Employee motivation is the basis for willingness, action and achievement of goals.
Motivation can be defined as the desire or willingness to engage in an activity. Employee
motivation may come from within an individual (intrinsic motivation) or inspired by outside
forces (extrinsic motivation). In most cases, health workers are motivated and display job
satisfaction when they feel that their services are effective and are achieving the expected
outcomes. Factors that may increase employee motivation include favorable working conditions,
better compensation, and strong career development, among others. Watching Dan Pink’s video,
“The Puzzle of Motivation,” provides the basis for understanding the concept of motivation. The
video highlights crucial information about motivation that healthcare leaders can apply in their
In his video “The Puzzle of Motivation,” Pink deliberates on what motivates people and
how managers can apply this research in their organizations. In his analysis, Dan explains the
disparity that exists between science and business. He focuses on the knowledge that social
scientists have, which most managers don’t; traditional rewards are not as effective motivators as
we often think (TED, 2009). According to Pink, Scientists know that incentives are not effective
while businesses still use incentives as motivators. He gives an example of a study that involved
two groups of students who were required to perform specific creative tasks and complete them
within a given time. One group was promised more earnings if they completed the task within
the given time, while the other group received nothing. It was surprising that the group with
higher rewards performed the worst.
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Key takeaways from the video
One of the key takeaways from Pink’s video as a future healthcare leader is that financial
incentives are not always a source of motivation. Managers often believe in the redemptive
power of rewards they give to their employees. It has been a traditional practice that employees
are given financial incentives if they do a better job; however, this should not be the case. Based
on Pink’s video, financial incentives tend to undermine the very process they are meant to
enhance. Though they help achieve temporary compliance, rewards are ineffective.
As a future leader, I learned that autonomy, mastery, and purpose are crucial for
improving organizational efficiency. Regarding autonomy, it is important to give employees
some degree of freedom to work on what they want. For instance, healthcare professionals can
be allowed to set their schedules or decide on how their work should be done. Employee
autonomy leads to job satisfaction and motivation. Promoting role mastery among employees
will help them attain expert skills and knowledge their areas of specialization. This will increase
not only job satisfaction but also employee motivation. Further, stating the purpose of the
organization will provide the roadmap for the organization’s existence. Employees will be
motivated to accomplish tasks necessary for supporting the organization’s purpose.
How I will utilize one of the key take-aways
By encouraging employee autonomy, I will be able to build strong employee
engagement. Without employee engagement, employees might become zombies, waiting to be
guided on what to do. To encourage autonomy among clinicians, I will encourage them to be
engaged with initiative and to work without fear. It is irrefutable that autonomy might not be
achieved without trust. Therefore, I will ensure that there is trust among employees and
managers so that employees can be encouraged to effectively use their time, reward, and effort in
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providing quality care to patients. I will also ensure that employees have the required tools and
resources that they need to achieve the organization’s goals, including continuous training.
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TED. (2009, August 25). The puzzle of motivation [Video].