We are most likely to become enthusiastic about what we are doing— and all else being equal, to do it well— when we are free to make decisions about the way we carry out a task. The loss of autonomy entailed by the use of rewards or punishments helps explain why they sap our motivation. But managers must do more than avoid these tactics; they need to take affirmative steps to make sure employees have real choices about how they do their jobs. To describe much of what is wrong with our workplaces is to enumerate the effects of restricting people’s sense of self-determination. This situation is more egregious the lower we are in the hierarchy.
Quote ID: 01734
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