What is it that drives you to reach a goal or complete a task? Is is a need like food, shelter, or companionship? Is it a reward like recognition, a material item, or an experience? Or is it something more, something intrinsic?
In the book: Drive: The Surprising Truth About What Motivates Us by Daniel H. Pink, Pink explores what truly drives us to do the things that we do.
Pink questions whether or not being rewarded for a task is enough and if perhaps the rewards themselves are what hinder our work and ability to stay motivated.
The monkeys solved puzzles simply because they found it gratifying to solve puzzles. They enjoyed it. The joy of the task was its own reward.
There were two main studies in the beginning that I found really interesting. One was with monkeys. They gave to monkeys puzzles to solve and changes the variables of how they rewarded them. They found that they performed far getter when there was no reward involved then when there was.
In other experiment there were two group of subjects and they were told to solve certain puzzles. Group A was paid to do it while Group B was not. They found that with the introduction of payment for their work, Group A didn’t hold as much interest in the project a Group B.
So what does this mean? That although rewards are nice, if not done properly they can affect our joy for doing a things, or instinctive drive.
This book was very interesting and kind of explains how doing what you love can somehow turn into something that you hate. In that moment when your third drive, passion, gets snuffed out due to a rewards based system suddenly you no longer feel the joy of it.
This is a good book for looking to understand what it is that drives you and makes you want to participate in things. From the standpoint of a boss it helps you understand the perspective of the employee and why certain rewards just don’t seem to hold as much weight as you thought they would.
Although this book has a lot of good information, it is a little dry and is sometimes hard to get through the writing. Another way to get the information that he is talking about is the video below: