Podcast - Task Significance: Interview with Adam Grant
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Discussion for Podcast - Task Significance: Interview with Adam Grant
Marina Mackin (Student)
Many corporations should learns from Adam Grants' analysis "that people in high task significant jobs are usually more motivated and are happier at work." With this information managers should incorporate ways to bring this to all their employees, especially the employees whose jobs do not have immediate impact on others.
Managers should introduce the high task significance through Organization development, forming teams and giving incentives to their employees through raises or highlighting how the employees work has helped others. This would be very motivating to workers whose jobs are more behind the scenes and do not feel directly how they have benefited many customers.
Kevin Lee (Student)
Chui Yi Ng (Student)
It is really good interview. I learn what task significance from Adam. I know that how job work bring the motivation to the employee. It is ture that high task significance makes people more power to work. Employee can has the high performance. Also, The point that Adam said that organization should share the stories to impact others is very good because the employees have more knowledge about what they difference from others and get more successful.
JIA HUI HUA (Student)
After listened to the podcast on " task significance" by Mark Adam, I notice the how powerful that the task significance to motivate employees on jobs. Those employees who contribute to the task significance will have a happier attitude when working, and feel more confortable to the work enviroment. they will find more meaningfull to their work and then will be enjoyable on them.
Suqin Ruan (Student)
People stay in the big company are more competive than who stay in the small business. The small businesses are more risky compared to the big firms. Peple prefer stable environment.
Huiying Huang (Student)
I do agree with his idea. I think people who work in a big company or corporation can get a higher or better working enviorment. Small business will have more risk than the large companies. Large companies at least can provide more bennefit to employees, that's really true!
Madina Niftaliyeva (Student)
Enjoyed this Podcast very much. I would have never actualy thought about this until I listened to this interview. Now that I think about it, when I used to work at a Doctor's office, I used to process precsription authorizations with health insurance companies for our patiens. It made a big differency to me when the patients would come in and thank me personaly, and sometimes even bring me gifts if I got their medication approved. This made me feel that I was really doing something important as well as made me want to work harder to help these patients are in pain. Definitely good topic to think about.
Vanisha Narayan (Student)
I feel that task significance is very important from an organizational and customer stand point. I worked as a Patient Coordinator which had me calling patients all over the country to inform them of the treatment they had inquired about. We were required to use a script and like Adam Grant said, we were mistaken as telemarketers and were often hung up on. After we reevaluated our approach, more had more and more patients respond to our calls. In the end we were able to help out more people because we changed the way we introduced ourselves to them as people who are there to help them and not to sell them something.
U Cheng Sio (Student)
I really enjoyed watching this Podcast. A high task significance job is depending on what you do to help the others and benefit the others. As a customer service agent, i understand how important to make the coustomer feel happy and satisfied. I really enjoy doing this type of job since i like to help the others. On the other hands, i can get somethiing i want from the customers, such as happiness and respect.
Donna Chui (Student)
Adam Grant described that Task Significant is the positive impact for employees. Especially when employees have direct connection to the people they help. I found that his research is interesting. Like most of us, we think that the good way to motivate an employee is to provide competetive pay, opportunity to be promoted. But let the employees knew that their contribution to job can actually helping other is another good way. The example of the University call center and the lifeguard proof his point.
Stefany Iraheta (Student)
I really like this podcast interview! Task significance is something that is around us but sometimes not seen when it is even in front of us. I felt really connected to this interview because until now I can see that what I want to do once I graduate is a task significance job. I want to be a dietitian to help the unfortunate and improve their health with a pay they are able to do: it’s for their improvement not for my wallet. I didn’t even realize that it could be tough even when you do have a task significant job. Noticing that your job is task significant is important and seeing the results of your job. I couldn’t have imagined that life guards would be between two walls because they need to prevent anyone from being in danger yet they want to dive in and save lives. I do believe the connection with the people and hearing stories really does make a difference especially because it’s easy to forget why we are doing that particular job. Lastly, I want to say that I loved how Adam Grant brought a little bit of laughter within the interview. I’ll be recommending this podcast to people I know.
