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My book review this week is on Jurgen Appelo’s book – Managing for Happiness. As the sub-title (Games, Tools, and Practices to Motivate Any Team) suggests the book is a very concrete manual, with specific games, tips, and ideas for motivating teams and bringing more joy into the workplace. It’s not about ping-pong tables, coffee and fancy perks. It’s about managing well. The author’s premise is that happier teams are more productive. Two major ideas include:

  • Intrinsic motivation is key. The word CHAMPFROGS is a mnemonic to help remember ten ways of building intrinsic motivation.
    • Curiosity – give people plenty to be interested in.
    • Honor – are your teams proud of their work?
    • Acceptance – do people feel accepted and appreciated?
    • Mastery – is the work a stretch?
    • Power – can your teams influence outcomes?
    • Freedom – some people feel empowered by autonomy.
    • Relatedness – are people developing rewarding social relationships?
    • Order – some people need more certainty than others; few thrive in chaos.
    • Goal – some people want to feel a higher calling in their work.
    • Status – the pursuit of status is not limited to wealth accumulation.
  • Rewards motivate people to get more rewards. They can actually damage the productivity and relationships on your team. So be careful. The six rules of rewards:
    1. Don’t promise them in advance.
    2. Keep them small.
    3. Continuously reward, rather than doing it only once.
    4. Make it public.
    5. Reward the behavior, not the result.
    6. Rewards should come from peers, not supervisors.