The whole reason I have started this website is to explore the following idea. It's a theory, something that's been bugging me for quite some time. Over the course of the next 12 months, I want to find out whether it's true.
If companies give their staff time off to participate in social engagement, the positive recognition, autonomy and enjoyment received will have a positive effect on the remaining time at work, evening out the time invested.
Let me break that down a bit.
Motivation at work is driven by various factors, including self determination (autonomy), recognition, and the quality of the work itself.
Many employees do not perceive this motivation at work. At some point, all of us have to do some mundane tasks that we don't want to do. And some people just have boring jobs.
Employees enjoy "owning" a project, task or activity and carrying the responsibility for it. Not all employees can be managers, leaders or entrepreneurs, and many don't want to be, but giving them a part of their time which they control can have a motivating effect.
If we give employees the freedom to decide themselves what they want to do - outside the company itself - they can choose which skills they wish to offer and whom they wish to offer them to. They are their own boss for this period of time.
The satisfaction gained by this experience will be a source of motivation and will have a positive influence on the remaining time of their week.
That's my idea.
Here's a little story from my own experience.
A little over two years ago, I joined the Sprachencafé in Vienna. It's an amazing place, and I will publish a more detailed description here later.
My role at the Sprachencafé was to supervise the English table. When I'm asked what I do there, I usually just answer that I'm the token English speaker, and everyone is equal.
After a few months, I overhead the staff talking of their frustration with their email newsletter. In my most discrete manner, I asked what the problem was.
To cut a long story short: I know a lot about email marketing, but I didn't know that they had a problem, and they didn't know that I could help them. It took a grand total of three hours to set them up with a free MailChimp account, build a template and give them a quick tutorial.
I felt great. For three hours I was an expert. I solved a problem. Their gratitude was heart-warming.
They felt great. No more did they have to fight with Apple Mail to send hundreds of emails.
We both won.
In the following posts I will explore a number of questions relating to this theory. I will talk to friends, colleagues, experts and strangers. I will publish all my findings and I will invite you to discuss them with me. I'm not doing this on my own.
So what do you think? If you've read this far, please take the time to add two or three words below. I need to know if this makes sense.
Thank you for reading!