Managing “irational” people

I came across this fantastic insight from behavioral economist Dan Ariely in his latest book, The Upside of Irrationality, and had to share it.

“If you are a manager and really want to demotivate your employees, destroy their work in front of their eyes. Or if you want to be a little subtler about it, just ignore them and their efforts. On the other hand, if you want to motivate people working with you and for you, it would be useful to pay attention to them, their effort, and the fruits of their labor,”

So often I have seen staff (including myself) demotivated by managers failing to notice the time and effort put in to creating something great – and all that is commented on is how to improve things further.

Humans (and animals) want recognition, most want to work for their dinner – but all of us need to be recognized for what we do. So next time you’re working with someone, take the time to praise their accomplishments and appreciate their efforts – it will be worth it!

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