Alayna Pabalate (Student)
I really like what Adam Grant said because task significance is very important to whatever you do especially at work. If everyone know what their tasks are and their goal, they will do better with their job and that's what makes everyone successful. I work in a place where task significance is very important. I'm a supervisor and for to keep my position, I need to keep up my task and my goal. For me to successful I need to know what I need to work on and also all the task I need to do. Since we also have a sale plan to make, I always try to think a of a way to make plan or what are we doing wrong why we are not making plan. Ofcourse I can't do it my school, to make sales plan. its all about team work. I have to look at associates and thank them for what their doing good and also tell them what their opportunities to succeed. I definetly agree with Adam.
Stephen Ma (Student)
I really enjoyed listening to this podcast. I agree with what Adam said, because people are losing a lot of motivation in their lines of work. They begin with huge ambitions, but without seeing the full result of what they are doing, they feel discouraged and bored in their work. This type of thinking can be used in learning as well. As long as we find the significance and find the relative connection of how learning in a boring class can help our lives or futures, we would feel motivated to learn and give ourselves the feeling of task significance.
Merian Mortera (Student)
I liked the interview with Adam Grant and found it very inspiring to bring task significance to jobs. He makes you want to be consistently happy at work and make everything a happier place. I agree with him with his research about workers being more motivated, happier, and more satisfied with their job because of task significance. Working with people who contribute to task significance make it easier and less stressful to work in an environment as opposed to a negative worker. It's a nice concept to bring constant social contributions to work.
Nataliya Dunayeva (Student)
It was very interesting to listen and to learn about the concept "Task Significance" that Adam Grant talks about in his interview. "Task Significance" is giving an opportunity 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 co-workers or other people. It is a benefit that helps other people in their work places.
I think that the whole idea about "Task Significance" is to increase employee motivation for the employee that was not enthusiastic about his/her job. It increased the employees desire to work longer hours, and to do a job well-done. I really enjoyed listening to that interview.
Bradley Angle (Student)
Adam makes many valid points, specifically listing certain jobs where employees can "lose sight" of their responsibilities. Task Significance revolves around motivating employees, motivation through opening the eyes of employees to allow them to see that their job does indeed make a difference. Adam's goal is to see whether or not Task Significance makes a difference in real world jobs.
Melvin Pandher (Student)
The interview on task significance was very interesting to listen to. I believe task signifiance is very important because it allows employees to feel statisfaction about their work. A person always feels happy and statisfied with they see their work helping others in life. The Farmers Insurance company enforces task significance in their new commericals as they emphasis that their employees know their clients on a personal level. For example I get statisfaction when I get comments on my work. So in a workforce heavily dedicated to make products for people, i can see how interaction with the cleints on a personal can improve motivation and self satisfication.
Frank Gu (Student)
I think this interview video about task significance is very interesting and useful. The video talks about the importance of task significance and targets different jobs that might benefit with high task significance. As I’ve learned, having high task significance is not only crucial to job performances but also to the employees own job satisfactions. Most people tend to enjoy their job more when they know that they are helping the people they want to help. The video talks about different jobs that don’t really require the workers to actually see their customers. But having different ideas to raise job significance, like the caller job or the life guard job he talked about, can really make them more satisfied with their job.
Scott Shinn (Student)
This podcast was truly interesting. Adam Grant brough up some interesting concepts business should implement. I worked for a company writing custome applications for internal use. Initially I would write them and send them out and never really talked with he employees about it. I got to the point of frustation about the tedious process. I was able to relate this to my job. After some talking with my boss, I was able to work with the employees and the job enusthiastic improved almost 10 fold.
En-Chen Tu (Student)
Very useful information about task significance and the opportunity it has been given to employees- to be able to have the chance to wrok as a positive force on others. It can really benefit the work environment, employee's motivation, reasons to work and get everything done faster with even better performance. Knowing when to improve is difficult, many organizations tend to forget to be constantly improving and changing.
