Sense of reward/accomplishment

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How People Define Accomplishment

People define the feeling of their accomplishment depending on what they have accomplished. Some people feel excited, while some feel overwhelmed.


  • Accomplishment is the result we desire when a specific goal was reached. Basically, accomplishment is the results that someone plans or expects to occur. — Steve Mueller, Blogger
  • Accomplishment can be explained as “an entity done effectively, usually by energy, nerve, or talent.” But, accomplishment is different from success. It denotes to 'receiving what you need'. Accomplishment is the initial idea of achieving prodigious accomplishment in each portion of our life. Accomplishments also comprise alteration, but it displays the occasions that state to as restricted in time. It can be divided into two endpoints and a progression share. — Zain Mughal, Blogger
  • What makes something an accomplishment, rather than simply another completed task, is the sense of achievement that comes with it. An accomplishment is something that someone has done to the best of his/her ability, that has taken a certain level of skill, determination or hard work to complete. Gaining a sense of accomplishment, and feeling proud of the work done, helps people feel like they’re progressing in their work. An accomplishment feels like making a positive step forward for yourself, your company, your clients and your co-workers. — Perkbox, Company


  • The feeling of accomplishment is the feeling of being able to do things which are fun, gives life meaning, and sparks existence. — Peter Fleming, Director of Pellin institute
  • Accomplishment is that sense of achievement when you feel like something was done well. It is one of the most personal things in the world and can truly set people apart. The sense of accomplishment is bittersweet. Some people feel best when they complete something that they never wanted to do. This is common in people with mental health issues. The simplest tasks can seem impossible, and every piece of motivation seems at least a lifetime away. Even things like showering that can seem pointless and futile, and being able to stand against one's mindset in that moment, can give an overwhelming sense of satisfaction. — Harvey Sparrow
  • There’s a lot of pressure that’s put on us for achievement. We see business leaders, celebrities, and royalty living lavish lifestyles. They have everything and anything they could ask for. We see this and desires to achieve the same lifestyle or things famous people have. — Del, Founder of Epoch Man
  • A sense of accomplishment is something that contributes to burnout and stress, which can be affected by attitude, philosophy, and passion. The lack of goals or plans in a person’s personal and professional life can cause stress and burnout, which specifically hinder a sense of accomplishment. — Jeffrey Glogowski


  • ''I feel very successful after a long day of work, knowing on that day, I made a profit instead of a lose. This makes me super happy inside.''- Nspeel
  • "I feel accomplished when I effectively complete what I set out to do." This makes me feel fulfilled and have purpose. — MsDora
  • ''I haven't got a lot to feel 'accomplished' about... but when I check things off my to-do list, I feel productive... it's the same feeling I get when I tidy up.''- Sinny from Birmingham, UK
  • "Accomplishment feels like a tiny 'yay!' and then a slight (short-lived) buzz afterwards." — Noip
  • ''Living with chronic disease makes everyday task feels like an accomplishment. Brushing my hair on my own or eating solid food makes me feel overwhelmed but I'm proud because the small accomplishments are big successes for me." — Rosin Crosby
  • "When I set out to do something, and I actually get it done, I feel like I won." — Ptah
  • “Today I cleaned my stove. I’ve been meaning to do it for a while and finally today I got it done and I’m so happy!”- Hillary Donovan
  • "Yesterday I finished my tuxedo monkey graffiti paste-up poster that's 7 feet long using black spray paint, black acrylic and black sharpies chisel and original. But yeah.... I feel amazing that I did it, the monkey head took 4 hours and the tuxedo and top hat took 3 hours." — officialpopoy
  • "I've felt a great deal of accomplishment when I was both part of a team and manager of a team that was getting things done and making real, visual contributions to our goals. For me, it's about clear progress and getting things done — not how I fit into a team."- Joe Heck


We leveraged a compilation of blogs, wordpress, forums, and publications to curate how people define accomplishment and the feeling of accomplishment. We have identified and selected some definition of accomplishment based on the expertise of the blogger and author. In this line, we chose definitions of people on top of their field. We assume that the view of successful people on the matter means something as they know what they have accomplished. We also included the definition of accomplishment according to some company because it gave insights on the meaning of accomplishment in relation to the team effort. For instance, Perkbox, a company for team management gave an in-depth analysis of how to create a sense of accomplishment in a team and achieving a feeling of accomplishment generally. Also, the research team was able to get more of how people define accomplishment by comparing accomplishment to success. This strategy helped us describe how people define accomplishment and the feeling of accomplishment.

