When it comes to motivating employees, the industrial style carrot and stick no longer serves us. In his best selling new book, Drive: The Surprising Truth About What Motivates Us, Daniel Pink notes that the common belief that if you reward certain behavior, you get more of that behavior and if you punish it you get less of it, does not stand true in most cases. The carrot and stick, while fine in some circumstances, is way too simplistic against the backdrop of human complexities. Pink studied nearly 50 years of research in behavioral science, and he believes it overturns a lot of notions about why we do what we do.
He believes we do things because of a biological drive, like when we are hungry or thirsty, but we also do things because we like learning, because they are interesting, because they contribute, because we are social. What has and is changing from the industrial revolution is the type of work that people are doing and the type of thinking that is needed.
The unraveling of Industry 4.0 and what it means to motivate employees
In the rules-based, industrial age, the workplace was by and large task driven, the relationship between employer and employee was designed to be transactional. In that environment a method of motivation as simplistic as the ‘carrot and stick’ did the job. Fast forward to Industry 4.0, and it is a whole other ball game.
From horse drawn to steam powered and from electricity to the assembly line and later automated mass production, the evolution of the workplace has seen its fair share of change over the course of 250 years. As we enter Industry 4.0, where computers and automation will come together in an entirely new way, the relationship between employer and employee is set to take on a life of its own.
As we enter the world of smart working, our people must be given the knowledge, skills, tools and motivation with which to become ‘smart.’ The future of our planet is going to be ruled by smart inter-connectivity like we have never known before. The Internet of Things (IOT) will mean that most of our physical devices, including our vehicles and buildings will become smart enough to collect, analyze, evaluate and exchange data, building a global infrastructure of artificially intelligent information. This will truly integrate our physical and online worlds. Some experts estimate that as soon as 2020, IOT will include around 50 billion objects.
IOT changes everything and will improve efficiency and accuracy, it will also greatly reduce the need for human intervention in many areas of our working lives. Thousands of jobs that have existed for centuries will disappear, but thousands more, that we cannot even imagine today, will be created. When we can get our thoughts around this potential loss and gain, it becomes easy to understand just how urgent it is that we start to create not just ‘smart working,’ but ‘smart workers.’
When we look at the ‘Smart Worker’ list, it is easy to understand why the antiquated ‘carrot and stick’approach to motivation should be ‘put to rest’ and fast!
The Smart Worker of the future will:
1. Be empowered
2. Have autonomy
3. Be highly creative
4. Think critically
5. Be collaborative
6. Be emotionally and socially intelligent
7. Be self-sufficient
8. Have an entrepreneurial spirit
9. Understand and embrace ‘failure’
We would value your input!
Fi and the Cafe Style team