When it comes to employees, motivation is always a struggle. So what does it take to motivate people? Is money the best motivator?
There is no doubt that money is the largest reason why most people go to work each day, and this is sad. The American people have become slaves, wage slaves. Most Americans are not working to live, they are living to work. Living to work to pay off debts, debts that are frivolous, and highly unnecessary. Although it’s the paycheck that is the initial motivator for seeking out full time work, we human beings must also find another source of motivation in order to continue working full time. Whether it’s the challenge, comrade amongst coworkers, or just another excuse to get away from the wife and kids; most American workers have another source of motivation to go to work day in, day out, other than a paycheck.
I definitely feel that capitalism has created a desired lifestyle in all of us that leads us to make employment decisions based upon whether or not that particular job will provide the necessary funds to obtain that lifestyle outside of work. We go into debt and seek out jobs to pay off that debt, when if overall there was less debt, I think a lot of people would be motivated to work for something other than a paycheck and we would in turn have a more productive, stronger, leading, and more advanced economy as people doing the things they love are better at those jobs than people going to work simply for a salary.
i really like what you said Derek about how people have become wage slaves. It is so true, we have fallen under the control and spell of money. I also agree when u said that people are living to work. i think its so sad but so true
I do believe that most Americans go to work simply to collect a paycheck but that doesn’t mean they need to stay in their current position working for you to get a paycheck. They can leave and work for someone else or they can not be motivated and be a horrible employee to manage. I think there is a lot companies and managers need to do to motivate their employees besides throw more money at them. I make sure that my employees know they are appreciated and that the projects could not be completed without their contributions. I try to make them feel as if they are irreplaceable, so they feel a sense of worth within the organization. I feel that if employees know they are needed and can contribute to the organization then they are motivated to do a better job and work harder for that organization.
I absolutely agree with the need to show appreciation to the employees. At my present employer there is no effort on the part of the supervisors let alone the top management to demonstrate any of this. Worker moral is very low. This has caused a number of employees to find alternative employment. It has also led to many people who have recently retired to move out of California. The state does a poor job of rewarded individual achievements. I believe this comes from unionization. With unions an employee is just another number. This culture has led many employees to see what the union’s real goals and concerns are.
I find it interesting that unions were formed by coalitions of employees that wanted to create safer work environments for industrial workers and also achieve higher wages for those workers as well. Yet, this has led to union workers feeling as if they are just a number. Now, with so many firms establishing benefits program that are quite amazing- we should consider the abolishment of unions as it seems they have served their purpose. Employees can now enter the free market, obtain a safe job, and also obtain a wage that allows them to support their families and etc., while also having a variety of different benefits. This really makes me ask the question- do unions unmotivate employees now?
I agree with Wes that this can be a pretty big issue. If people do not feel appreciated it ruins the morale of a workplace and, eventually, the productivity. People will stop caring if they don’t think it will get them anywhere or be appreciated and see peers who get by doing less.
I agree with you Andrea. I believe a positive work environment that motivates and encourages their employees are able to spend less on replacing positions year after year because of dissatisfied staff. I think you are doing a great job by setting a standard that helps your employees feel that they are included in the day to day operations for the company so that they too have ownership of the ups and downs.
Sure, many people stay in certain jobs because they enjoy working for that particular company or appreciate the people they work with. However, if another company has the same type of working environment, but pays more wouldn’t it spark some sort of curiosity?
Pay is the main factor when choosing where to apply. If the pay in one place is greater than another I will seek employment where the salary is the greatest. I know a higher salary will spark my interest.
That’s great to hear Andrea-that you are taking that step in letting your employees know that their contributions matter. I highly believe that when upper management does this sincerely the employees can’t fight the sense as to feel that they really are part of something and that they in return are fulfilled in a way that makes them better employees.
That is great what you are doing Andrea. I am thankful at the end of the day when my supervisor and foreman tells me “Thanks Sal, you kicked ass today!” I am aware that they appreciate my hard work, when the only thing i want to do is go home, yet when they tell me this it just motivates me to becoming a valued employee.
