I Work for Goose Bumps

Last Updated Apr 6, 2009 12:30 PM EDT

How do you know if your job is giving you the satisfaction you need?

Check for goose bumps.

According to Tammy Erickson in her post A Lowcost Way to Improve Engagement, we all need the occasional goose bump experience when something goes well at work. You might get the chills after having devised a technically brilliant solution for an important customer. It's the , "Man, I'm good" moment we all cherish.

Just as important, employers should figure out ways to deliver these experiences to their employees. Writing on Harvard Business Publishing, Erickson presents the example of AARP, which annually invites employees to Capitol Hill to march in favor of a legislative initiative.

"This program undoubtedly furthers the organization's work, but, perhaps more importantly, it reminds every employee -- including those who spend most of the year working far away from the constituents the AARP serves -- of why they chose to work there. It gives them goose bumps."
That's brilliant. An employee who see the positive impact of their work become more energized, more engaged, more productive.

How do you show your employees the value of their work? What gives you goose bumps?

  • Sean Silverthorne

    Sean Silverthorne is the editor of HBS Working Knowledge, which provides a first look at the research and ideas of Harvard Business School faculty. Working Knowledge, which won a Webby award in 2007, currently records 4 million unique visitors a year. He has been with HBS since 2001.

    Silverthorne has 28 years experience in print and online journalism. Before arriving at HBS, he was a senior editor at CNET and executive editor of ZDNET News. While at At Ziff-Davis, Silverthorne also worked on the daily technology TV show The Site, and was a senior editor at PC Week Inside, which chronicled the business of the technology industry. He has held several reporting and editing roles on a variety of newspapers, and was Investor Business Daily's first journalist based in Silicon Valley.