Lorna Fontana (Student)
I really enjoyed this interview regarding Adam Grant's study regarding Task Significance on job performance. For years, management teams have been told that salary is not the way to motivate employees long term. But for many organizations, that is still the primary tool used. Here, Mr. Grant demonstrates a relatively simple concept that seemingly has the ability to create a measurable impact on employee job satisfaction thereby improving motivation and performance.
I thought the invisible task significance was a really interesting concept. The example of Auto engineers working on safety features intellectually know that their work saves lives and prevent accidents but actually lose sight of that significance. Management could easily assume that this high task significance stays with the engineers, or that it doesn't really matter to their overall performance and motivation. Clearly, Mr. Grant's interventions show it has a high effect.
In many large, global organizations employees increasingly feel disconnected and "just a number" putting in their hours. I believe if organizations take the time to remind employees of the affect their work has on others and connect them to those benefiting from their work the effects would also include increased employee engagement, self esteem, and lower stress levels.
Kevin Thomas (Student)
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.
Gina Grinsell (Student)
I totally agree that people who have more money at work are more motivated at work and are happier people- they have less worries then someone who doesnt make the money- Sometimes with gas prices theses days its expensive to even to drive to work to where its not even worth it sometimes.
People with jobs they like and are motivated to work for develop a relationship with their job to where they actually care about their customers
Organizations also need to make a effort to always want to improve and re invent themselves to make themselves better and keep their employees motivated
It took a long time to load on my computer- I tried a PC and a MAC- the MAC worked better :)
Lan Vu (Student)
I totally agree with this opinion. High task significance jobs are usually more motivated employees and make them feel happier at work. In the interview, Adam Grant has talk about Microsoft as an example for this issue. First of all, when they introduce the new software, it is only few people know how to use it. Hoever, latter on, they have changed and improve. All they have to do is deal with their employees. The people with high task jobs are listening to their customers, then are aware how to help the customers.
In the articles, author has dicaded that high task significance is possible through Organizational Development; organizations cope with the changing environment through improved internal relationships with behavioral science techniques. Also, Adam Grant mentions that "managers should form teams, give raises, or highlight how their work will help others." It is absolutely true, doing so, the managers do not only know where are they but also where they want to be.
Manhei Sit (Student)
Adam Grant really makes a great point: one of the biggest problem with jobs with high task significance is that employees are disconnected from seeing the real impact it has on others. I liked his example of medical research scientists; they produce vaccines and cures for patients, but they never get a chance to meet the benefitors. Managers should create methods in which employees get to see how their work actually benefits and makes a difference on others. Adam Grant listed ways to actually achieve this: directly introduce employees to the people that benefits from their work and create forums where people can share their stories. As a manager, it's important to motivate employees and achieving high task significance is a powerful way to accomplish it.
Thanh Dinh (Student)
I thought Adam Grants ideas on task significance made a lot of sense. It can help companies improve certain products that aren't working out for the general public, for example, the Microsoft product he mentioned in the interview. Six users didn't know how to use the new product and later was successful when the creators met the users and talked about the product. I agree with what he said about the positive impact on employers as well as the people that benefits from their work. He talked about automotive engineers and their job to keep drivers safe; medical researchers and their findings to help patients; authors and writers who benefits the readers by writing interesting books. If companies and their employers take the time to meet the people who benefit from their product or services, it can help both sides. Employers will be successful as well as consumers benefiting from their products and services.
Sara Canales (Student)
I like the idea that to utilize task significance you could introduce workers to the customers who benefit from the job they are doing. He did mention that people who have jobs with high task significance are happier and more motivated with their work. It makes sense because if you know how what you do makes others happy, then you are more likely to be happy providing that to them.
angela romero (Student)
I think this podcast was very interesting. Grant expains his findings on the importance of task significance on job performance. Task significance means that the work employees do have a positive impact in others. His theory proposes that the more employes know about the positive impact on others, the more motivated, and satisfied the employees are, which in turn creates a more meaningful job. The jobs of managers is to highlight task sigificance to workers so they perform better at work. I find this research interesting but in a way its intuitive that peole like to help others. In my opinion Grant in proposing a paradigm shift from the Theory of management X worker, to theory of management Y. In theory X workers are self interested, prefer to be directed, and wish to avoid responsability, whereas in Theory Y workers enjoy work, are self- directed, and comitted. I think Grant's findings support Theory Y because its proves that workers are not selfish, wiil help others, and will perform better for others. It is as asset as a manager to have this information because one could devise programs to increase motivation by showing employees that their work matters.
