It's not about the money - Motivation in business

There’s no doubting the fact that most of us would enjoy having a little extra cash in our pockets to pay off the credit card bill or jet off to an exotic destination. Indeed, that need for money is what gets us out of bed and sends us to work every morning, but according to a report by Forbes, money might not be the best motivator in the workplace.

According to the report, motivation through money encourages self-serving, short-term behaviours rather than encouraging a lasting, long term bond. Instead of relying on money as the sole motivator, employers and bosses should focus on making emotional connections and find sources of pride to make people feel good about their daily tasks.

It’s easy to think that during today’s economic hardships, money might be the one way to motivate people, so how can bosses get away from this idea and create a more lasting source of workplace motivation?

Let’s Get Emotional

According to the report, emotional connections and commitments dwarf rational compliance, so this means making an emotional connection with your staff. This could be a connection between yourself and your staff or the company, but getting employees to invest themselves emotionally in their work will have a much keener effect on motivation than cold hard cash. So how do you go about this?

Solidarity

Forging a close, tight team unit will have an extremely positive effect on morale and motivation. The report cites the example of Marines in boot camp who are regularly made to perform anxiety producing tasks together such as leaping off high towers and swimming in deep water, experiences which creates close bonds between the troops.

While we’re not recommending you take your staff to the nearest tower block, you should try to forge a tight team unit and create a “in this together” style attitude.

Recognition

Everyone enjoys receiving praise for a job well done and like to know that their efforts are not being taken for granted. This can range from a simple “well done” to giving out executive gifts as a token of your appreciation. Whatever tactic you choose, make sure your staff feel appreciated and that their efforts are not in vain.

Motivating your staff is even more important when times are tough and doing it on a budget can be key. If the report is to be believed though, taking money out of the equation may be the best way to motivate your workforce after all.

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