It Takes Much More Than Money To Motivate Your Employees…

Thinking that more money is the key to motivating employees alone? Think again. Time after time, studies show that this is towards the bottom of the list in terms of what employees want from their companies. Things like recognition, the ability to use their initiative, good company culture and the freedom to work in their own way, continually rate higher in terms of what they want.

The book ‘Hidden Value: How Great Companies Achieve Extraordinary Results with Ordinary People’ by Charles A. O’Reilly, really does a great job of explaining how to get the best from your employees, and how you can create an environment that they enjoy being in and do their best to enhance.

Take the following excerpt for example:

hidden value“Consider the implicit values conveyed in the modern management practices adopted by many companies. Most firms today emphasize, among other things, the employee’s responsibility for being career resilient, employment at will and no-fault dismissal, pay for performance, downsizing to cut costs, and maximizing shareholder value above all else. What is the message any sentient employee takes from these practices? Pursue what is best for you, not the firm or the customer, adopt a free-agent mentality, and do not invest any more in the firm than it is willing to invest in you. The underlying values are crystal clear, even if they are never expressed in a formal way. In this sense, arguments by managers that value statements are irrelevant or inappropriate miss the point: All organizations have values; the only question is how explicit they are about them.

And what happens when employees behave in accordance with these values? First, a rational employee is not likely to exert much effort in activities beyond what he or she is explicitly rewarded for. A ‘show me the money’ mood prevails. Second, a smart employee will be constantly alert for new and better job opportunities in other organizations—loyalty is for fools. Third, unless cooperation is explicitly monitored and rewarded, teamwork is viewed as optional… To resolve some of these problems, management’s job is to design ever more sophisticated control and incentive systems to ensure that the necessary teamwork occurs and that the loss of intellectual capital is minimized.”

The key to a business’ success is down to the people that work for it. If you can create an atmosphere that rewards innovation, encourages new ways of thinking and recognises accomplishments, you’ll go a lot further than the company that throws money at employees for a temporary fix.

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