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The Blackmill team recently attended an online demo night for an accelerator program in Melbourne and came across a startup platform that aims to motivate team members by setting up a process for managers to purchase vouchers from selected partners. This could be a drink, coffee, lunch or similar. This made me think about extrinsic and intrinsic motivators and how they can help motivate individuals as well as teams.
Extrinsic motivations are drivers that arise from outside of the individual and often include rewards such as trophies, money, social recognition, or praise. It can help motivate people get through a task that they’re not passionate about. Some may say that you need to offer extrinsic motivators to keep people focused and willing. However, extrinsic motivators do not ignite passion or purpose. If someone doesn’t love what they do, they will only do the bare minimum to get their reward. Without passion or purpose, extrinsic motivators are not sustainable. The boredom of the work eventually leads to the extrinsic motivator not offering enough. Another disadvantage of extrinsic motivation is that it loses its effect over time unless the reward is increased constantly. This becomes problematic if people expect the reward for every task that they complete. It can lead to people actively avoiding tasks that may help them develop professionally because they can’t see an immediate reward. This is how you lose talented people to other organisations.
Intrinsic motivations are those that emerge from within the individual, when the individual has a passion for the work that they do. For example, learning a new language because you like experiencing new things, not because your job requires it. This means that they actually enjoy their work and feel motivated to keep pushing, even when faced with challenges. They have a greater understanding of where their work fits into the grand scheme. As a result, they get a reward just by knowing that they are contributing to something purposeful. With intrinsic motivation, people generally wish to continuously improve and are more likely to accept feedback because they want to improve and develop professionally.
Sometimes businesses and organisations may find extrinsic motivation produces more results in the short run but intrinsic motivation is the way forward. If you want your team to be successful in the long term, intrinsic motivation must be infused into every aspect of group dynamics. When aligned with the organisation’s purpose and values, intrinsic motivation will empower and drive individuals to achieve short term goals as well as seeking continuous improvements for themselves and the company.
We ran our workshop on Leading Engineering Teams for New Managers at the end of June with a fantastic group of folks from a range of companies and experiences. Thank you to those who participated. We enjoyed hearing about your experiences and learning with you.
The same workshop for September had sold out(!) but we managed to open up some more tickets. There are now four tickets available here. Early bird tickets (save $400 AUD) end tomorrow, Friday 9th July! Our other upcoming workshops are Inclusive Leadership in August and Engineering Better Hiring Practices in October.
We packed our bags and went on the Blackmill annual retreat. Torquay, this year, although the weather wasn’t exactly warm and beachy. It didn’t stop us from venturing out for ocean runs, park explorations, fish’n’chips, and ice cream!
Every financial year we donate one percent of our previous year’s revenue, by quarters. This quarter’s donation went to the The Australian Literacy and Numeracy Foundation. ALNF helps Australians in the most marginalised communities to improve their literacy levels. They provide funding, training, support, and resources to individuals, families, and schools. We value reading and learning and believe that everyone should have the freedom and the right to do the same. Learn more about ALNF’s core programs and how you can help.
Our latest blog post rounding up some ideas around the benefits of Emotional Intelligence in the workplace: Increase Your Emotional Intelligence To Drive Business Performance
Assume best intentions is a common principle for organisations, teams, and communities. The idea is that if we can approach conflicts by assuming that everyone meant well, we can solve problems more efficiently and maintain team harmony. This is a noble ideal to aspire to, but it obfuscates the real goal: building a team that works well together because they trust each other.
The biggest lie in HR - People leave managers not companies - well, sort of! Yes, people leave bad managers, but it is not the number one reason people leave a company. In “good” companies, managers make a difference. In “bad” companies, good or bad managers make little to no difference to a person’s decision to leave.
The Importance of Scheduling Nothing - Leaving a buffer for you to reflect, think big, or even just take a walk is the best investment you can make in yourself and one of the best productivity tools.
Why Your Efforts to Fix your Pipeline Aren’t Fixing Your Pipeline - a slightly longer read but so valuable and informative with some helpful tips and suggested tactics.
Elle and Lachlan met Nadia in the lobby of a hotel during RailsConf 2015 in Atlanta, Georgia, with a group of other Rubyists. We’ve since hung out in multiple countries and conferences around the world.
I’m the founder and CEO of The StoryGraph, the place to track your reading and choose your next book to read. We help people find books to suit their mood and any topics or themes that they’re interested in. Running a small startup and being its only developer means that my work is incredibly varied and challenging. Every day I feel like I’m being pushed to my limits, in a good way!
Even though I know there’s no right answer, the hardest is feeling happy with how I’m spending my time while I juggle several different hats. Should I be working on this new feature? Perhaps I should be conducting some more customer interviews? Really, all that matters is that I’m making the product a little better every day and I’m prepared to quickly change course in the face of new information!
Storytelling! It’s such a powerful device, which can be applied to so many things. I love weaving in fun stories to my technical talks. It helps the audience remember the takeaways while entertaining them at the same time! I’m also passionate about dance. It’s one of my main hobbies and often a tip for performing a dance better is to think of the story that you’re trying to convey!
We recently released apps in both the Apple App Store and Google Play Store. Our users have been asking for this for a long time and I didn’t think we’d be able to provide them this early on in the company’s journey, especially as I’m still the only developer!
Queueing up multiple database migrations in one deploy. It was not fun when I took production down unexpectedly for hours some months ago! What was I thinking?!
I meditate every day for at least 10 minutes. The breathing alone that comes as part of that is calming. I also take regular breaks away from work including exercising, reading, and prepping a nice lunch every day. Now that we’re coming out of lockdown, I’m looking forward to going back to dance classes a few times a week!
Always believe in yourself and keep going. Worrying is never optimal. The hardest problems can always be broken down into more manageable ones and perseverance really does pay off. Don’t be afraid to ask for help from those around you.
I’d have everyone communicate via the framework set out in Marshall B. Rosenberg’s Nonviolent Communication. “Violent” methods of communication, as laid out in the book, are so pervasive. If we were all just a little bit more aware of what we’re doing, and how it often means that we’re less likely to get what we want out of a situation, a lot of pain and conflict could be avoided!
My number one goal is getting The StoryGraph to profitability. We’re independent and bootstrapped and we want to stay that way!
This month, Sarah perfected one of her family’s favourite recipe that will have you asking for seconds 😋.
Thank you for showing an interest to our newsletter and we hope that you enjoyed the read. Feel free to contact us if you have any feedback, a burning question, or just a recipe that you would like to share 😊.
Until next time, keep learning!
Everyone at Blackmill