While the above strategy provided information on ideas and thoughts about accomplishment, it failed to describe the feeling state of accomplishment. The description of the "feeling state" was harder to find, so we identify a feeling state versus a thought by trying to fit it into the phase: "I feel..." They connect a feeling state to the sense of accomplishment. We used forums where people shared the feeling of accomplishment by answering the question "Can you describe what 'accomplishment' feels like for you?", "Do you actually "feel accomplished" when you reach goals? Or are you immediately onto the next thing?". The answers people gave to these questions indicate that people feel excited, overwhelmed, and both depending on the task. The feeling of accomplishment is one of the best feelings because it is rooted in ego. Our self-esteem soars when we have been able to accomplish something. Even accomplishing small tasks can make someone feel really good.

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Positive & Negative Feelings at Work

After an extensive search for academic research papers, interviews featuring researchers, paid reports, and wellness websites, there is minimal information on the journey towards an overall positive or negative feeling at the end of a workday. The reason for non-availability of such information could be that researchers are still working on understanding the precise pathways that link positive and negative emotions after the workday. Also, most of the research, articles found have information surrounding the benefits of positive emotions at work, effects of negative emotions, and how to deal with positive/negative emotions.


  • Some of the feelings that lead to negative feelings at the end of workday include fear and pressure.
  • Employees get worried at the workplace due to long hours, tight deadlines, and ever-increasing work-related demands.
  • The common causes of stress or negative feelings at the end of the workday include fear of being laid off, and the pressure to perform/work.
  • The anxious sense of unhealthy work-life balance and the pressure of career add to the overall negative feeling at the end of a workday.
  • Employees can deal with negative emotions at the workplace by finding positives in negative situations, accepting the situation, or mentally distancing themselves from such circumstances.
  • According to research by the Academy of Management Journal, "positive work events and a positive reflection intervention are associated with reduced stress and improved health."
  • Negative emotions in the workplace like anger may sometimes lead to adverse outcomes.


  • Being happy and confident in the workplace are some of the feelings that lead to positive feelings in the workplace.
  • Positive emotions, such as feeling more active, energized, interested, and excited, can lead to increased job satisfaction.
  • Employees working with positive emotions can process information more effectively and work more efficiently.
  • Positive emotions can help in better health and stress management. Employees who have positive emotions improve social interactions and creativity. Positive emotions of workers motivate them and lead to greater job satisfaction.
  • High-intensity positive emotions are needed by employees to succeed.


The research team began by looking for any academic research papers published on the journey towards an overall positive or negative feeling at the end of a workday on sites like ResearchGate, Academia, and that of UC Berkeley among others. We had looked into these sites because sites like these provide various studies that could also include surveys on the various feelings that lead to an overall positive or negative feeling at the end of a workday. However, this strategy did not provide the required information. Instead, we found case studies on the impact of positive emotions in the workplace and how to deal with negative emotions at work.

Our next strategy was to search for articles on feelings after work. This strategy helped to an extent as we were able to find information on what leads to some negative feelings at the end of the workday. However, there were no in-depth insights about the feelings to provide information on the overall journey towards negative feelings at the end of the workday. We had thought that this strategy would work because sites such as HelpGuide and Corporate Wellness Magazine publish news, case studies, and articles related to the workplace, which help employers and employees.

Next, we looked through sites like Business Insider, and CNBC for interviews of researchers who may have revealed information on the topic to the media. Through this strategy, we got information on why people feel tired after work; however, there was no information on feelings that lead to negative or positive feelings after work.

We then opted to look for paid journals or reports on sites like that of the Academy of Management. Through this strategy, we hoped to see summaries of findings published by journals or reports and extract relevant insights from them. While we found some information on Positive Events and Positive Reflection on Work Stress and Health, the overall findings were inaccessible without payment.

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Positive & Negative Feelings at Work -Accomplishment

Sense of accomplishment is a major impacting factor in overall job satisfaction. Employees with a sense of accomplishment and achievement at work tend to be more motivated and have higher job satisfaction.


  • Employees like to feel needed and appreciated in the workplace.
  • Although salary increase is a good motivator, it often falls short due to employees not feeling appreciated.
  • According to a 2016 report by Happiness Research Institute, feeling of accomplishment "is the fourth most important influencer in employee engagement."
  • The person setting up the goals also influence the feeling of accomplishment after reaching a specific goal at the workplace. The more prestigious or influential the person is, the higher the sense of accomplishment and achievement.
  • According to the self-determination theory, when people feel competent at a task, they are more motivated to complete it, leading to a sense of accomplishment.
  • Unexpected positive feedback improves employees motivation as they savor their need for competence.
  • Habitual, smaller feats of accomplishments tend to have a more significant influence than infrequent big feats of accomplishment.


  • When the employees are embedded with a sense of accomplishments, it leads to a recognition of their time, space, and energy. This helps the employees to work in synergy with their employers and feel satisfied with their job.
  • In a survey conducted on 14,000 participants in 16 countries, "I am generally satisfied with the feeling of worthwhile accomplishment I get from doing this job" came out as one of the three major statements by the participants.
  • The's ‘Job Satisfaction in the Middle East and North Africa’s survey which was conducted by in 2015, reported that 84% of the respondents found a sense of achievement and accomplishment to be the most important factors in job satisfaction.
  • Factors such as recognition and reward, an opportunity of position promotion, sense of self-professional status, personal future development, work empowerment, and work autonomy are some reasons why a sense of accomplishment and achievement are integral to job satisfaction.


  • Employees with a sense of accomplishment often do a last minute reflection and similar activities to measure up their performance and reinforce the sense of accomplishment during the end of workday.
  • The feeling of accomplishment at the end of the workday provides employees with reinforced motivation and positivism to work the next day.
  • The higher the positive emotions of the employees, the higher is their job satisfaction and hence their intention to keep working at the same place.
  • Employees whose workday end with a feeling of accomplishment tend to be happier.

Research Strategy

Our surface level search strategies didn't provide us with any recent surveys or reports relating to the request. We tried looking in psychology and employee psychology websites like the Psych Mind and Workplace Psychology. However, even there, we found one or two sources that were out of our credible 24 months time frame. We also tried to find research reports regarding the request but only found sources older than 24 months.

Unable to find any sources in the last 24 months, we expanded the time frame and included sources from the past five years. The sources provided us with significant insights and key information. While selecting these older sources, care has been taken to ensure their credibility and trustworthiness. It has also been ensured that the sources are relevant to the request.
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Sense of Accomplishment - Experience

The frequency in which people experience a sense of accomplishment at work depends on the job itself, the reward system in place, and the individual's personal orientation towards marking progress. The duration of the feeling of accomplishment similarly varies but is sometimes unexpectedly brief.

Frequency of Sense of Accomplishment

  • How often people experience a sense of accomplishment at work depends on a number of factors. However, a 2017 study asserted that only 50% of people feel satisfied with the way they spend their days.

Factors Associated with Increased Sense of Accomplishment

  • A sense of accomplishment overtakes a person when dopamine, the reward chemical is released.
  • Several experts suggest that individuals that break down goals into sub-goals increase their sense of accomplishment because they feel fulfilled with the completion of each sub-goal and stay on track to achieve the ultimate goal.
  • The trend of 'gamification' takes advantage of this function to increase a sense of accomplishment by making workplace tasks or training seem more like games by introducing elements like countdowns, sounds, and points.
  • The gamification trend works because it aims to establish an emotional response when the user achieves a sub-goal by creating in-game rewards.
  • Another way workplaces increase a sense of accomplishment through rewards is by providing positive feedback to workers.
  • Furthermore, some jobs are associated with a higher sense of accomplishment than others. These jobs include priesthood, physical therapy, firefighting, and education administration.
  • The reason is, in highly satisfying jobs, workers can tie their tasks directly to the benefit of others, therefore increasing their sense of accomplishment.

Factors Not Associated with Increased Sense of Accomplishment

  • Although it is a common cliche that one should follow their passion to feel satisfied at work. However, a study argues against that advice.
  • Similarly, money is often considered to be the ultimate incentive and should naturally increase one's sense of satisfaction. But, the study argues that this is not a driver for workplace achievement.

Brief Sense of Accomplishment

  • Sometimes, when a larger project is completed, individuals experience 'arrival fallacy' where they do not feel a strong sense of accomplishment upon completion. This feeling occurs when the brain releases dopamine in anticipation of completion instead of upon completion because the individual sees the completion of the project as a formality.
  • Clinical psychologist Vincent Passaralli says that if a person's sense of accomplishment fades quickly, it can be a sign that the task itself was not sufficient and that the individual needs to turn towards a more long-term goal.

Additional Resources

  • An academic report describes the neuroscience of workplace happiness. However, paid-subscription or institutional access is required to access the content fully. The link to the study is provided here.
  • An academic article describes the relationship between training, job satisfaction, and workplace performance. However, paid-subscription or institutional access is required to access the content fully. The link to the study is provided here.


