How to return subordinates to work

A bear walks along the riverbank. This day was successful for him, he found raspberry thickets, fortified himself with tasty roots and even pulled a fat chipmunk from the mink. The bear is full. He idly looks into the water of a mountain river and sees: salmon splashing on the rapids.

Why should a well-fed bear crawl into ice water for fish, because for him there is a lot of food on the shore. By the way, the bear’s diet consists of 75% plant foods. But the bear jumps into the river and catches salmon. This fish will help him accumulate fat by winter and, ultimately, survive.

How does the bear know that winter is ahead, and he needs to save fat for hibernation? It is unlikely that he even knows what fat is. He simply follows some instincts of his own and dives into the water.

For a long time the question haunted me. Why are students ready to study the characteristics of hundreds of heroes of their beloved MMORPG, to calculate the most complicated strategies and spend hours completing the quest “collect 1000 wolf skins and get an achievement”, but with great difficulty they force themselves to solve several simple examples from homework, although knowledge will bring them more benefit than numbers on the screen.

Why are office workers willing to gather peas for days on a fun farm, but are constantly putting off their work tasks, for which they are paid salaries and bonuses.

It would seem that rewards in the real world should motivate more than the ephemeral “achievements” of computer games. It should be more profitable for a person to spend his time improving his professional skills and completing work tasks, because his material gain directly depends on this. A grown zucchini on the "farm" can not bring anything but the feeling of wasted time. What makes people move from the real world to the virtual?

Nature has worked hard to ensure that living things enjoy not only the food process, but also its prey, sometimes in not the most pleasant conditions. Otherwise, the bear would never know the taste of fresh fish, the cat would not wait for the mouse for hours, the squirrel would not collect nuts (most of which it would never eat).

For this, nature came up with dopamine - the hormone of pleasure while waiting for a reward.

Since childhood, everyone knows the feeling of an approaching holiday. Christmas is coming, there will be many sweets and gifts, parents promised to give a bicycle. It’s easier to wake up in the morning, and the lessons don't seem so boring.

Sometimes there is more happiness from expecting something good than from the reward itself. People are ready to spend hours freezing fishing to catch a pair of crucian carp. Or climb the mountain for a few days to check the map. Well, or for weeks to get up in the middle of the night to harvest in a computer game.

Back to the office. A man is sitting, writing a report. So he finally finishes work, and what does he hear? In the best case, "yep" and a portion of new tasks. And if the task is not completed on time, he was provided with strict comments and a promise to deprive the bonus.

The words that money does not motivate employees are true. No matter how high the salary may be, it is fixed, and it is paid on schedule, it does not depend on achievements. But the hormone of happiness is produced if the reward depends on the activity of a person, and not on the number in the calendar. Moreover, the size of the award is of secondary importance, the most important thing is the fact of receipt.

Animals do not argue: “So, if I catch salmon, I will get 4000 calories. However, if I enter ice water, I’ll lose somewhere 1000 calories. The probability of catching salmon ... ". The bear would sit for hours and procrastinate. Therefore, nature has decreed that if the animal does not die of hunger, then the size of the treats does not affect the production of dopamine and, accordingly, the desire to dive into cold water.

Imagine a different situation. A man writes a boring report, is late. Finally, he comes to the boss with a ready-made report, and he says: “Thank you, the report is well prepared. I expected to get it a little earlier, but it's not so scary. Hopefully next time you will make it faster. Now you can rest for 10 minutes and have tea with chocolate, and then you will need to prepare invoices. ”

Rest assured, a chocolate bar will do its job no worse than huge bonuses or interest on sales. While you are spending money on team building, others are forcing your employees to spend their time working on watering the beds and even pay money for fertilizers only by constantly saying: “how good you are, collected 10 zucchini, collect 30 more and get 5 coins.” It is important for a person to receive a reward immediately after completing a task.

But there is another curious phenomenon. Even those employees who receive a percentage of closed projects do not always feel interest in the job. Strange, a person has a guaranteed reward, which directly depends on his activities, but does not inspire him at all.

It is explainable. There is another important motivating factor: passion. Have you ever wondered why roulette is so popular?

I used to think that the “gamblers” in the casino are foolish people who are completely unfamiliar with the theory of probability and want to get rich quick. Until he visited there and saw the game process with his own eyes.

Singapore, the world's most expensive city, has the world's most expensive hotel, known for its rooftop pool. The hotel has a casino. A Chinese man comes to roulette, in his hands he has a handful of chips of $ 1000 each. He carefully examines the playing field, carefully arranges the chips. And then calmly leaves for another table to put chips there. He does not follow the ball with an alarming gaze, is not upset due to losses, does not jump for joy when winning. It is unlikely that he hopes to hit the jackpot and take a suitcase full of money from the casino. He just gets his dopamine dose. Put the chip and wait for the reward. This is a "fun farm" for the rich. People love pleasant surprises and are willing to pay a lot of money for it.
Scientists have found that in monkeys, the level of dopamine in the process of activity is maximum when the probability of receiving a reward is 50%.

If the reward is guaranteed, then interest in the activity gradually disappears. But it is worth introducing an element of chance, as a sharp release of dopamine occurs. Indeed, if a person performs the boring quest “collect 1000 wolf skins” and suddenly knocks out a valuable sword (not every wolf carries it in his pocket), then a storm of positive emotions from the game process is provided. If an office worker writes boring reports and suddenly gets a chocolate bar, then he will write the next report much faster.

Why not use it to good use. Games and social networks steal your employees from you - use their own weapons. Get a system of achievements: “500 perfect calls”, “20,000 written lines of code”, “10 moronic TK”, “50 fixed bugs”. Come up with a level system, hold competitions, make surprises, put pluses, give chocolates. If this seems childish to you, then think about how much money the owners of casinos and online games earn.

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