Motivate Through Match Rather Than Money

Posted by Aoife Gorey on Fri, Feb 22, 2013 Understanding what really motivates top performance

One of the most significant challenges of this decade is the selection, retention, and motivation of top performing talent. Organizations have implemented costly benefit programs, signing bonuses, and countless other attractions designed to win employee loyalty and stimulate employee engagement.

Typical benefits include a comfortable and unique work environment, the option to telecommute, casual dress code, snacks, etc. Some organizations go as far as having a "bring your pet to work" day, a concierge service, and take home meals.

Surveys by Ceridian found that 65% of employers believe perks help attract employees. Attracting employees is well and good, but are you wasting money on benefits that don’t yield enhanced employee engagement? What do you think really gets your employees excited about their work? A critical reality is that the magnitude of your people’s contribution to the organization will be directly proportional to how engaged they are with the organization and their jobs.

So does money really matter? "Unless you're extremely careful with how you use rewards, you get people who are just working for the money," says Edward Deci, a human motivation psychologist at University of Rochester. The appetite for money can be insatiable.

A SHRM Survey outlining the most important aspects of employee job satisfaction ranked job security as most important (63%). Benefits fall second (60%), with compensation and pay close behind (57%). So do not be fooled; paying your people a substantial salary is not enough to find top talent and keep them engaged.

Attracting top candidates is the easy part; now you must focus on how to motivate and retain them. But, you only want employees that fit your company culture and whose personality and behaviors match the job. Find this, and you will find your top performers.

Engagement= Productivity + Profitability, which equates to a 51% gap in operating income and a 39% gap in earning per share, between high and low engagement organizations.

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