Edna Lo (Student)
I think those people who loses site of their task significance should take a day off or two and see what kind of benefits they are doing for their customers. And I believe that if they see the benefits they are doing, then it will boost their motivation or give them back the passion they once had for doing what they do.
Jie Lin (Student)
As Adam Grant says, a high task significance job is a type of job that makes a difference and helps others, such as educate people, help coworkers, benefit customers. This type of jobs are usually more motivating and making people happier at work. I agree with this totally. People will always get more motivated and happier when they realize that they are benefiting others or the society. Thats why there are so many non-profit organizations.
Mirella Caballero-Gonzalez (Student)
I was never aware of the theory of "task significance" and after listening to the podcast I believe that if this theory is applied to companies many employees will be motivated and productive in their jobs and produce better outcomes for the companies they work for. I believe that it is important to be happy at work and many employees are not aware of their job significance and impact to others. To make these employees aware of their job significance would most likely reflect a better attitude and better communication among each other in the workplace. In addition, it would also bring more cooperation beetween employees to finish their tasks in which would probably bring alliance.
jonathan kilpatrick (Student)
I don't think most people put enough thought into their "task significance." lol. The more efficient workers are can greatly affect the impact of an organization. Prioritizing objectives from least to most important can ensure that the more meaningful jobs get done creating a stable environment for all who enter.
Andrew McDonald (Student)
I fully agree that employees who work in high significance jobs will be more motivated, satisfied, and excited with their job. For employees who do work in these highly significant jobs, I would find it hard for them to meet all these people who's lives they are influencing or saving. Volvo's idea with the "Volvo Saved My Life Club" is a very good idea for keeping their engineers motivated to keep pushing the envelope in new innovations. Most companies might not be able to afford such programs to keep their employees motivated so it is easy to see why so many people are not motivated with their current occupation. Managers are continuing to to find ways to reward and show employees how their work actually does affect lives hoping that these "success" stories will keep employees wanting to do more and more. Mostly this interview was telling us what we already know, you hear about stories on the television when someone almost died in a fire, and a few months later they get to meet their savior. These are great stories, but not all of the time are these saviors rewarded with getting to meet these people who's life they saved.
Lianne Maronilla (Student)
Task significance is something I never really considered until I listened to this podcast. I work as a cashier at a restaurant and though it may not seem like there's a likely chance of task significance in this field, there actually is in my opinion. I love making customers happy and building relationships with them. I greet customers with a friendly hello and how are you doing today? Also, I recognize a customer's voice through the phone simply because they are a regular customer that orders take out maybe like 2-3 times a week and know them by face. As a result, the benefit i get from some customers is getting tip, which is extra cash aside from my hourly wage. The benefit the customer gets is having a relationship and building loyalty to the restaurant. We let the customer know that we are reliable and the restaurant they can count on when it comes to quality service and food.
Anita Dea (Student)
I can relate to task significance. I worked fulltime last year and recently cut down to part time at my job as an administrative assistant. Everyday I go into work it's the same thing over and over again. Phone calls coming in, scheduling, then call backs, and reciting the same script over and over again to obtain and persuade customers to use our services. I've gotten so incredibly sick of it that I admit, sometimes I will come off rude to customers on purpose. Though I know this is wrong, i cannot help it. I don't see and significance or growth in the job and it's nothing related to what I want to do and I cannot see how this will further me in my career in the near future. Sorry, for coming off as negative nancy, but it's how I feel, and I don't see how what I do makes a change or a difference in someone's life, being that my manager and co workers seem unappreciative anyhow. I an currently still looking for a different job. Something I will love and be so good at the it exuberates and makes a difference!
