Magic Carrot Falls From Grace
When a business stalwart like Forbes Magazine says that “Money is not the best motivator” I get optimistic that a turning point has been reached…finally! I tell you I almost had to pinch myself…
From the article:
There is ample evidence to suggest that money may not be the best way to motivate desirable behavior. In fact, it may be one of the worst ways…
Emotional sources of motivation are more powerful, and they are best conveyed in an organization through the respect of peers, the admiration of subordinates, the approval of one’s personal network and community and the like. Money becomes the default motivator because it is measurable, tangible and fungible — and trouble strikes when the prospect of a lot of money becomes the primary goal. That usually feeds a very self-serving emotion, greed.
It’s all about relationships…
I’m certainly not arguing that decent wages and formal reward & recognition programs don’t have a place, the problems come when they are relied upon solely. These carrots are great for encouraging short term behavior but rarely fuel long lasting motivation or deep commitment. Having worked with many a successful and high performing individual I’ve learned that much more is involved.
Lasting motivation comes from a constellation of aspects that comprise a great place to work. It comes when efforts are acknowledged along the way (see last week’s article ‘Relearning Happiness’), when people are given trust, respect and the training and tools needed to achieve great results. Leaders who carry a positive attitude, who provide encouragement, and recognize other’s skills and ambitions motivate their teams. Through being genuinely interested in the wellbeing of their team members, leaders strongly motivate these individuals to contribute back to the company’s wellbeing.
What do you think? Do rewards motivate you? How and when do you like to be rewarded? Are there any circumstances where rewards de-motivate you? Please write a comment, I’d love to hear your take.