There Must Be a Better Way to Get Us Working; Psychology: What Is the Best Way to Motivate Workers? the Answer Might Surprise You, Says Consultant Psychiatrist Dr Raj Persaud

The Evening Standard (London, England), March 29, 2004 | Go to article overview

There Must Be a Better Way to Get Us Working; Psychology: What Is the Best Way to Motivate Workers? the Answer Might Surprise You, Says Consultant Psychiatrist Dr Raj Persaud


Byline: RAJ PERSAUD

PSYCHOLOGISTS have carried out a mass of research to find out what makes us work hard, yet managers stubbornly ignore the findings. Instead, they stick to two discredited theories of motivation - the carrot and the stick.

The carrot method is based on a deeply dark view of human character which basically contends that we only do things because of the pay cheque.

But in reality, all that happens when money is the motivation is that people demand more and more cash to do less and less.

Increasingly, they concentrate on tasks which can make them the most money - which is not the same as those which are the most helpful to each other or to the organisation as a whole.

Meanwhile, other employees who are less well paid become envious and resentful and may seek to settle the score by stealing covertly from the organisation or fiddling the books.

The other well-tried motivational method is the stick, which involves being threatened with punishment, humiliation, lost wages or the sack if you don't produce the goods at the rate your boss would like.

This approach merely leads to most employees investing huge efforts in avoiding being caught slacking, which means working at the minimum level required to avoid a kicking.

But the big problem with both the carrot and the stick is that they ignore the obvious fact that some of the most motivated human behaviour occurs in areas where no financial reward or punishment is involved, for instance, the motivation of a mother to care for her child, or a husband to please his wife, or a golfer to improve his swing.

So what does motivate us to work hard?

To find out, researchers asked people a basic question: what do you find most rewarding about work?

THE answers are all psychological and have little to do with money or fear.

What the workers wanted was a sense of achievement, recognition from colleagues of their good work, a sense of responsibility, a sense of career advancement and, finally, a feeling of personal growth.

The problem is that few work environments are designed to produce any of the rewards on this list.

To improve things, people need to be given more freedom to do the job the way they want to do it, rather than as dictated by "policy", guidelines or managers. …

The rest of this article is only available to active members of Questia

Sign up now for a free, 1-day trial and receive full access to:

  • Questia's entire collection
  • Automatic bibliography creation
  • More helpful research tools like notes, citations, and highlights
  • Ad-free environment

Already a member? Log in now.

Notes for this article

Add a new note
If you are trying to select text to create highlights or citations, remember that you must now click or tap on the first word, and then click or tap on the last word.
One moment ...
Default project is now your active project.
Project items

Items saved from this article

This article has been saved
Highlights (0)
Some of your highlights are legacy items.

Highlights saved before July 30, 2012 will not be displayed on their respective source pages.

You can easily re-create the highlights by opening the book page or article, selecting the text, and clicking “Highlight.”

Citations (0)
Some of your citations are legacy items.

Any citation created before July 30, 2012 will labeled as a “Cited page.” New citations will be saved as cited passages, pages or articles.

We also added the ability to view new citations from your projects or the book or article where you created them.

Notes (0)
Bookmarks (0)

You have no saved items from this article

Project items include:
  • Saved book/article
  • Highlights
  • Quotes/citations
  • Notes
  • Bookmarks
Notes
Cite this article

Cited article

Style
Citations are available only to our active members.
Sign up now to cite pages or passages in MLA, APA and Chicago citation styles.

(Einhorn, 1992, p. 25)

(Einhorn 25)

1

1. Lois J. Einhorn, Abraham Lincoln, the Orator: Penetrating the Lincoln Legend (Westport, CT: Greenwood Press, 1992), 25, http://www.questia.com/read/27419298.

Cited article

There Must Be a Better Way to Get Us Working; Psychology: What Is the Best Way to Motivate Workers? the Answer Might Surprise You, Says Consultant Psychiatrist Dr Raj Persaud
Settings

Settings

Typeface
Text size Smaller Larger Reset View mode
Search within

Search within this article

Look up

Look up a word

  • Dictionary
  • Thesaurus
Please submit a word or phrase above.
Print this page

Print this page

Why can't I print more than one page at a time?

Full screen

matching results for page

Cited passage

Style
Citations are available only to our active members.
Sign up now to cite pages or passages in MLA, APA and Chicago citation styles.

"Portraying himself as an honest, ordinary person helped Lincoln identify with his audiences." (Einhorn, 1992, p. 25).

"Portraying himself as an honest, ordinary person helped Lincoln identify with his audiences." (Einhorn 25)

"Portraying himself as an honest, ordinary person helped Lincoln identify with his audiences."1

1. Lois J. Einhorn, Abraham Lincoln, the Orator: Penetrating the Lincoln Legend (Westport, CT: Greenwood Press, 1992), 25, http://www.questia.com/read/27419298.

Cited passage

Thanks for trying Questia!

Please continue trying out our research tools, but please note, full functionality is available only to our active members.

Your work will be lost once you leave this Web page.

For full access in an ad-free environment, sign up now for a FREE, 1-day trial.

Already a member? Log in now.