Our three favourite TED Talks about employee recognition, engagement and culture

TEDx Manchester filled our home city with fresh ideas and inspiring stories last month with talks from spy catchers, tech investors, climate cosmologists and many local leading thinkers too.

By: Sinead Healy on

This got us thinking about some of our favourite TED talks all about our favourite topics - namely employee recognition, engagement and culture.

We’ve dug up some of our faves, including some you may not have seen (and one you almost certainly have).

Dan Pink - The puzzle of motivation

What Pink tried to hammer home to watchers in the audience was that traditional rewards aren’t always as effective as managers think, at least, that’s what social scientists suggest in studies.

He cities a mismatch between what science knows and what businesses do, revealing that large rewards offered for tasks that require even rudimentary cognitive power leads to worse performance. Autonomy, mastery and purpose are a far more potent motivator.

Mike Robbins - The power of appreciation

You may have heard of his latest book ‘Bring your whole self to work’. But before that was published, Mike Robbins gave a great talk at TEDxBellevue all about the power of appreciation.

With a client base spanning Google and Stanford University to Twitter and Gap, in this talk Robbins discusses the important distinction between recognition and appreciation and how organisations and leaders who understand the distinction can have a major impact on the people around them - particularly at work.

He includes a touching personal story about the power that showing appreciation can have in our personal lives.

Simon Sinek - Why good leaders make you feel safe

Probably most well known for his insight into the power of ‘why’, author Simon Sinek has also given many a great talk on the importance of leadership in the workplace covering everything from inspiration to motivation.

This particular TED Talk delves deeper into the importance of managers who create an environment where employees feel ‘safe’ and the benefits this delivers. Why does workplace security matter? How can increasing trust deliver tangible business benefits? You’ll have to watch to find out!

Where to next? Check out this blog all about ways to increase long-term employee engagement.