Task significance is directly correlated with worker productivity. Employees who are aware that they contribute to the...
Task significance is directly correlated with worker productivity. Employees who are aware that they contribute to the well-being of the person/people they are serving as well as feel that they are connected in some manner to those people exhibit increased motivation to perform according to high standards. As a result, quality and productivity are improved and advanced.Adam Grant's podcast provides numerous examples of this effect. One example that was particularly outstanding was the one regarding university donations. Phone operators would contact alumni soliciting scholarship donations. The rejection rate was between 90-99%, and the work was monotonous. Workers were very unmotivated until Grant introduced the idea of connecting scholarship recipients with donors. Pledges more than doubled, and workers began to feel the effect of their work as donors began to feel connected to the individuals they were serving. The key to success appears to lie in being able to be connected to those that one serves and see the positive effect his/her work has on the individual(s) or group(s). As human beings, we develop a unique self-worth through contributing to the needs of others and desire to complete this task to the best of our ability.The concept of job design shares the same underlying theme as task significance. Workers feel more motivated to perform when they recognize that the work and decisions that they do and make have a significant impact on their organization's objectives and on personal and professional growth. Employees seek job enlargement and enrichment rather than simplification. Employees who feel they contribute to their organization's goals become personally invested in the mission, and motivation to achieve flourishes. Therefore, it is more effective for organizations to delegate more responsibility to their employees. This responsibility may be in the form of broader job descriptions, endowing employees with increased control over the resources necessary to complete their tasks, and providing employees with more decision-making power. A job design that encourages enhanced employee responsibility will connect employees to the goals they are working to achieve and will increase motivation and productivity as a result.Justine Cheshareck, 03/14/09