Daniel Pink

On Monday night, "Drive" author Daniel Pink participated in the #HRBookChat Twitter chat; his insights on employee compensation and engagement were especially apt. The one-hour chat produced too much excellent information to distill in a single post; look for a follow-up post with Part 2 of the chat.

Update: Read my follow-up post on Pink's recommendations for a results-only work environment here.

The Three Drives

Pink kicked off the chat by introducing the three drives and how they relate to various times in mankind's history.

First drive: hunger, thirst reproduction.#HRBookchat
— Daniel Pink (@DanielPink) January 10, 2012
Second drive: Avoiding punishment and seeking reward in our environment.#HRBookchat
— Daniel Pink (@DanielPink) January 10, 2012
Third drive: Doing things because they're interesting, we get better at them, they contribute to the world.#HRBookchat
— Daniel Pink (@DanielPink) January 10, 2012
Key point: Early human life built on first drive. Industrial economy on 2d drive. 21st century economy on third drive.#HRBookchat
— Daniel Pink (@DanielPink) January 10, 2012

Employee Compensation and Motivation

Pink then answered questions about how the recession has affected the modern employee's perception of purpose versus pay. The nature of people's jobs, not the business cycle, is what drives motivation, Pink argued; however, he also acknowledged the role money plays in anyone's motivation:

@DavidLapin $ is always a baseline reward. Get it wrong, & you're toast. For all work, pupose can enhance. But $ is a threshold #HRBookchat
— Daniel Pink (@DanielPink) January 10, 2012

Later on, the chat returned to the concept of money as a motivator. Money matters, but when it comes to motivation, it isn't a black-and-white issue.

@themoneyfinder-- Again, money matters. A lot. But it only gets you to the table. If you don't treat people fairly, it's over. #hrbookchat
— Daniel Pink (@DanielPink) January 10, 2012
@themoneyfinder -- Best use of money as a motivator is to pay people enuf to take the issue of money off the table. #hrbookchat
— Daniel Pink (@DanielPink) January 10, 2012

A participant responded to this last tweet that "enough" could mean a lot of money. Pink's response:

@DavidLapin -- Depends. When it comes to pay, main issue is fairness -- internal and external equity. #hrbookchat
— Daniel Pink (@DanielPink) January 10, 2012

Employee Engagement: "Purpose" versus "purpose"

Daniel Pink also introduced the concepts of Purpose, or changing the world, and purpose, or how your work contributes to a larger whole. Both influence employee motivation in different ways.

@alyssaburkus - And both Purpose and purpose are important. Lots of amazing research showing that explaining why …#HRBookchat
— Daniel Pink (@DanielPink) January 10, 2012
@alyssaburkus -- … explaining *why* a task matters can enhance someone's performance of that task.#HRBookchat
— Daniel Pink (@DanielPink) January 10, 2012

I've echoed Pink's sentiments on giving context to employees, so this was a welcome tweet to read.

If you'd like to read all of Pink's tweets from the #HRBookChat, check out my Storify. My next post will tackle Daniel Pink's thoughts on a results-only work environment, or ROWE, and how HR professionals can institute one.

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