Andrea Wolf (Student)
This is a great podcast demonstrating the importance of "task significance," and how when employees are aware of how their work benefits others it motivates them and has a positive impact on their work. I think that more companies need to create a better connection between the workers and the people that they positively impact. I work retail and I know that I have a better day at work when I am able to really help someone and they acknowledge how much I was able to assist them.
Lengmin Qu (Student)
This is Adam Grant shares dramatic effect of task significance on job performance which is very interesting. I liked he described jobs where people are working and benefiting others but not having to meet these consumers. I think everyone has their own motivation and high task significance jobs does not necessarily mean that that employee is satisfied with their work. If your job does not have any significance that does not mean that your job is not beneficial for others, its just that your job may be significant in another way. Overall very interesting interview.
Dung Jane Nguyen (Student)
I found this topic quite interesting. Task Significance seems like such a simple concept, but a lot of organizations overlook it's ability to affect the performance of their employees.
Ben Kwan (Student)
Very interesting topic, great how Adam shares his view on task significance. I liked how he described jobs where people are working and benefiting others but not having to meet these consumers. I think everyone has their own motivation and high task significance jobs does not necessarily mean that that employee is satisfied with their work. If your job does not have any significance that does not mean that your job is not beneficial for others, its just that your job may be significant in another way. Overall very interesting interview.
Alan Kwok (Student)
I find that creating task significance goes both ways: from the employer and from the employee. The disconnect between the tasks and their "positive" and "meaningful" impacts stem from how employer treat their employees and how employees perceive their tasks. But as Grant explained, impediments to task significance include unappreciative employers and employees who perceive their work as monotonous (e.g. lifeguards). I agree that employers can create a work environment to help motivate employees. However, I find that some tasks just do not perform social benefits to society. Unlike the examples cited (alumni fundraising and lifeguarding), how can tasks in scamming agencies be task significant? Additionally, there's a basic assumption by Grant that people want to do work that makes a positive difference and want to have their employees become more "conscious" about their significance of their tasks. I don't think everyone is socialized to want to make a difference in the world in a positive way. Furthermore, what does Grant mean by "positive"? Would mountain-top mining be considered as positive? for some, I am sure, would consider that as positive, in that it provides the necessary resources to run our economy. But for others, I believe they would argue otherwise. So I think this podcast (and Grant's research) is a window dressing for making people feel good about their insignificant tasks.
fuli li (Student)
this is a great idea. but sometimes it's very hard to motivated imployee, and it's even harder to keep them motivated. Like to share the story, the lifeguard for example, watch some vedio about how other lifeguard save people's life, even make me want become a lifeguard, but the encourage moment can't last long. also, for other business, especially for small business, very difficult to find a way to make empolyee think they are high needed in the business. howerver, this is a good idea for people to think about it.
Shane McKinney (Student)
This is great stuff. It's common sense that thankful jobs would be more fulfilling for the employee, but there's a huge number of jobs that are widely assumed to be impactful or important, and yet the people involved never see the results of their work. I'm glad that somebody came up with the idea of showing people the significance of their work.
Camilo Hernandez (Student)
I really like how he developed this important topic by giving his own experiences and some outside examples such as Microsoft Co, very detailed. In addition, he makes great focus on Social contribution in this case the work that benefit others. It is also important to be aware of Invisible Task Significance which Mannagers need to know so they can perfom better du to motivation.
Lola Figueiredo (Student)
I think that some of these examples are a great way to increase task significance and to motivate employees. The motivation of employees usually decreases over the years of working the same job. They should find ways to constantly motivate employees, so that every day the employees are motivated and have a positive attitude.
Robert Schmitt (Student)
Interesting idea for motivation for employees. I believe this can be extremely effective in organizations if it can work in the industries with the highest turnover rate. The only issue I see is consistency. Motivation can only last so long and people need to be reminded of their "task significance." I would like to see better forms of measurement for lifeguards than just more hours per week.
I am curious as to see the different people that are affected by different industries and a list ranking the highest task significance jobs.
Something to think about for current and future managers of businesses.
Enji Law (Student)
Good talks about task significance in a work place. The material was easy to comprehend and follow. It's true what Adam mentioned, business that is task-oriented is more productive.
