As humans, we want to feel motivated and to find meaning in the things that we do. There’s a part of our brains called the seeking system that creates the natural impulses to learn new skills and take on challenging but meaningful tasks.
When we follow these urges, we receive a jolt of dopamine, a neurotransmitter linked to motivation and pleasure, which make us want to engage in these activities even more. And, when our seeking systems are activated, we feel more motivated, purposeful, and zestful.
To help employees become more motivated, leaders need to work on three areas:
- making employees feel comfortable about expressing themselves,
- creating an environment in which experimentation is valued, and
- helping employees feel a sense of purpose.