I’ve been a BIG fan of Teresa Amabile for years. Dr. Amabile is currently the Director of Research at Harvard University and has written extensively about creativity–what helps it and what hinders it.
The Progress Principle: Using Small Wins to Ignite Joy, Engagement and Creativity at Work was published a few years ago and I recently revisited it.
By analyzing almost 12,000 diary entries provided by employees at multiple companies she examined the ‘inner work lives’ to determine what really matters to people at work.
The most powerful is ‘progress in meaningful work’. But each of these factors, even when they appear in small events, can impact the engagement and creativity of an employee. Negative events generally had a stronger impact than positive events.
In poignant quotes from these daily diaries Amabile gives examples of the nourishing and toxic behaviors that affect employee engagement and productivity.