Blog / Happiness and motivation

Petr Zaparka
January 12, 2011

It’s 7 month since I joined the ubxd crowd and I think it has been the most productive 7 month in my life. I asked my self why. What drives me, challenges or motivates me ? I think that you have already heard about companies like Zappos, Goretex, Ikea…. These companies are trying to create best work environment that motivate people to work harder with enthusiasm and happiness. What they are doing for this? Is that they don’t separate directors from “normal” employees? They have really great company culture and they motivate people to be creative. You are maybe asking how do they motivate people to be creative? Do they offer bigger salaries or bonuses? The answer is not exactly.   There is scientific study that proves that money is motivational but only to the certain level (and for a certain type of job). This level is different for everybody. It’s a level where person feel comfortable and don’t has to think about salary all the time. If the employees reach this level you are unable motivate them by increasing salary so you have to find another motivation factor which is happiness. 

Happiness in company

I believe in fun and feeling of satisfaction in the work. I’m expecting that the company that I’m working for, to try to offer this kind of environment or the company culture,  if you wish.

Every company is different and there is a saying that company culture reflects the personality of the founder. To be honest I’m not sure if you can apply this in big companies, but it certainly works in medium and small companies.

Just look at the randomly selected startup. Firstly, who is in the company? It is the founder. As company grows he hires people with a similar personality because he needs to communicate with them and it’s better to sit every day in same office with somebody who you like than somebody who drives you crazy.

You can look at the Zappos or Hash rocket. First they find somebody who is good for the job position and then they chat with him and make sure that he fit in to the company as a person.

Agile + Rails + Ubxd => Happiness

One part of the Agile Manifesto says “Our highest priority is to satisfy the customer through early and continuous delivery of valuable software.” Satisfy => to make happy. So yes Agile helps us make our customers happy. But a happy customer is only one part of equation. There are also programmers (like me), and we deserve to be happy too, so we work with Ruby on Rails which help us a lot. So those two things packaged by Unboxed’s company culture (with great people around me) make me happy and productive.  What makes you productive and happy?