April 7, 2016
Inspiration can come in a lot of forms. Whether you are re-watching Villanova's triumphant championship victory from Monday night or amping yourself up in the mirror, a little inspiration can go a long way. The workplace is no different. And if you are working at a job that keeps your creativity stifled and your purpose minimal, you should let them know that it's affecting your work. Because inspired employees are going to change the game.
A study from the Harvard Business Review found that inspired employees performed significantly better than their coworkers. The study placed candidates in four categories: dissatisfied, satisfied, engaged and inspired. While engaged workers still performed admirably at 144 percent the rate of satisfied workers, inspired employees were 250 percent more productive than their satisfied counterparts.
But what does it mean to be inspired in the workplace? Inspirational posters can only do so much and having Pop Tarts in the break room might be sending the wrong message. According to the study, their is a hierarchy of needs that employers must meet to keep their employees satisfied, engaged and inspired. Everything from team work and effective leadership to safe working conditions and fair compensation make the list. Some employers even look to famous figures, like Winston Churchill and Nelson Mandela, to keep employees focused and inspired.
I know what you're thinking. This all seems fairly obvious. If employees are inspired by their work, they get more done – it doesn't take a Harvard graduate to see that. However, articles, studies and surveys like this will keep being written because those in charge rarely take notice. While the writing is on the wall, employers' primary concern is the bottom-line. And while inspiration is nearly impossible to monetize (as evidence from Chris Farley's famous SNL character, inspirational speaker Matt Foley, living in a van down by the river), successful CEOs, founders and hiring teams recognize that the bottom-line is how you survive; inspiration is how you thrive.
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