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?

Stay golden,



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37 thoughts on “#MondayMotivation

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    1. Yes, indeed. You get the same amount whether you do an excellent job, or a mediocre job. Doesn’t that promote slacking? Wouldn’t it be better for your company to reward those who work hard with extra money? You would then get better results, AND your employees would be happier/ better motivated.


  1. Whether money motivates you or not depends on how badly you need more money to make ends meet. This factor is never parsed out in the surveys. People who have enough money to not worry about finances will not be motivated by money as much as people who struggle to pay the bills. I’ve been shown lots of these surveys to prove the poor motivational power of money, but always by higher-ups who have plenty to spend.

    Liked by 3 people

    1. Totally.
      Thanks for sharing your experience. Quite peculiar the data is, is it not?
      Interestingly enough, I am not struggling like some that I know, but I could use a few extra dollars to take care of some things.


  2. Wow, Goldie. This is so freakish as I was thinking about this and talking to someone about this. I love this post. I work for money, absolutely! I put in 9-5 and exchange my time for money.

    We have company events and bonding activities and while I participate most times ( I skip sometimes), these are not the motivators for me as well. As you put it “Those events were never my cup of tea.”

    While recognition events are good, and I actually am getting recognized this week from my department as one of the two ‘high performers’ this year, I would like to see that reflect more on my paycheck than get a piece of paper (Certificate etc.) Those are nice to have but not what I am there for.

    M greatest motivator at work is the satisfaction of feeling like I am doing something productive with my time and sharpening my brain. I couldn’t stick around in a job where I don’t get challenged and do the same thing every day. I know it works for some people but, def. not for me. I often get projects that have curve-balls and are not straight forward, I enjoy that =)

    Liked by 2 people

    1. Maybe I am that somebody that you were talking to…

      The only events that I will sometimes go to are those involving food (dinners). That way, I do not have to go shopping and cook. But still, they are annoying, because they shorten the time I have off work.

      CongratZ on your recognition. But “CongratZ” won’t pay the bills. Will it?

      I wholeheartedly agree with your last point – sharpening my brain. The lack of challenges is a turn off for me as well.

      Liked by 1 person

  3. I don’t believe in raises. You’d very rarely get one.
    So I make sure I negotiate before I start the job. I want to be sure I am going to be happy with in the next 2-3 years. Then it’s time to talk again.
    Usually, I pretty much get my way, so I can’t complain about it.

    Being a manager in the last year, I have noticed what small compliments can do with the team.
    If my team doesn’t deliver, I don’t deliver and my manager will be confronting me.

    I made sure I noticed every little achievement.
    I made sure there was budget for a dinner with the 4 of us every now and then.
    I’d give them some of my tasks if I felt they wanted to develop in something.

    It payed off.
    Recently my manager complimented me for the team I built.
    He said he had never seen a better functioning team.
    And that meant more than the world to me.

    Liked by 3 people

    1. Awesome achievement Andrea on the team building.

      About the raises, I actually expect a good raise every year. If I am doing great at my job and the company is doing well, people deserve raises. I negotiated one recently.

      Liked by 1 person

  4. Yes I do, although I have to say sometimes I am embarrassed to admit it because it sounds superficial. I do put more work and effort into my job when I get a compliment from my boss. In a previous job my boss enforced “tough love” and expected us to go the extra mile (work after hours, do random jobs on the weekend for her, etc.) with no extra pay, and the employees (and I am sure their families) suffered because of it. So I think the environment is better to work in and people are happier with positive motivation, but in the end, I do it for the pay.

    Liked by 3 people

  5. Great post! I’m one of those who puts money near the bottom of the list, it’s not a significant motivator for me. In fact I’ve very often worked for free. I’m fine as long as I have enough money to survive and enjoy life. Money only buys you things and some of the happiest times in my life were when I was travelling around different parts of the world with just a rucksack, a good book and a few clothes. My main motivator has always been to do a quality job that gives me a sense of pride, so even when I worked in an office job I was happy as long as I knew I was producing work of quality.

    Liked by 2 people

  6. I know this is a two-sided trait but I usually never get motivated externally. It is good because external influences out of my control don’t demotivate me as much as they do other people BUT it is also hard to find motivation when I ran out of it 🙂 Great post

    Liked by 2 people

  7. Fine Can of Worms you opened. I basically run my own company, but I have no team members or employees now. I did…

    When I worked for corporate, I figured if I did really well, I’d get PFP recognition…Pay for Performance. I got good at the stuff that paid. Then, when I got to top slot, they changed the requirements! So I got good at the next requirements…and guess what.

    I was told to work overtime in some jobs, and I wanted to do a good job for my team, but didn’t feel appreciated by team or management. Got a “What’s the Point?” attitude and started looking for something else.

    Got involved in an MLM where the more you did, the more you got paid, and you won trips for production and recruiting and training team members. This MLM was different because I didn’t need a basement full of make-up, or herbs, or purses, but I did need licenses and certifications and continuing education. It was fun to work here because I WAS making a difference, and I actually liked my coworkers and clients. We did have get-togethers like Halloween parties and Christmas parties, but I didn’t want to go bowling with them. I didn’t want team-building exercises. You either worked as a team or you didn’t. You didn’t bring people on that you didn’t at least know something about…We’d get together to celebrate accomplishments and do some training to help people excel.

    People like the “more money” motivation because it shows that their time is worth something. They continue to need the “more money” motivation until they don’t. If they’re motivated by recognition and praise and purpose and crusade, the only reason for the money is to enjoy the freedom to do what they love to do instead of what they have to do. They want something that says they are special, and if that is not forthcoming, they will agree that the money shows their worth to the company.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Thank you for such a diverse response.

      Personally, I think the PFP model works great for employee motivation. Isn’t that also a great way to assure excellence? Win-win?

      Unfortunately, my experience is mostly the first one you describe – you’re good at what you do – you get a pat on the back and are asked to work more. For no extra compensation. Of course.

      Great remarks. Thanks again for sharing.


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