Despite a comprehensive search, we were unable to find precise information about the duration of the feeling of accomplishment. We looked into academic articles and publications to find the required information. But, the search results were very limited and did not provide the answers.

Subsequently, we examined medical databases to identify the length of dopamine release. Since a sense of accomplishment is associated with the release of dopamine, we thought this approach would offer leads. However, this strategy proved to be futile. Following this, we attempted to provide data on productivity burst as a proxy for a sense of accomplishment, given that our previous research had outlined the connection between a sense of accomplishment and heightened productivity. Nevertheless, many other compounding factors that influence productivity interfered with our capacity to find answers.

After an exhaustive search, we concluded that the phrase 'feeling of accomplishment' has varied meanings and does not have a clear method of measurement. However, we did discover that a sense of accomplishment can be brief which we included in this brief.
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Sense of Accomplishment at Work Versus Outside Work

Yes, there is a difference between a feeling of accomplishment when it comes to work vs outside work.



  • The sense of accomplishment at work makes people feel great and feel that their workplace cares about their well-being.
  • The sense of accomplishment outside of work means feeling good most about one self but if people are incapable of achieve that, it makes them depressed, anxious, and angry.
  • The sense of accomplishment at work helps the individual be perceived as capable every time he achieves something but they also usually sacrifice others areas of life to accomplish their success as work.
  • The sense of accomplishment outside of work signifies that an individual's life is going well and their goals are being met.
  • The sense of accomplishment at work effects an individual mentally as we feel that we have earned the right to feel safe.
  • The sense of accomplishment outside of work means people more emotional, physically capable, and promote personal relationships.
  • The sense of accomplishment at work allows for achievements in the professional life (ex: getting into a new role or job, promotion).
  • The sense of accomplishment outside of work is produced by a strong sense of efficacy, promotes a confidence in individuals and their increases capabilities to approach difficult tasks.
  • The sense of accomplishment at work reflects everything you do at work that makes an individual happy.
  • The sense of accomplishment outside of work reflects an attribute that provides an individual with a sense of pride and can originate from many different sources.

Research Strategy:

  • We began by looking for academic research papers on the topic. We found several case studies on sites like Oapen and Semanticcholar but the case studies provided information on the personal and professional accomplishments, which was useful only for the differences.
  • We also looked on websites of HR magazines and business magazines such as HCAmag and INC. While we were able to find a few insights about why people feel different about certain accomplishments, they did not differentiate between accomplishments at work and accomplishments outside of work.
  • As a last resort, we looked for opinions/views from researchers or psychologists on why they think there is difference in feeling an accomplishment at work and outside of work. While we were able to find some information about accomplishments from Psychology Today the information did not differentiate between the work accomplishments and outside-of-work accomplishments.
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Sense of Accomplishment at Work

Work productivity, work confidence/engagement, positivity at work, rewards, and recognition are some factors that lead to a feeling of accomplishment at work. More information on the topic has been presented below.


  • According to Stefanie Wichansky, the CEO at Randolph, if a person wants to achieve a sense of accomplishment at work, benchmarks and progress should be prioritized for small goals.
  • The feeling of accomplishment should be acknowledged because it triggers the brain and lets the brain know that the work is exciting and important.



  • A feeling of accomplishment makes an employee highly productive.
  • According to research, using tools and systems to achieve a sense of accomplishment among the workers leads to higher productivity, satisfaction, and motivation.


  • According to a management consulting and staffing firm called Professional Resource Partners, a big difference can be seen from one to two weeks of doing a certain work when a person sets a progress benchmark and conducts regular check-ins with that benchmark.
  • According to Tom Catalini, it feels nice to go home at the end of the day with a sense of accomplishment. People can gain a great deal of confidence if they know that they are on the right track of their work.
  • When there is a feeling or a sense of accomplishment at work, people become motivated to engage in their work, develop more skills, and improve their work.


  • According to a survey, happiness is the most powerful driver of the sense of accomplishment for employees under 35 years old.
  • According to a book written by Laura Vanderkam called "What the Most Successful People Do at Work", the sense of accomplishment fuels people's desire to work and brings them joy. The sense of accomplishment can be gained by focusing on the measurable core parts of the work being done.


  • Some employers recognize the accomplishments of their employees through tenure, training, and promotions.
  • Most of the employers recognize and reward their employees for their accomplishments and encourage them to maintain those accomplishments.
  • According to Startups, the sense of accomplishment comes from a culture of acknowledgment and recognition. Therefore, the sense of accomplishment is important for a person and a company.

