There are many theories, and have been thousands of studies, over the years looking at the different dimensions that could be considered for career success; however the biggest breakthrough in recent years comes from enjoyment performance theory, and has been shown to be a better indicator of career success than education qualification and personality traits.

What is enjoyment performance theory?

Enjoyment Performance research shows we tend to engage in activities that bring us enjoyment and avoid activities that bring us displeasure.

Individuals have a tendency to do things more frequently when we enjoy them and as a result we tend to get better at them as well. If our performance improves so will our desire to engage in these activities; in the workplace, it can be observed as follows:

  • When people enjoy a task, they tend to do it more – and get better at it
  • Good performance creates external acknowledgement and positive self-regard
  • Positive reinforcement fuels your intrinsic and extrinsic motivations, leading to greater job satisfaction.

Why this is important to job seekers and employers

Understanding the factors that make up career-enjoyment for an individual is vitally important; they need to make the right career decisions.

Similarly, hiring managers need to know what motivates an individual so they can assign roles and responsibilities that give the highest degree of work satisfaction – which in turn leads to increased performance for the organisation and more recognition and reward for the individual.

Harrison Assessments methodology considers three key issues related to work enjoyment, performance and retention:

  1. The degree to which a person’s preferred tasks fit the job
  2. The degree to which a person’s interests fit the job
  3. The degree to which a person’s work environment preferences fit the job.

Knowing how these factors operate at an individual or group level enables organisations to motivate people and increase their performance by assigning the roles and responsibilities that give them the highest degree of work satisfaction.


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