Encourage Your Team to Watch These 5 TED Talks to Get Them Motivated

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It may seem like showing your employees a YouTube video might be a strange way to motivate them (other than the ones where cats get absurdly scared of cucumbers). But you can find a lot of clips in the TED Talk series that could encourage improved performance or lead to a more concrete discussion about corporate culture.


Here are five TED Talks that will get the conversation going among your workers:


Shawn Achor: The Happy Secret to Better Work


Psychiatrist Shawn Achor, who is also the CEO of Good Think Inc., advocates positive thinking. In this talk, he argues that success at work won’t necessarily make you happy, but being happy might improve your success at work. He lays out some techniques for developing a more positive attitude that he says will spill over into all aspects of life.


Tim Ferriss: Smash Fear, Learn Anything


Tim Ferriss is the author of a book called The 4-Hour Workweek. If that doesn’t get your workers’ attention, then maybe this will: He also holds the Guinness world record for most tango spins in a minute. In short, he really knows how to get stuff done, fast.


In this TED Talk, he focuses on how to learn. His underlying premise is that fear is the greatest barrier to learning, that people talk themselves out of being able to learn a new skill. His basic advice: When you feel like you can’t do something, ask yourself “What’s the worst that can happen?”


Stefan Sagmeister: The Power of Time Off


This one has a chance to backfire on you, but it should at least inspire excitement in your employees. Stefan Sagmeister is a graphic designer from New York City, who has some strong opinions about time off.


His general point is there is value in rest – that being productive requires some recharging. If you are looking to build a strong corporate culture, letting your employees know you respect their desire to get time off, this will definitely score some points.


Nigel Marsh: How to Make Work-Life Balance Work


Further expand the idea of a work-life balance with a talk by Nigel Marsh, a partner at financial services firm Deloitte. His point is that it’s up to individual employees to decide the appropriate mix of office life and real life. Rather than letting employers set the tone, he calls on the workers to “design your own life.”


Like with Stefan Sagmeister’s talk, this one might lead to a sudden spike in vacation requests, but if Marsh and Sagmeister are right, you and your employees might be better off in the long term as a result of a more sustainable balance.


Dan Ariely: What makes us feel good about our work?


Psychology and Behavioral Economics Professor Dan Ariely wanted to find out what made people happy at work. So he conducted an experiment using Legos (no, really…he had people build stuff out of Legos).


He found that the most important thing people took out of an activity was a feeling of meaning. Even out of playing with Legos. If people felt their work was appreciated, they were willing to work harder.


Assuming you have a strong corporate culture to start with (you are the type of boss who likes to show TED Talks to your employees), this should only build a stronger connection. And it helps that Ariely didn’t say the most important thing was a high salary.

Ready to give your team a boost?

If you are looking for other ways to enhance company culture and inspire your employees, talking to an employment expert might be a good next step. Qualified Staffing is one of the leaders in the field. Contact them today to discuss how you can supercharge your employee relations.