Today’s article is about making a cultural change that focuses on intrinsic motivation when it can be especially daunting, particularly for businesses that are built on traditional reward and punishment models. But, Pink argues that – over time, and with practice, intrinsically motivated behaviour (when people are self-motivated because they are given the freedom to do the work they enjoy) can be learned.

The following four key points can help you to encourage your team to become more intrinsically motivated:

1. Give “10 Percent Time” a Try Out.

 Provide team members with the opportunity to spend 10 percent of their working time on a project of their own choice. These projects should fall outside of their day-to-day work, but offer benefits to your business. 

2. Take Some Steps to Give Up Control.

Relinquish (some) managerial control in favour of giving your team members more autonomy. You can do this by:

  • Involving people in setting their own goals – individuals will likely be more engaged in their work when they pursue goals that they have helped to create.
  • Reducing controlling language – instead of saying “you must” or “you should,” use terms like “consider doing” or “think about doing.”
  • Having open-door hours – set aside time when people can come and talk to you  about business or personal issues, without fear of judgment or censure.

3. Develop “Goldilocks Tasks”.

“Goldilocks tasks” are, as the name suggests, tasks that are neither too hard nor too easy, but just right. They are team projects that encourage focus and flow , and which can aid the development of mastery.

These types of tasks should resemble stretch goals  – ambitious targets that challenge what people deem possible. They should stretch your team members and enable them to develop their skills.

Goldilocks tasks often involve collaborative work and have clear end goals. This helps to promote a sense of purpose. 

4. Encourage Collaboration and Cross-Skilling.

If your team has lots of skills to offer, you can put them to good use by allowing your team members to move between functions. And you can promote cross-skilling or up-skilling by encouraging the to share their skills and collaborate with others as part of your wider learning culture .

(Extracts from Daniel Pink’s Autonomy, Mastery and Purpose Framework)

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