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Want to Increase Motivation? Step 1: Stop Crushing Spirits

While it might seem obvious, some business leaders need the reminder that their employees are people with spirits and energy that need to be nurtured. However, according to Duke University psychologist and economist Dan Ariely, when it comes to increasing motivation, people in positions of authority instead tend to crush their employees’ spirits.

While many managers don’t intend to do harm, Ariely says, they just don’t appreciate the role motivation plays in the workplace. According to Ariely, leaders often unknowingly demoralize those around them: “We get people to start projects and we cut it in the middle. We get people to prepare presentations and they never get delivered. We do all kinds of things that eliminate motivation.”

However, once managers have curbed their habit of accidentally killing of motivation, they can start to swing back into positive terrain by increasing it. One of the simplest strategies is also the least expensive: Give people credit where it’s due. Credit is free, says Ariely, so give it freely. This will help people feel more invested in a project and also feel appreciated.

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