What shapes what we do, and particularly what shapes how much effort we put into tasks? Why are some people motivated when others may be less motivated? Why some times do we feel motivated to do things while at other times we may feel much less motivated? There are various ways of thinking about this, the framework the psychologists often like, is something called the expectancy theory. Expectancy theory argues that effort is really the product of three different factors. One is called expectancy. If I put forth effort, will it improve my performance? How much difference does my making effort actually make to my performance? The second is instrumentality. If I do actually perform well, am I going to be rewarded in any way? What outcomes are actually changed by my performing well versus performing poorly? Then the third dimension is valence. I get some reward, there is some outcome from my performance, how much do I actually value those rewards, those outcomes? The suggestion is that our effort ultimately depends on all of those. When all three are high, we're going to put in high effort like I feel like, okay, if I try harder things will go better, I'll get a reward and those rewards are things I value. But if we don't have those things, we're going to put in much less effort. Now, at this point, you're probably sitting there thinking something along the lines of and how much do psychologists get paid to come up with this stuff? Feels obvious. Yeah, in many ways, it does feel obvious. On the other hand, I find it a very useful framework, partly as a checklist, when I think about some task or something somebody's doing it, each of these present. I also find it useful because I think often when thinking about motivation, people leap straight to the instrumentality line. Okay, well maybe we should have some pay-for-performance, maybe we want to make sure people are rewarded. I think what this framework really reminds us is the value of all three components, that yes, we need that instrumentality. But people also need to really feel that their effort is going to improve their performance, and they need to value the rewards that we're providing. Let me talk a little bit in particular about this expectancy one, cause I think it's one that we sometimes pay less effort to, but it can be very important. There are some nice illustrations of it. Generally, I'm not a huge fan of sports examples, I have to say, but in this case, it's one that fits. People used to believe that no person could run a mile in less than four minutes. The idea here is there has to be some limit to what the human body can do. It seems unlikely anybody's ever going to run a mile in less than one minute. During the 1950s they thought that limit was about four minutes, so, yeah, we might get close to it, we're never going to get past it. Turns out they were wrong. In 1954 Roger Bannister, of the Iffley Road track in Oxford, run a mile in just under four minutes. Like I said, people were wrong. Big deal? I'm wrong about things all the time. Why is this interesting? It's interesting cause it only took six weeks for somebody else to run even faster. In fact, in the next three years, 16 different people ran miles in less than four minutes, and so we had this weird situation where we went from everybody saying this is impossible, it can never be done to people doing it almost as a matter of routine. What changed it? There are various reasons. I can't discount, for example, that there were some real improvements in training regimes or maybe people's shoes got better, maybe. But there story that's usually told about this is that when everybody was hearing, you are the limits of what's humanly possible, how much more effort are they going to put in? Are they really going to try to push their training regimen that much faster to try and figure out different ways to get their performance up. Now, and even once you think you're already doing almost the limits of what's humanly possible, you may not want to put that much more effort. Once you're told no, if you try harder, train harder, work harder, you'll run faster, then maybe you will put in that extra piece of effort. There's actually a nice experiment that does illustrate this beyond this running example. This is running, it's biking or you find this stationary bikes, like Peloton, all of those things, we come and sit on it and you ride around a computer course. This is one of the ones where actually, you can track yourself going around an imaginary course as you sit there in the gym. Psychologists run an experiment on this. They go to a bunch of athletes and they basically ask them to go around this imaginary course as fast as they possibly go. They let them have a couple of goes at it. Then she'll said, "Okay, is this is the fast can go?" He actually said, "Yeah, this is fastest we can go." "Are you sure this is the fast you can go?" Absolutely, this is the first we can. Really? Yes, this is the fastest we go around the track. The psychologists. What we've done is we actually recorded you going round, and so we want you to raise your avatar and see if you can match it going around again. Being psychologists, and therefore bastards, they lied. They didn't actually have the previous person's performance. They had actually faked it to go two percent faster and you can all get the punchline. Despite the fact that this was significantly faster than the fastest the athletes had said they were capable of, they still didn't have much trouble in matching it, going much faster than they said they would be able to do. So here you really see once we are persuaded, we can do better, once we are persuaded, our performance can be better. We are able to put in more effort, and we do work harder. Thinking about that kind of expectancy thing, how do I persuade people what they could achieve if they really put in more effort is an important part of getting people motivated. What does this expectancy framework mean for managing people? First off, most obviously it suggests that we really want to think about, how do we get that expectancy up? How do we make sure that people do feel if they put in more effort, their performance will improve? There are multiple different things that can affect that expectancy, that belief in the value of their effort, each of which we want to pay attention to. The first of these is task difficulty. If we set somebody a task that seems impossible, it's going to be very hard to motivate them to do it because whatever I do, it's never going to work, so why bother incurring all the costs of putting that effort? Tasks need to be achievable. They don't need to be easier. I