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How do we create an inspiring workplace ?

Krishna Kumar K
2 min readSep 29, 2023

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tldr - not just about beer, coffee or pool tables

When companies try to project their employer brand to attract talent, they usually talk about their benefits, their pool tables and such. But is that what makes an inspiring workplace ? Is that what motivates individuals to give their best ?

I think the following

  • A sense of purpose in doing something that is bigger than the individual. This could be expanding the horizons of science and technology or bringing value to humanity.
  • Being proud of what you do and the team/org you belong to
  • Opportunity and autonomy to produce work that you feel ownership of and at the level of complexity that challenges your current abilities
  • Genuine work relationships with colleagues that support and challenge each other
  • Opportunity to learn and grow. With a clear path and support to be better at what you do.
  • All this while being able to lead your life that is more than just your work

So, what about money

Money is important in multiple ways. It is a necessary extrinsic motivator (but not sufficient by itself)

  • For the common man, it is a means to an end — to pay the bills and have some savings for rainy days. Beyond that, it gets complicated
  • It is not just a number. For many people, there is a sense of pride in having a very high number.
  • At times, it is also about fairness. About making sure that you are not disadvantaged due to unfair considerations.

In most cases, it is a free labour market, and remuneration is the clearest information that you get before you join a company.

Humans are complex. Human motivation is not simple either. One thing is definite — pool tables don’t address it completely.

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Krishna Kumar K

Product Guy. (Worked at Indeed, Microsoft ...). I write about product management, startups, analytics and machine learning. Occasionally I digress...