Motivation & Work Ethic

Sometimes I wonder what moves people to do what they do. Even when it seems simple people can have surprising motivations for what they are doing.

How this relates to work is even more fascinating. Yes I have read quite a bit about human resources management, in short HRM. Thing is I do not like the the fact that human resources management degrades people to resources. In Dutch there used to be the name “Personeelszaken”, in English one would say “Personnel Affairs”. Furthermore many books on HRM often shower you with words, concepts and systems of thought at the expense of an information overload.

I prefer the emphasis on the human aspect instead of calling a person a resource. Economic thinking tends to dictate the emphasis on resources but people are people. People have needs and wants and are not just a “homo economicus”. Even worse, without people there is no such thing as an economy as we know it.

Either way genuinely motivated people usually have the work ethic of someone who wants to do the best he or she can do. Methods and principles may vary but the heart, thus motivation is there.

With work ethic I mean the set of methods and principles of how one works. Replace the word principals for morals and you have the same thing. What remains, are the personality, experience and skill-set of the individual person.

Since I could make my own pocket money I took on small jobs. The fact that you can earn your bit and gain some independence is incentive enough for me to work. I also worked to survive later on. In the end doing what you like the most for a living is the ideal job. People who live of their passions are the most privileged in that regard. It makes me think about Thomas Moore’s “Utopia”…