Does Money Really Make a Difference?

Catch moneyMoney is highly motivational for people.  But saying money is the only thing we should use is close-mindedness. Does your company think too much about using money as a motivator and too little about other motivators? Here are a few tips to help you put both holiday bonuses and compensation packages in perspective.

1. Praise goes a long way.

Sixty-seven percent of workers say that praise and commendation from a manager is what truly motivates.  Everyone wants it and it’s one of the easiest things to give. Plus, praise goes a lot farther than you might think. Praise every improvement that you see your team members make. Once you’re comfortable delivering praise one-on-one to an employee, try praising them in front of others.  Employees need autonomy and respect in order to feel motivated. When money is used to “bait” them into working, it can undermine empowerment.  Decreasing their self-motivation may make your employees work longer hours, but at the expense of good quality.   Instead, consider offering freedoms, listen to them, and support them in achieving their goals. Create a positive work environment so that they want to strive for more without the motivation of money.

2. Different people are……Different.

Your management training has taught you that individuals have various management techniques that work best for them.  Each employee is unique.  Because you adjust your management style for each employee, your motivational style needs to be tailored as well. Consider your employees' values, tasks, and goals.

Maybe try taking an employee to lunch once a week. Surprise them. Don’t make an announcement of  a new policy. Just walk up to one of your employees, and invite them to lunch. It’s an easy way to remind them that you notice and appreciate their work.

You can also make your ideas theirs. People hate being told what to do. Instead of telling people what you want done; ask them in a way that will make them feel like they came up with the idea. “I’d like you to do it this way” becomes “Do you think it’s a good idea if we do it this way?”

Try removing the project lead or supervisor and empowering your staff to work together as a team rather than everyone reporting to one individual. Think about it the effect that would have. It’s one thing to let a supervisor down.  It’s even worse to letting your team down! Allowing people to work together as a team, on an equal level with their co-workers, will often produce better projects faster. People will come in early, stay late, and devote more of their energy to solving problems

3. Look at the big picture.

If getting a bonus is the primary goal, employees will start taking short-cuts.  As a leader, emphasize the broader goals, such as the company's mission, and pay attention to how your employees reach their goals. Reward the people who embody your values most fully, and be clear that those are the behaviors you want to reinforce.