Have you ever met people at work with whom you really got along well? Have you ever met people at work with whom you don’t? What causes these great differences? Too often, we are expecting others to be just like us. When they fail to meet our expectations, we decide we don’t like to work with them. It would be so much easier if the people we worked with just all behaved the same. It would be easier if they listened to what we wanted to tell them, acted in the ways we expected, and thought about things in the same ways we did. It would be easier — but it will never happen.
With the recent announcement of the 2016 Nobel Prize in Economics being awarded to Oliver Hart and Bengt Holmstrom for their work on employee contracts and incentives, it got me thinking about what actually motivates employees in the workplace. Not to take away from their award, but, from my professional experience, I think contracts and incentives are an incorrect starting point if you want to promote employee satisfaction and productivity.