The results showed that when the cooks could see their patrons, the food quality got higher ratings.
Seeing the customer can make employees feel more appreciated, more satisfied with their jobs, and more willing to exert effort. It’s important to note that it wasn’t just the perception of quality that improved – the food objectively got better.
Being appreciated makes work meaningful. People feel what they do matters. Human connections seem to trigger that.
In another study, Adam Grant of the Wharton School found that lifeguards were more vigilant after reading stories about people whose lives have been saved by lifeguards. And fundraisers who were attempting to secure scholarship donations felt more motivated when they had contact with scholarship recipients.
The research tells a clear story: There are both motivation and performance benefits to connecting employees to the beneficiaries of their work.
Leaders should ask a simple question: What opportunities are there in the organization to create such connections?
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