All good managers understand the importance of making sure that every member of a team feels personally motivated and necessary throughout the workday, lest their work should stagnate and suffer. But what's the key to igniting creativity, joy, trust, and productivity among your employees? According to recent research, the single most important factor is simply a sense of making progress on meaningful work. But creating an environment that fosters progress takes some careful effort.
In their new book, The Progress Principle: Using Small Wins to Ignite Joy, Engagement, and Creativity at Work, authors Teresa M. Amabile and Steven J. Kramer discuss how even seemingly humdrum events can make huge differences in employees' emotional and intellectual well-being.
"There's no reason, no matter how resource-constrained an organization is, why managers can't help employees see the meaning in their work," says Amabile, a professor in the Entrepreneurial Management Unit at Harvard Business School. (Kramer, a developmental psychologist, is her husband.)
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