      There’s a very big lesson there for all leaders and managers too… Everyone yearns to recognised for their contributions, and just a little comment occasionally can be very motivating!

      Kind regards, Kerrie

  4. Rich says:

    Hi Kerrie,

    You have a wonderful site. I like the content you have provided. Very informative and helpful. I love those videos from TED, especially this one. Keep up the great work!


    • Kerrie says:

      Thanks Rich. Glad you are finding the content helpful.

      And yes, this is a great video with really clear explanations about the ‘surprising science of motivation’.

  5. Don says:

    Powerful stuff here. So many leaders just don’t get it

  6. Jo says:

    If only my boss would watch this!

    • Kerrie says:

      Hi Jo

      Feel free to share 🙂

      But seriously perhaps it is something that is worth sharing and discussing with others in your team.

      Kind regards, Kerrie

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