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Based on research by Grant, Adam (2008) written by Bethany Wellman, M.S.
Does the importance of the task denote how well you will complete it? What factors help decide what tasks are important enough to put effort into them?
Psychologist Adam Grant, in a three-series experiment, investigated how the value placed on work tasks influenced one’s job performance. First, participants who were informed of their task’s importance, compared to participants with no information, had higher levels of job performance. Second, job dedication increased when the tasks were seen as providing social benefit and contribution, such as saving lives or duty to community. Third when participants value the welfare of others and believe their work makes a contribution, their value of the tasks and their job performance increased overall.
People work harder when the task has meaning, positively impacts society, or has an identifiable impact. We all need to feel our work is meaningful and that we are making a difference. Employers- share with your employees the impact their work has and provide a vision for what their work can do. Employees- seek out information about the value of tasks you have, it will likely increase your motivation and willingness to do the job and do it well.
Grant, A. (2008). The Significance of Task Significance: Job Performance Effects, Relational Mechanisms, and Boundary Conditions. Journal of Applied Psychology, 93(1), 108-124.