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The Progress Principle: Using Small Wins to Ignite Joy, Engagement, and Creativity at Work by Steven Kramer, Teresa Amabile

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5

The Progress Principle

The Power of Meaningful Accomplishment

YOU MIGHT think it is obvious that managers should focus on supporting employees’ work progress. It is not. Here’s a startling fact: if managers were to draw the bar graphs you just saw at the end of chapter 4, progress wouldn’t even be in the picture. We have asked dozens of managers, individually and in groups, to name their most important levers for motivating employees. They tend to favor the things that most management books tout: recognition, tangible incentives, and clear work goals. When we ask how they, as managers, might influence employee emotions, the list looks the same, although many add interpersonal support. Rarely—very rarely—does anyone mention progress in the work ...

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