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Smaller Accomplishment Versus Bigger Accomplishment

Accomplishments feel the same, despite the size. However, the sense of contentment is bigger when accomplishments take place more frequently. Therefore, neurology suggests that breaking bigger tasks into smaller chunks will lead to recurring accomplishments because the possibility of performing or finishing the task is higher.

1. Smaller Accomplishments and Bigger Accomplishments

  • By performing a simple task, such as hanging a painting on the wall, it's possible to realize simple accomplishments feel the same as bigger accomplishments.
  • Winning big or winning small feels the same. What really matters in order to feel good is the frequency of accomplishments.
  • Small accomplishments such as a daily meditation routine or bigger ones, such as learning a new language or running a marathon gives a same sense of satisfaction or contentment.
  • 2. Dopamine and Motivation

    • Scientifically, celebrating accomplishments releases dopamine in our body which makes us feel energized.
    • Neurologically, dopamine acts before we achieve something. However, dopamine level drops in moments of great stress.
    • People willing to work harder have higher levels of dopamine.
    • The mentioned physiological phenomenon makes us focus and also helps us to repeat the said activity that made us feel inflamed.

    3. Frequency of Accomplishments

  • Smaller accomplishments, if they happen more frequently, give more satisfaction than big ones that happen sparsely.
  • If daily tasks are missed, the dopamine level flunks and one stops feeling motivated.
  • If a person breaks big goals into smaller ones, he or she gets more doses of dopamine.
  • Small accomplishments help a person to stay motivated and therefore, it further motivates the person to perform bigger tasks.
  • "It doesn’t matter how big or small the perceived victory is — we just have to process the result as a positive outcome".

    Despite a comprehensive search, we were unable to find credible research studies on the said subject. We did locate a lot of data on personal blogs stating smaller accomplishments and bigger accomplishments feel the same.
    Our findings reflect an analysis based on subjective comments intertwined with the neurological research we found later.

    According to neurology, the key to feeling good is to win frequently. Therefore, breaking bigger tasks into smaller chunks will lead to recurring accomplishments because the possibility of performing or finishing the task is higher. Completing a small task releases dopamine and this gives a boost of motivation to keep wanting to extend the feeling of contentment.

    To conclude, based on our findings, it's not the size of the accomplishment that matters, but the frequency it which it takes place.
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    Overall Sense of Accomplishment

    The difference in the feelings associated with day to day/specific tasks and overall sense of accomplishment is best describe by The Framework of Achievement Bests, and the study conducted by Gunasti and Ozcan, where they stated that the level of perceived sense of accomplishment is higher when talking about the overall sense of accomplishment, and lower when in terms of specific tasks. The Framework of Achievement Bests also suggest that In the realistic best practice, a task is specific, and the level of feeling is moderate while in the optimal best practice (overall) level of feeling is extreme, and the goal is in broader sense.



    • Setting sub-goals — smaller goals are important since it serves as markers/stepping stones for larger goals and will sustain motivation.
    • Include values — goals are likely to be accomplished if linked with values.
    • Adopt a growth mindset approach — maintain a positive approach.


    • "The Framework of Achievement Bests explores best practice by focusing on the following: (i) discern and define different levels of best practice and (ii) an underlying psychological process that attempts to explain the achievement of optimal best practice. "
    • The Framework of Achievement Bests has two major levels of best practice: (i) realistic achievement best, which is defined as ‘an individual's actual competence at any given time to learn and/or to solve a problem’, and (ii) optimal achievement best, which is defined as ‘an individual's striving to demonstrate and/or to seek mastery in competence at any given time, reflecting his/her fullest capacity’.
    • "Realistic and optimal achievement bests differ in that the former is actual best practice, whereas the latter is non‐actual, emphasizing instead on a positioning to demonstrate an exceptional level of best practice that reflects maximization in potential. "
    • In the realistic best practice, task is specific and the level of feeling is moderate while in the optimal best practice, level of feeling is extreme and the goal is in broader sense.


    • "When the goal is specific, scale-induced round numbers lead to higher perceived accomplishment at lower progress levels, whereas, when the goal is not specific, they lead to higher perceived accomplishment at higher progress levels."
    • This study can be associated with the research criteria where specific goals can be specific tasks and non-specific goals are referring to an overall sense of accomplishment.


