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"Task Significance with Adam Grant by Mark Adam" icon

Task Significance with Adam Grant by Mark Adam

I learned about the concept Task Significance. Task Significance is giving an opporotunity to an employee to do work that has a positive impact on the well being of other people. The person allows high social contribution of helping coworkers or other people. It is a benefit that helps othere people in the work place. An, example of this would be firefighters. Then I learned about ...

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Tigest Scott
Tigest Scott (Student)
12 years ago

The most interesting information that I took from Adam Grant was that the largest problem with employees who have high task positions is that they are disconnected from seeing the impact of their work. For example, car mechanics who put together car parts such as seatbelts and airbags never see the drivers who've been in accidents who were saved by airbags and such. In retail, sales associates work very hard in achieving store goals, and when the goals are met, and the store is ranked number one in sales or customer experience, sales associatese aren't the ones being recognized from corporate with bonuses or extra time off.

Another thing that was interesting was the initial high motovation of employees at the beginning, excited to do their work, but over time, employees lose their motivation due to the lack of recognition. Which means employees need to be reminded of how important their work is for the company, and how much they are valued at the company. Verbal affirmation, providing lunch, setting personal goals are some ways to keep employees motivated.

Technical Remarks:

Everything was crystal clear!!

Time spent reviewing site: 20 minutes
Kevin Thomas
Kevin Thomas (Student)
12 years ago

I found the point about the students that were “cold callers” very intriguing. Trying to raise money for a school is a difficult task especially when in a recession. They are calling alumni and other who had received help or attend the school in the past. These callers are not always welcomed by the individual on the other end of the phone. As a caller they may feel that they are making little to zero progress in acquiring money for the school due to the high failure rate. They need to see how well they are doing as a total to show that they actually are making a difference in the task at hand. This job is high in task significance and the caller should have the opportunity to see what effect they are making. Another similar story was the job of a Lifeguard. Many will never have to jump into a pool and have to save a life. Adams had a great idea to use stories from the media about how a lifeguard had saved a drowning victim to motivate other lifeguards.

Time spent reviewing site: 45 minutes
ben chau
ben chau (Student)
12 years ago

I definitely agree and support Adam's three recommendations to boost up employees' motivation, commitment and satisfaction to their jobs and the missions of the companies they work for. 

The mission of my organization, an organ transplant organization (OPO) and the work I do everyday, although not directly related to saving people's lives, motivate me to give 120% of myself for the cause.   Once in awhile, I heard stories of people we helped saved or prolonged their lives.   The feeling of satisfaction and appreciation of being  a part of the organization is indescrible. 


Susan Oh
Susan Oh (Student)
12 years ago

Adam Grant makes an interesting point that reminding people of the meaning and significance of their work can double their productivity. And he did this by simply sharing stories from people who benefited from their jobs

Janelle Duttera
Janelle Duttera (Student)
12 years ago

I think Adam made a great point in his research. It would help companies lower the turnaround rate of employees in companies if employees heard or saw their job really does make a difference. I have worked in retail for almost 7 years, which is very tedious. If someone showed me appreciation it would definitely keep me motivated to work harder. I wish the question was brought up why companies do not use this technique in trainings more often. I also wanted to know more about similar motivating techniques employers could use if they could not use Adam's way of motivating.

Used in course? Yes
Time spent reviewing site: 15-20 minutes
Madeline Grahek
Madeline Grahek (Student)
13 years ago
Understanding the significace of the invisible workers really do help make a difference. Those workers who want to make a difference in a customers point of view increases profit. When the Volvo workers were introduced to the stories of people in volvo recks, it was interesting to hear how that increased task sifnificance of employee motivation. Good interview.
Time spent reviewing site: 20 min
Serena Wong
Serena Wong (Student)
13 years ago
After hearing Task Signigicance by Mark Adam made me realize that I didn't notice some of the invisible jobs that are task significance. I think it is really important for invisible jobs (task significance) to be notice. Not only because people would notice what they do can impact and benefit of what they do, but people would be more happy and it would motivate them to work better and this is how the world would be better if there are more people encourage to benefit and help other people.
Sarah Presotto
Sarah Presotto (Student)
13 years ago
After listening to Adam Grant's discussion regarding task significance really made me realize how important my job tasks are and how on a daily basis I impact those I serve. Working for a Patient Assistance Foundation where medication is provided at no cost to low income, uninsured patients provides so much immediate feedback encouraging my job performance. I see those around me wanting to go the extra mile to improve the health of the patients who really need it. I have worked in other fields and felt less motivated and without true purpose. I truly believe that monetary compensation isn't enough to fully fulfill an employee. At the end of my life I would like to know that I made a difference in this world. I fully embrace these principles.
Used in course? Yes
Jessica Scott
Jessica Scott (Student)
13 years ago
I really thoght it was cool that Adam Grant found jobs that really made a difference, but thes people never saw the outcome of their work. He did this so they could see the outcome their work did and the difference they we're making!

Technical Remarks:

This allowed employees to be more motivated and to do their job more efficiently.
Used in course? Yes
Time spent reviewing site: 10-15 min to listen to the podcast on Adam Grants 's "Task Significance"