I feel people are motivated by a paycheck to a certain point and upon obtaining their most desired salary level, each incremental dollar earned has less value. So- people will switch jobs and transition between employers until they have obtained the desired dollar value that allows them to live the comfortable life outside of work that they want. Upon reaching that point, money becomes an obsolete motivator. People reach the lifestyles they want, but then firms have to seek out other sources of motivation to keep productivity at a maximum. I think employees, depending upon the particular employee, can be motivated by a variety of different things. Working parents, for example, can be greatly motivated by a company that offers great work-life balance and allows telecommuting and time off work to tend to the needs of their children. Potential leaders are motivated by being given more responsibility and challenging tasks that involve judgment and reasoning beyond their current duties. Everybody is different and has different circumstances in their life and therefore the types of motivation to be employed are just as different. What I feel it really takes is a boss that sits and talks with their employees to understand their desired goals outside of work and within work and be able to structure a game plan to help that employee achieve those goals while working for the company. I think that is the greatest source of motivation; a boss who listens, care, and takes action for an employee. Money is not the best motivator. I’d rather walk into work loving my job and make a lot less money, than walk into a job where I make twice as much but can’t wait for the weekends.
I agree Mason, motivation can be very subjective. I may not be motivated by the same incentives as you are. Moreover, I feel that different industries have unique motivating factors. However, I would agree that it certainly becomes the responsibility of a boss to recognize what motivates each of their employees in order to create an individualized structure that suits the needs both parties.
Hi Mason…I agree completely. I do think employers do not think that way. Most employers try to motivate with one tool across the board and do not consider that different people get motivated by different things. I do think working Moms would be motivated by giving them more freedom of work and a work/home life balance where a single person may not particularly care if the job has that type of freedom. I think that is why motivating employees can be such a difficult task!
I agree that when a person reaches the lifestyle they are comfortable with, they could care less about aggressively looking to make more. Most would just be content going to work. Relationships become more important as long as the paycheck they earn keeps coming in. There are a great number of people that actually give their extra money away to charities because they are very content with what they have.
Monetary reward is absolutely the driving force in our decision making for what career field we want to pursue. We seek employment that will in return provide us with the necessary salary needed to meet our desired wants and needs. We all have a desired lifestyle, and we will achieve that lifestyle with the right career field that affords that opportunity. This is the driving force in our society. Most people will seek a high paying job before they will seek a rewarding job. This may be considered to be greedy or self-serving, but this is what society has conditioned all of us to be. It was the driving force for me. I found that a good salary doesn’t always give you the satisfaction you thought it would. I now find myself seeking a different lifestyle. We shouldn’t allow the persuit of money to consume ourselves. We found it to be destructive to many people as we withnessed this first hand with the market crash of 2008.
Satisfaction, I think is now the second and maybe even equal factor in choosing a career for people. In order to remain in a business and to be productive, I believe that there must be some sort of passion for it. This passion can be numerous of things such as satisfaction, self-fulfillment, recognition and being part of a team. Salary variance does make a difference in choosing our occupation, initially, but this second factor of fitting in, I think, will make the difference in remaining and how one works while they are there.
I think money is the main motivator. You work to make money. Also working in a good positive environment can also help motivate you to be a better worker. A better worker means you can work hard to earn more money. If money wasn’t important than people wouldn’t work. To live the chosen lifestyle you want is how hard you will work to meet your goals. Having great incentives in your career will help motivate you into becoming a better worker.
In a developed world people are motivated in earning money. Whether legal or illegal, money is a motivator because it gives people a sense of worth, power, comfort, and pleasure. Money gives us the ability to possess whatever money can buy. If we all lived in a place where money is not readily available or does not have value, we would all farm, use our trade, and use our possessions to trade for things we desire. Earning money is a way to possess the necessities for survival, and a way to trade for the possessions we desire. It is not necessarily the best, but it is the tool to help or convince others to higher productivity. Let’s face it. We all want to work, but we do not want to be given more responsibility just for the sake of doing it; we want to get paid for it.
