Lots of ink has been spilled about how to motivate your employees—from financial incentives to recognition among peers. But new research suggests it’s not just the message that motivates, but the source that matters.
It’s called construal level theory—or the study of how people react to psychological distances. According to Nir Halevy, assistant professor of organizational behavior at Stanford University, it factors into helping motivate employees at work.
Laura W. Geller, senior editor of strategy + business, a management publication from PwC (formerly PricewaterhouseCoopers), recently interviewed professor Halevy about his research and it’s impact in the workplace. Here’s what he said:
The idea behind construal level theory is people perceive individuals and events that are close or far apart in time, space, and other dimensions of psychological distance, Halevy explains. For example, if someone’s very polite in their tone, you would likely infer a large psychological distance between the two of you because your friends and family speak more informally.
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