9. Job Challenge

The greatest analgesic, soporific, stimulant, tranquilizer, narcotic, and to some extent even antibiotic—in short, the closest thing to a genuine panacea—known to medical science is work.”

—Thomas Szasz, M.D., psychiatrist, author

The previous chapter focused on enablement, covering the type of organization that allows workers to get their jobs done and the positive impact that such enablement has on their satisfaction and pride. But efficient, even high-quality performance is not sufficient. The work itself—what is done—is also critical.

For example, for many workers, doing simple, repetitive work for long periods of time (no matter how well done) can be highly unsatisfying, even intolerable. Here are some comments from employees ...

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