Managers forget the importance of giving meaning to the work people are doing. In fact, most still think people are motivated mostly by extrinsic rewards such as higher pay, bonuses or other benefits. People are actually more accutely motivated by a positive inner work life; that is, when they feel they are contributing to something greater than themselves, feel recognized for it and can have fun while doing it.
Four ways to negate meaning:
Dismiss a person's work.
Take away ownership from the person.
Doubt that the work will ever come to fruition.
Menial tasks for which the worker is overqualified.
Setbacks are the major progress killer, leading to negative emotions and disengagement.
Great leaders are catalysts for positive change or even emotional nourishers. They recognize the human component and its importance in their organization.
Never underestimate the power of sincere acknowledgement. If someone in your life is doing something you appreciate, tell that person.