What motivates us

A good friend forwarded the following video. It was very intriguing. I encourage you to watch the full ten minutes. The ideas have implications on how we “reward or don’t reward” kids or volunteers. I’m not sure why, but we are always super quick to offer treats and rewards for specific behaviors. It’s like we’re all wired to do it. However, is it possible that rewards are harmful? According the this research, yes they can be. According to the research, rewards given for tasks that only involve mechanical skills (no higher thinking or creativity) increase productivity. The more the reward, the higher the productivity. However, any taks that involved even rudimentary cognitive skill, the higher the reward, the lower the performance. If this research is true, rewards don’t produce the outcome you want for tasks that require thinking.

They found that if you don’t pay people enough, they won’t be motivated. But, if you can pay them enough to take the issue of money off the table, they are motivated entirely by three different factors:

When I watched this video, I immediately thought of high level volunteers who give a lot to our ministries. I’m amazed by the people who give 10, 20 or more hours a week in serving in ministry as a volunteer.

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