Why managers should create an environment that fosters a state of flow in employees

November 11, 2015

Flow is the supreme degree of satisfaction, commitment, and enthusiasm. Jaap Paauwe on the importance of flow for an employee.  

On one quiet Sunday morning, I was listening to the highlights from the St. Matthew Passion, beautiful musical lines that caress the ear. I looked out the window, at my silvery Alpine A310, whose beautiful flowing lines were etched against the surrounding greenery. This was a car far ahead of its time in terms of aerodynamics. The combination of the music and the sight of the car made me feel almost ecstatic.

Such ecstasy can also happen at work, it is then called flow. I have already written about the difference between satisfaction, commitment, and enthusiasm. These states also have a supreme degree – flow. This concept gained popularity through a psychologist with an unpronounceable name –Csikszentmihalyi1. It describes an almost spiritual experience in which someone is completely absorbed in the task at hand.

Read Jaap Paauwe's full column on the Dutch-language website.
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