    • A study by Amabile and Kramer shows that the practice of recording helps with appreciation of "small wins" that can boost self-confidence, motivation, and sense of accomplishment.
    • Specific tasks or sub-goals serves as stepping stones for larger goals and keeps someone motivated.

    Research Strategy:

    The nature of the research criteria is somewhat subjective so to address it, we tried to focus on scholarly/scientific studies especially in psychology to give a solid answer. We were able to find studies that are very significant to the question. First we found the PERMA model which suggests that sense of accomplishment is a key to a happier, fulfilled life, and that the sense of accomplishment is felt when someone achieves his goal and feels motivated to do more. Then we found another study where the level of feelings related to the sense of accomplishment is described based on the levels of best practice. We correlated the RC with their definition of the realistic achievement best and optimal achievement best being the realistic achievement best equals the day to day specific task, and the optimal achievement best equals the overall sense of accomplishment. Their definition and examples best describes these two items in our RC. Also, the connection between the two can be described in Figure 2 of the study, but depends on the time frame. We also found a study that discusses the level of perceived feeling of sense of accomplishment in term of the nature of goals. It was found in the study, that when the goal is specific, scale-induced round numbers lead to higher perceived accomplishment at lower progress levels, whereas, when the goal is not specific, they lead to higher perceived accomplishment at higher progress levels. The connection between the specific and overall is described in the sources, showing that specific tasks or sub goals are stepping stones for the overall goal.
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    Individual Work Management Versus Teamwork Management

    There is a physiological, neuroscientific reason for the direct relationship between effective task management and feelings of accomplishment for individual work management. Teamwork management is more qualitative and subjective; a different set of skills and metrics are required to feel a sense of accomplishment.


    • Nurturing feelings of accomplishment is an important skill in any person's toolbox.
    • When confronted with tasks that are too big to complete in a single day, workers can end up feeling like they have accomplished very little.
    • Breaking larger tasks into smaller subtasks and steps to complete not only helps organize the process to be used but allows employees to check off sub-tasks finished daily, leading to an increased sense of accomplishment.
    • Therefore, there is a clear relationship between how employees manage their work and their sense of accomplishment.



    • Managing a group of people are not as simple as completing tasks on a checklist.
    • It is often difficult for a team manager to self evaluate because a lot of what they do is qualitative and therefore difficult to measure.
    • People tend to notice when there is a lack of team management — communication channels are weak, people are not sure what others are working on, and unexpected problems create delays.
    • However, when things are going smoothly in a team, even skilled managers find it difficult to pinpoint what they do that makes them successful.


  • Delivery on-time — the team's tasks are completed as scheduled.
  • On-Budget — the team is managed within the annual budget.
  • Process Improvements — the manager is constantly questioning the processes and seeking improvements.
  • Communication and Relationships — the manager is constantly checking in with internal and external stakeholders.
  • Risk Management — manager can handle emergencies competently.
  • Customer Orientation — manager validates decisions against the customer’s perspective blended with the profitability goals of the business.
  • Most of a manager's job entails talking, engaging employees, helping people take control of their work, praising employees, helping build self-confidence, and many more subjective activities.
  • It is, therefore, more difficult for a manager to achieve the dopamine release from completing a task as previously described.
  • It requires a different set of skills and metrics in order to nurture feelings of accomplishment as a team manager.
  • Managers can achieve feelings of success not by task lists but by setting themselves SMART goals.
  • S = Specific, Simple, Sensible, Significant.
  • M = Measurable, Meaningful, Motivating.
  • A = Attainable, Achievable.
  • R = Relevant, Reasonable, Realistic and Resourced, or Results-based.
  • T = Time-Based, Time-bound, Time-limited, Time-sensitive.
  • Managers who are successful and feel a sense of accomplishment write their goals and map out the key steps they must take to get closer to their goals.
  • Part
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    Accomplishment and Productivity

    Publicly available information fails to provide sufficient insights into how feelings of accomplishment impact productivity at work. A study aimed at measuring the "achievement motivation" and employee quality of working life reveal that motivational deficiencies significantly reduces employee performance in the workplace and consequently lowers their efficacy to accomplish a task effectively.


    • A 2018 study on teamwork performance and accomplishment of employees reveal that teamwork is defined and deliberated among researchers as an essential occupational skill required by workers to accomplish and achieve the visions, plans, goals, and objectives of any organization. Working as a team member activates and enhances the performances of the workers of an organization.
    • Team workers have a greater sense of accomplishment as they often complete tasks and reach goals that would not be possible when working alone.
    • Teamwork is the only way through which tasks get accomplished with high quality and efficiency. Teamwork and collaboration foster accomplishment and economic growth.


