During my University classes, I was taught the different ways that motivate people/ employees. Before we found out the results of the “employee motivation” study, the professor would ask us what we thought the answers were. There were various ideas thrown around (most of which I do not remember), and everyone thought their answer was the correct one. Because it would motivate THEM.
To those shouting “money”, the answer was rather shocking.
Back then I was not too familiar with the workforce, but I assumed people would want to receive money for the work they do. Apparently I was wrong.
While writing this post, and googling for statistics, I found the below:
I guess I think like a manager, then. I feel a bit validated now that I have found the above.
Growing up, I was never told to focus on money, so I was a bit surprised when I answered “money” with such conviction back in that uni class. When I saw the answers, I was stunned. When I read the top answers, I just shook my head. I could not believe that anyone cares about “camaraderie”, or a pat on the back from your boss. But I was green. Things were going to change once I started working.
Only they did not.
I witnessed companies spend a load of money on “bonding” (camaraderie) events in hopes to motivate their employees. Those events were never my cup of tea. Please, give me MY share of the money, and let me enjoy it the way I want to. Do not try to make me feel grateful for something that I was miserable with.
My boss complimented my hard work during a department meeting Woohoo! No, not really. It took a couple seconds to say: “Well done”, and then… it was gone. Everyone was off to their own thing. I was back to working on another task, trying not to get in trouble. And I did (get in trouble). Did my boss not appreciate me any more? Oh, right, it was a thing of the past. So much good it did me.
Help on personal problems? While having an understanding boss is a blessing, I do not expect them to cut me slack on a daily basis. Personal problems are exactly that – personal. If you need your boss to help you out with those, you are doing something wrong. Again, why do you care about something that might never come in handy for you?
Job security does matter. That is for sure. When you have bills to pay, you do not want to be laid off without warning. However, I have worked in a place that used the: “be grateful you still have a job” way too often to keep their employees in line (no raises, etc.).
I know of people who would get their employees gift cards. They would feel SO good about it. The thing was that the gift cards were to places in which those employees never shopped.
So yes, while certain things matter to me (ex.: developmental opportunities), money is still my answer. It gives me freedom. If I earned enough, I could save more and not worry about “job security”, because IF (knock on wood, etc.) I got laid off, I would have enough to live off on until I found something new.
The only approval I need is my own. I know when I do a good job. Having someone else acknowledge it is nice, but not necessary.
Not being at war with your co-workers is important, but I do not need to be best friends with people I work with. As long as we each do our jobs, I am fine with that.
Having an impact is such a weird concept. We can go either way – no one aside from doctors makes a REAL impact (of course that is a huge generalization). Or, we can actually look closer and see that we ALL make a difference. Just think about it – If it was not for you, what would not be done? Yes, you might be further down on the food chain, but remember that those on top would not be able to do what they do without you.
When Santa will ask me what I want for Christmas, I will say a RAISE. Not recognition, or anything else.
Do you work for money?
What is the greatest motivator for YOU at your job?
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