What’s a quick and effective way to motivate employees?

Remind them why their jobs are important.

Noah Goldstein, co-author of Yes!: 50 Scientifically Proven Ways to Be Persuasive, reviews a study over at Inside Influence:

Adam Grant, a scholar in the field of organizational behavior, realized that workers often fail to live up to their potential because they’ve lost track of the significance and meaningfulness of their own jobs. He figured that if he could remind employees of why their jobs are important, they might become more highly motivated, and therefore, more productive individuals.

And:

What they found was amazing. Employees in the Personal Benefit and Control conditions looked almost exactly the same after the intervention as before it in terms of amount of donation money raised and the number of pledges earned. Yet, those in the Task Significance condition earned more than twice the number of weekly pledges (from an average of 9 to an average of 23) and more than twice the amount of weekly donation money (from an average of $1,288 to an average of $3,130). Additional analyses suggest that the huge increase was driven by previously unmotivated employees increasing the number of calls they made per hour.

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