Forrest schaefer (Student)
I find it interesting that the importance of task significance is actually discussed; to me it is just obvious. However, it is good to know that research on the matter had a positive turnout. At Microsoft developers that had contact with users, by observing them through a mirror, started to indentify with the users and worked harder to fix the bugs. Metronics brings in some cured patients to their annual party, and it inspired biochemists and other lab help; who do not normally get to see the positive effects of the medicine they helped created. In both cases recognition of the employees task significance improved their attitude and motivation towards their work. This is a relief because if that was not the case I might once and for all fall victim to deep depression.
Andrew Chansky (Student)
Its interesting that just these little suggestions can have such a large effect on the lifeguards and the fundraisers. Its amazing that by just introducing a student under scholarship or showing lifeguards examples of how their jobs had made a difference elsewhere can have such a significant impact on their jobs. All organizations should use these types of techniques to motivate and improve their employees productivity. It is good to be reminded how much of a difference employees can make.
Tiffany Chu (Student)
Very interesting! I like how he relates his thoughts to what is being explained. for instance, the use of "journalist who write but never meet those who benefit from his writings". the way he relates his explanations to real life really helps listeners to understand and connect to what's said.
Also, i think he's right! to know how your affecting someone you truly have to understand their feelings. if a doctor wants to cure someone they first must find the problem. it applies to everything we do, to significantly finish a task, we must effectively understand what's the needs of those being affected.
Task significance is all about understanding those whom you help so i think its important you understand your task and audience.
Vanessa Valdez (Student)
Adam Grant's research on task significance is interesting. The two samples he used perfectly demonstrated the frustration employees feel when they don't realize the importance or impact of the work they do. Managers should use the results of this study to motivate their employees. I like the three suggested ways that managers can increase awareness of employee’s task significance.
Every holiday season the company I work for collects donations for the St. Jude's Children's Hospital. Every week we get a letter from a child that is being treated at St. Jude's. It is so emotional and reminds us of the great cause we are working towards. It motivates us to not just ask for the donation but to sincerely ask with a sense of purpose and passion.
McKenzie Muscat (Student)
I agree with Adam Grant and have seen a difference at my own jobs when Task Significance is brought to employees attention. Even just in retail, I have done training programs to make a more personal experience between clients and employees and I believe that creates a different environment which encourages employee effort and satisfaction. I know that making people feel good by selling them clothing isn't exactly doing a great deed for the world but it does show that Task Significance makes a difference in any workplace. When people feel a more personal attachment and see a difference due to their work, they are automatically more satisfied with what they accomplished.
Ibrahim Germanos (Student)
I agree with Adam Grant on his study, and I do experience it at my work place. I work at a hotel where I meet and deal with hundreds of people, each with different needs and preferences. We have a program at work that's called GSS (Guest Satisfactory Survey), which is a survey that is sent to guests after checking out of our hotel asking them about their stay which they can rate us with, and leave comments or recommendations. We print the GSS every week to see our progress and comments. The point that Adam Grant did not talk about was the negative side. I do look forward to read the GSS to know how we are doing towards our guests and how we can make their stay a better experience. When I get a positive comment from a guest, I get very happy and excited to see that I'm doing a good job and I keep doing it in the future. But, I also look for guests who didn't like the way I treated them, or the way I dealt with a situation that concerned them, and I take that negative comment and think of a way to get better at what I do and how I work around the hotel. To me, this is also a motivation as I care about my job and I like taking a good care of our guests. I like my guest to have the best experience ever, and over the years I have built a decent portfolio and background in my career. And I don't stop there, but everytime I go somewhere and I stay at different hotels, I do observe how other people in guest services work around hotels and deal with different situations, and I learn also from them. If I experience something that I like, I do add it to my experience and try to apply it on guest at our hotels. But, if I don't like a behavior from another person in guest services, I try to stay away from it. At the end, an important point that Adam Grant missed is the passion that each individual has towards what he/she does.
HO KWONG LAU (Student)
After I listened "Task Significance". I agree that good companies always understand to the customer's need. Good managenment is possible to do right innovation, such is providing new products and services.
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