I believe money is only a motivator to a certain extent. A negative work environment will ultimately discourage the employee enough to the point that they are willing to overlook the monetary compensation they are receiving. I personally believe that the pursuit of money will only lead you so far. When money becomes your main motivator, I feel that many employees tend to show a lack of passion for their jobs. When you pursue a career that you are passionate about, the monetary compensation is secondary. I believe motivation comes from one’s own pursuit of happiness. If someone is not happy in their current position in a business, I do not believe any monetary incentive can keep them in that position for an indefinite period of time. The employee will ultimately find that they are not fulfilled by the work they are doing.
I firmly believe that a positive work environment promotes good employee retention. Simply for the fact that in a positive work environment employees feel that they are valued and are not simply a replaceable pawn.
Hi July…I think you are correct that money is only a motivator to a certain extent. If money is a persons 100% I don’t think they are in the correct job. I could get offered double the salary of my current job but I would not make the switch if it was something that didn’t interest me. I know I wouldn’t last long in a boring job that didn’t interest me, no matter how much the pay. I think employers need to do a better job at finding ways to motivate employees besides money.
You are correct. If someone is 100 percent motivated by only money the motivation would only be temporary, but even in a great working environment, everyone wants to be paid fairly. People cannot just take on other roles and not get compensated for it. Definitely, a good working environment makes it even a better place to work for sure. Compensation could be of some value other than money. If extra vacation time or PTO is the compensation it still equates to some form of dollar value. So in general, it is money. Call it gifts, or whatever. Somebody has to pay for it.
In todays society money is very powerful tool. I think that money is the key motivator within the workforce for any person. no matter what the job positions is or how much it pays, people will work if you offer them money. But sometimes money cant alwasy motivate a person to work. If that person is not passionate or interested in their work, sometimes money isent enough to keep them motivated to work or to stay with the company. personaly what motivates me at my work place is when i get complements from my boss or other employees or customers about how my job performance has been. That makes me want to be a better employee.
Although, initially money can be very enticing; I believe that many other factors are what keep employees motivated. It is more complex and personal. I believe that employees are motivated by having some sense of fulfillment, recognition, and the ability to engage and contribute. Money is a great motivator but it is not an everlasting one. It takes team effort and consideration from the employer to find and keep the above stated motivators consistent. It should always be considered also, that when an employee is motivated and happy, they are a better working asset and give a better reflection of what we may want them to display as our brand.
Let me ask a question…when it comes time for your annual review, what is it that you’re hoping for? What happens if you don’t get it? What happens if you do?
I am usually hoping for my work and things I am doing right to be recognized, at the same time I am hoping for honesty so that if there is something I need to work on, I know about it.
I think money is the main motivator because it is the something that can be offered that can mean different things to different people. If someone loves to spend time with their kids and family, money allows them to do that to a greater degree. If someone loves traveling money allows them to do that. If someone loves to fix up their car money allows them to do that as well. I do agree however that employers could do well to try and be more specialized and try and find what really motivates each individual person, but at larger companies and business it could be too much to ask for.
I believe for most entry level positions that money is the main motivation for all employees. And in these cases money may be the best motivator in getting employees motivated to become more productive till they get comfortable, in a work environment. I believe once you surpass the enrty level working position then it becomes self efficacy that becomes the motivation in performing above and beyond. For example, i took a paycut, but this entitles me to receive weekends off and attaining a more desirable work shift, that allows me to spend more time with my family, that i truely value. So to better answer your question, if money is the best motivator? Yes in most cases it is, but i believe it it up to management to determine what the employee most value, and essentially what is the best motivation. For some employees, within our organization employees come back after retiremnet simply for the benefits(health insurance).
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