We have had many articles recently exploring what it is that really motivates you employees. One common theme we found was that money is not the prime motivator. Many managers, in fact, fail to recognize this finding. Consider the findings of psychologists Teresa Amabile and Steven Kramer. They surveyed 600 managers and found that roughly 95 percent of them considered that money, getting raises and bonuses is what motivates employees. Further, they explored over 12,000 employee diary entries, and found that the number one work motivator was emotion, not financial incentive. This confirms what we have stressed before. Employees are looking for more than just financial compensation. The want to feel good about what they are doing and why they are doing it. Working towards a well understood and meaningful goal is what provides the satisfaction that causes employees to work hard, not monetary awards alone. Lifehacker continues, “In the famous experiment by Dr. Edward Deci clarified again whether emotional feedback or money would engagement with work. People were sitting in a room and tried to solve a puzzle while Deci measured how much time they put in, before giving up. For Group A, he offered a cash reward for successfully solving the puzzle, and as you might expect, those people spent almost twice as much time trying to solve the puzzle as those people in Group B who weren’t offered a prize.
A surprising thing happened the next day, when Deci told Group A that there wasn’t enough money to pay them this time around: Group A lost interest in the puzzle. Group B, on the other hand, having never been offered money in exchange for working on the puzzles, worked on the puzzles longer and longer in each consecutive session and maintained a higher level of sustained interest than Group A. So if it not money what else really motivates us?
Walter Chen, the co-founder of iDoneThis explains in greater detail here what else really motivates us.