    • The findings of George and Sabapathy in 2011 reveal that the feelings of achievement, competence, and accomplishments often derived from performing tasks on one's job constitutes intrinsic motivators referred to as "psychological" rewards.
    • A recent analysis of employee motivational levels conducted among employee reveals that 80.4% of people believe their work gives them a feeling of personal accomplishment. When asked if work gives them a sense of personal accomplishment, 36.9% of respondents agreed, while 43.8% strongly agreed.


    • People often look for shortcuts to work less in the short term; however, accomplished people simplify processes which help them work more efficiently in the long run. Even better, accomplished people often simplify processes and outsource their work for margin.
    • Accomplished people work for results and are result oriented. A recent interview of over 200 ultra-successful people, made up of seven billionaires, 13 Olympians, several accomplished people reveal that accomplishments get them promoted at work. Accomplished people know the activities that drive the most significant results. They tend to focus on such substantial tasks and ignore the rest.
    • People who work smarter (not harder) accomplish more daily. They measure their results and not the time spent on a task. Research findings reveal that placing importance on hours spent on physical activity over action or results leads to inefficiency at the workplace.


    Our research team scoured through survey reports such as Employee Survey Questions by HR-Survey web, and a Survey on measuring and managing individual productivity by NAP, among other surveys, for insights into how the feelings of accomplishment impact productivity at work but didn't get any useful finding. Insights obtained from a survey conducted among ultra-successful people, billionaires, Olympians, and several accomplished people revealed that accomplished people know the activities that give the most exceptional results and focus on them. This strategy did not uncover how the feelings of accomplishment impact productivity at work.

    Research through academic journals, scholarly publications, and thesis among other articles published by Research Gate Journals, US National Library of Medicine (Journal of the National Institutes of Health) for how productivity at work affects the feeling of accomplishment did not uncover any helpful insights. Insights obtained from Research Gate revealed that 80.4% of people believe their work gives them a sense of personal accomplishment. Again, this strategy failed to give insights into how the feelings of accomplishment impact productivity at work. Further insights from Research Gate revealed that working on a team improves the accomplishment of individuals.

    We studied through HR databases such as Workology, BambooHR (which brings top Human Resource blogs to one spot) among other databases for what recruiters feel about the most productive people. We assumed such databases might include studies on the relationship between accomplishment and productivity at work, but there is no such data available to the public. We then studied through Marcomo articles on work-life. The Marcomo study revealed that accomplished people simplify processes at their workplaces, which help them work more efficiently in the long run. There were no insights into whether people feel more accomplished by getting more done, whether a sense of accomplishment drives productivity or if productivity provides a sense of accomplishment from this article. There is a limited amount of credible information from reliable sources discussing how productivity provide a sense of accomplishment. We have assumed that accomplishment drives productivity because accomplished people know the activities that drive the most significant results, tend to focus on them and eventually get better outcomes. The terms accomplishment and achievement are often used interchangeably. Achievement refers to a goal that has been reached, while an accomplishment refers to an initiative, task, project, job, etc. which is completed.

