The Tragic State of Work in America

January 10, 2023

For decades workers have been incentivized to work for a paycheck, but how does the pay-for-performance model impact motivation, productivity, innovation, and work satisfaction?

Professor Barry Schwartz studies how work operates in our culture and argues that monetary incentives are weak drivers of employee productivity. Barry explores the traits that can make work feel meaningful, and studies how companies can flip the script to build workplaces where employees are motivated, innovative, and happy.

In this episode, Dart and Barry talk about why the pay-for-performance model doesn’t work, what people really want from their work, the role of autonomy in the workplace, and Barry's tips for hiring the best talent.

Topics include:

  • Barry's book, Why We Work
  • What HR got wrong about work
  • What people really want from work
  • Job to be done theory
  • The paradox of choice
  • Autonomy in the modern workplace
  • The challenges of hiring
  • Designing work for the future
  • Academic theories vs real-world applications

AHDO is partnering with the US-based Work For Humans podcasts created and hosted by Dart Lindsley. You can find more about Work for Humans here

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