Talent At Work: Recruitment and Career Blog

Do People See Value in Your Work?


Posted on October 22nd, by Caroline Lau in Career, Career Development, Leadership. 4 comments

Do People See Value In Your Work?

photo credit kandyjaxx

 

Monetary recognition is an important motivation however, ask yourself, are you measured by money or are you motivated by money? Barry Shwartz, a TED presenter gave an example of Motivational Competition. In Switzerland, when they were deciding where to locate nuclear waste dumps, psychologists surveyed two groups. The first group was asked “would you be open to having a nuclear dump in your community?” Because it was needed to be put somewhere, even though they knew it would be dangerous but, they felt they had a responsibility as citizens, 56% said yes. The second group when asked the same question and given a monetary incentive, 6 weeks’ salary every year, only 35% said yes.

 “We need incentives to survive but, excessive incentives demoralize professional activities. It causes people in the activity to lose morale and it causes the activity itself to lose morality” Barry Shwartz.

During my 2nd year at business school, where they teach you competitive advantage, and market shares, I decided to volunteer for a Not-For-Profit Aids foundation for a month to fluff up my resume. This foundation supports people who were tight-lining the poverty line and are affected by aids. I was given a task to write a feature piece about a single mother the foundation had been supporting for years. WhatI got from that one conversation with her gave me more value than my initial objective. I could see the impact this foundation work had on her family, relaying stories of her kid’s reaction when a volunteer showed up a few days before Thanksgiving with a hamper of food. She brought value to the work I was doing. What was supposed to be a one month internship turned into a 3 year relationship.

Sometimes others see value in what you do even if you don’t. For example the garbage man, who carelessly throws the bins after it has been emptied. I see value in what he does. Imagine what would happen if one day someone thanks him for the work he is doing, how would that impact his output?

One interview question that gets asked at almost every interview is, what was your biggest achievement and why? Most often than not, the reason why it is your biggest achievement will be related to helping others.

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Caroline Lau

Digital Marketing Manager at Goldbeck Recruiting
CAROLINE LAU, Digital Marketing Manager and Editor of Talent At Work at Goldbeck Recruiting. Expertise in Digital Marketing, Social Media, and Client Relations Email: marketing@goldbeck.com

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4 thoughts on “Do People See Value in Your Work?

  1. This article brings up a good point! I think that in the long run, there are several other factors contributing to a person’s motivation level beyond the financial rewards. For example, finding fulfillment in the work that they do or having the opportunity to be involved in the community around them could bring immeasurable value to people’s lives. This great sense of personal accomplishment then spills into workplace motivation, creating a positive cycle of flow all around.

  2. Absolutely, now I am not completely disregarding monetary incentives for motivation. Henry brought up a good point, monetary incentives are for used to measure your success. For example, Sales positions that have a commission structure.

  3. I have often ended the talks or presentations I give to job searchers with the following statement, hoping it will inspire job seekers to always go above and beyond:

    Be outstanding in your workplace and you will always have a great reference. Build solid relationships, add value, create efficiencies, reduce costs and people will seek you out. Find ways to get your message out to the world and you will be sought after. – Karen Epp

    Barry Shwartz has inspired me to take a look at my statement and add a little more.

    Be an ‘Ordinary Hero’ learn to care about those around you, take time to consider what is my responsibility in the world. Think beyond the rules and incentives and let yourself shine in all you do!

  4. What inspires me.
    One of the things that I find inspires me to do well and keep improving in business and in all areas of my life is wanting to be a role model for my two teenage sons. This is something that has developed in the last few years as they have grown in their understanding of the world and as they approach decisions and situations that are more comparable to my life as opposed to when they were younger. I find myself thinking,” If everything I did was transparent to them how would I want them to see me?” This has an impact on me and my thoughts and actions and motivates me to bring my best self forward.

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