want to talk about that a little bit later. We want to make sure that the tasks are achievable. Second thing is making sure people feel they really have control of their performance. It's surprising how often we reward people for their performance and tasks in which they don't really have much control over. If we're rewarding a salesperson based on a sales, but their sales are really driven entirely for this particular set of products by the quality of the products, the extent of marketing that we put into bringing people into the stores, and the foot traffic. Maybe what the salesperson actually does really has very little effect on whether they sell or not. In that case if I don't how much control over performance, why would I put in effort? Third thing that matters obviously is individual skill levels. I've waxed lyrical, maybe not that lyrical, but I certainly talked a lot about why we need to develop people and the importance of having skilled people in our organization. Mainly I've talked about in terms of them being able to do the job well. But obviously it affects their motivation as well. If I want people to be motivated, I do need to make sure that they feel they have the skills to achieve the job that I've set them. Finally, it is just their confidence. What can I do to build up people's sense that yes, they can do this, they have what's in them to perform well, because without that, they won't put in the effort and they can be certain that the performance won't come. Expectancy is very important to your performance. The other two components matter as well. I talked about instrumentality. Instrumentality was the extent to which if they perform well, they'll achieve rewards. We need to understand what those rewards are. One thing we want to pay attention to is the clearer the link between how they do and the rewards, the more motivated they're likely to be. If we can really say for salespeople, this much sale translates into this much parental, we expect high motivation. There's some vague promise that good things might happen. We can probably expect people will put in somewhat less effort. Then finally there's the valence piece. Just a reminder, there are many different kinds of rewards and different people value those rewards in different ways, and so whatever our workforce, if we're providing rewards on the basis of their performance, we need to make sure that these are ones that they actually value. Let's look at an example. I mentioned earlier that one way that we can motivate people is by the prospect of promotion, and indeed the Mexican quick service restaurant Chipotle, is well-known for this. I talked a lot in a prior module about their investments in training. One of the things that they really leverage that for is to make sure that there is promotion from within. In fact, if you go to their website and look at careers and why you might go to work there, very prominently, they lay out a promotion pathway. The numbers that I've got on this slide, I copied directly from their website where they give all the different levels of the organization and how much they're paid, and they state very clearly, start here, grow here, we love promotion from within. In fact, 80 percent of our leader started as crew members and have found a career at Chipotle. As they're looking to motivate people and make them work hard, the core part of their offering is this idea, the better you do, the more likely you are to be promoted. If we take expectancy theory seriously, what does that suggest about what we need to get right in order for this to be motivating? First off, there was the expectancy bit. Remember the expectancy bit? This was, if I put in the effort, I might going to be able to perform well. For this to be motivating, people need to believe that they have the tools to actually perform. That I can do well as a crew member. I can get promoted to kitchen management because I can perform well enough. Part of that is making sure that even though I started low-level, I can demonstrate adequate performance and I need training for that, so as I mentioned time and time again, one of the things that Chipotle really invest in is training. That helps people have the skills, but it also provides them the sense that yes, they do have the tools that if they put in adequate effort, they can perform well enough to get promoted. Second piece, I've talked about is this instrumentality. They also need to demonstrate that, yes, if you do perform well, you will get promoted. How do we do that? Really through our track record. This is why their so proud to say, "Eighty percent of our leaders have been promoted from crew members." Being able to demonstrate that these rewards come, a big part of that is showing by their actions that we continue to see people being promoted from within. You've seen your colleagues get promoted, you can expect this to be a reward for you if you continue to perform well. Demonstrating this is really possible. Showing prior good performance leads to promotion is important. Then the third piece I talked about is valence. For this to be effective as a motivation, it's also important that people value it. We can imagine not everybody does. For some people the idea of building a career is very powerful. But other people may feel, this is the right job for me, I think I can do this, some of the more senior jobs. Either I'm not sure I want to stitch partly that long or maybe I think the stress that goes with it is not worth the additional compensation, I want to stay where I am. If that's what you're thinking, then maybe this isn't going to be terribly motivating for you. What does that mean? Well, if this is going to be our prime means of motivating people, then we do need to make sure that we're bringing in people who value this. Making so clear on their website and all their materials, the promotion pathway is part of what's important at Chipotle, hopefully, that's bringing people who value it. But it also wants to play some role in how we select people. It's interesting, Chipotle has 13 attributes that they say they look for in hiring people, so really taking this knowing what you're hiring for seriously. One of those is ambition. As they're looking to bring people in, one of the things they're looking for is the people who will thrive in this system and will value it. This is an example of whatever you're using to motivate people, making sure they have expectancy. They believe with enough effort they'll perform well. Instrumentality, there are rewards to that performance and valence, those rewards are valued by the people you're managing. All of these are important.