Of all the things that can boost emotions, motivation, and perceptions during a workday, the single most important is making progress in meaningful work.
– Teresa Amabile & Steven Kramer
Last week my routine was interrupted with re-scheduled coaching appointments and some other things. I had also been out of town and was a bit weary. While I hate to admit it, the “interruption” of my rhythm affected my focus and productivity.
After sluggishly working through the morning I left for an early afternoon appointment with a colleague, Teri Aulph. Following our meeting, I reviewed a client testimonial video. Before the day was done, I connected with a key contact and after several missed calls we have a breakfast meeting penciled in.
How to keep things moving forward
In business and in life one of our challenges is to keep things moving in the right direction. Right?
Consider these five ways to encourage productivity, engagement, and innovation; how would you rank them?
- Clear Goals
- Support for making progress
- Recognition for good work
- Interpersonal support
If you selected support for making progress in one’s work you are in agreement with the findings of Teresa Amabile and Steven Kramer in their forthcoming book: The Progress Principle: Using Small Wins to Ignite Joy, Engagement, and Creativity at Work from Harvard Business Review Press. They call it the “progress principle”.
Through exhaustive analysis of diaries kept by knowledge workers, we discovered the progress principle: Of all the things that can boost emotions, motivation, and perceptions during a workday, the single most important is making progress in meaningful work. And the more frequently people experience that sense of progress, the more likely they are to be creatively productive in the long run. Whether they are trying to solve a major scientific mystery or simply produce a high-quality product or service, everyday progress—even a small win—can make all the difference in how they feel and perform. (Emphasis added.)
How would you like to see your performance or that of your team improve? See to it you make progress, even in a small way, and enjoy emotional and motivational support. The power of progress!
What type of day will it be?
As a manager here’s a great question to consider: How am I helping my people have a good day?
What’s a good day? At the end of the day, people feel good and are motivated because they can see progress. Yes, even if only small steps have been achieved in their work it matters.
What’s a bad day? Employees feel stuck due to a lack of resources or support; at the end of the day they cannot see progress.
There is power in achievement and that’s improved performance. Whether you are a manager, business owner, or you apply this to leading your own life, remember …
Daily progress is powerful and even a small win helps sustain performance
Support daily progress by providing resources and removing obstacles
On that Monday, you would be right to observe I had not experienced a huge victory… but I did see progress. And progress – even those small wins – had a positive effect.
Where are you seeing progress?
Please share your comments below.