    From Part 08
    • "Persevering with your goals, mastering skills and achieving short and long term goals leads to a sense of accomplishment."
    • "Although accomplishment is the last part of the PERMA model no one element is more important than another. Professor of psychology at Penn University, Angela Duckworth, has developed the concept of ‘grit’, perseverance to achieve goals over months or years. The ability to sustain perseverance also adds to the sense of achievement, something that can be savoured and recalled for motivation when facing a new challenge."
    • "The Framework of Achievement Bests provides an explanatory account of a person’s optimal best practice from his/her actual best. Another aspect emphasizes on the saliency of the psychological process of optimization, which is central to our understanding of person’s optimal functioning in a subject matter."
    • "For example, for consideration, one aspect that we examine entails the extent to which the Framework of Achievement Bests could explain the optimization of each of the five components of PERMA (e.g. how does the Framework of Achievement Bests explain the optimization of engagement?)."
    • "When the goal is specific, scale-induced round numbers lead to higher perceived accomplishment at lower progress levels, whereas, when the goal is not specific, they lead to higher perceived accomplishment at higher progress levels."
    • "What we are likely not to pay too much attention to are the small goals that we accomplish. When we do achieve successes we tend to gloss over them and not give ourselves time to feel good about them."
    • "For approximately 15 years Amabile and Kramer have looks at the psychological experiences and their performance in organizations. They found that a person’s inner work life was a crucial determiner of an individual’s emotions, motivations and perceptions."
    • "Amabile and Kramer stress that progress is not only about long-term goals and major breakthroughs. Although these events can be very positive they tend to happen only occasionally. The small things we achieve on a daily basis can also provide us with a sense of progress."
    • "By writing down you daily wins you can become more aware of your progress. A better experience of your progress may increase your: motivation; perception; sense of accomplishment; and feeling of happiness. "
    From Part 10
    • "Kevin Kruse recently had the opportunity to interview more than 200 ultra-successful people, including seven billionaires, 13 Olympians, and a host of accomplished entrepreneurs. One of his most revealing sources of information came from their answers to a simple open-ended question"
    • "They focus on only one thing. Ultra-productive people know what their most important task is and work on it for one to two hours each morning, without interruptions. Which task will have the biggest impact on reaching your goals? What accomplishment will get you promoted at work? That's what you should dedicate your mornings to every day."
    • "They follow the 80/20 rule. Known as the Pareto Principle, in most cases, 80 percent of results come from only 20 percent of activities. Ultra-productive people know which activities drive the greatest results. Focus on those and ignore the rest."
    • "Where some folks look for shortcuts simply to work less in the short term, accomplished folks look to simplify processes so they can work more efficiently forever. Even better, accomplished folks simplify processes so they can outsource the work for margin."
    • "Also, the positive interaction and collaboration among employees allow them to have a better understanding of the significance of teamwork in building up the human civilization and helping the human beings to achieve the common goals and purposes that they all need. According to Wageman (1997) “Company‟s teamwork is the only way anything gets accomplished with quality and efficiency and a major reason why economic growth is under control and company‟s success is scrutinized by top management to achieve the desired goals”. "
    • "individuals need each other to accomplish and achieve what they cannot do without each other. Today, many people have forgotten the importance of teamwork in their personal lives"
    • "Teamwork was defined and deliberated by some researchers as an essential occupational skill that is necessary to accomplish and achieve the visions, goals, plans and objectives of the organization and to activate and enhance the performances of the workers there. There are several causes and reasons that clarify and highlight the link between teamwork and the level and quality of the performance in workplace. Jones et al (2007) state that understanding the impact of teamwork on performance is important because teamwork is viewed by some researchers as one of the key driving force for improving a firm‟s performance."
    • "Motivation is defined as a psychological feature, which drives people to accomplish personal and organization goals (Lindner, 1998). In the area of human resource management, it is regarded as the incentives that induce the employees to get better job performance and contribute larger efforts."
    • "Feelings of achievement, accomplishment and competence-derived from performing one’s job are examples of intrinsic motivators and It is related to ‘psychological’ rewards (George and Sabapathy, 2011). "
    • "There are different forms of motivation including extrinsic, intrinsic, physiological, and achievement motivation."
    • "Achievement motivation is based on reaching success and achieving all of our aspirations in life. Achievement goals can affect the way a person performs a task and represent a desire to show competence (Harackiewicz, Barron, Carter, Lehto, & Elliot, 1997)."
    • "Existing classical achievement motivation theorists claimed that activities are emphasized and oriented toward attaining success or avoiding failure, while the achievement goal theorists focused on their approach aspect. More recently, an integrated achievement goal conceptualization was proposed that includes both modern performance and mastery theories with the standard approach and avoidance features."
    • "Most achievement theorists and philosophers also identify task-specific competence expectancies as an important variable in achievement settings. Achievement goals are created in order to obtain competence and avoid failure. These goals are viewed as implicit (non-conscious) or self-attributed (conscious) and direct achievement behavior."
    • "They may also aim to perform tasks better in comparison with co-workers both for an ego-boost and for avoiding social incompetence."
    • "Motivational deficiencies and the low quality of working life significantly reduce employees’ work performance and consequently their efficacy (effectiveness and proper performance in doing a task or specific tasks)."
    • "The aim of this study was to determine the relationship between achievement motivation and quality of working life with self-efficacy among staff working in Mazandaran hospitals, by taking organizational ownership as a mediator variable."
    • "Achievement motivation shows individuals’ interest in better working, effectively organizing work place, solving work-related problems, increasing work amount and job quality and competing for better choices. In other words, it manifests itself in interest in doing better and effective work than ever (1)."
    • "In addition, as one’s quality of working life shows his/her sense of organization, it is important in all levels of staff’s performance (3). As a factor positively affecting working life and organizational effectiveness (4), the quality of working life has a direct effect on developing staff’s performance (5)."