My sister who is not a business person, but a very smart one and an Engineering Professor sent me a link to watch this video last week:
You’ll see that it is a cool new technique to get ideas across using the drawing of pictures on a whiteboard. If you’ve seen a UPS commercial lately, you know what I mean. The gist of the video explains what really drives or motivates people and workers based on the book Drive by Dan Pink.
I think most progressive managers know that financial rewards only work in the short-term, but despite the overwhelming science, most companies still reward their employees with the carrots of salary and bonuses. I know that big companies I’ve worked for (GM, P&G, and Disney) certainly used these outdated techniques. But, so did the tech start-ups that I worked for and have work with as a consultant.
I think the overarching reason that larger financial rewards lead to poorer performance is simple. It doesn’t lead to people being treated like humans. Humans have complex needs. Giving people more money for better performance is way too simple and ignores are few truths:
1) If someone is truly motivated by money, they will find it somewhere else. Maybe illegally, maybe by selling subprime mortgage loans, etc. There is always a quicker, easier way to earn a buck. The net is you don’t get a long-term, engaged employee.
2) Superstar employees are self-motivated. They don’t need financial rewards, they need encouragement, some recognition, but ultimately they need to be AMPed. They want Autonomy, Mastery, and Purpose.
3) Good people attract other good people. Selfish people will attract other selfish people. So, if you want a selfish “me-first” environment, then money might work, but only with tasks that are rudimentary. Good companies realize that every good hire will attract more. And, progressive companies realize they need to strengthen and build good Employment Brands like this one.
Is your company or organization truly AMPed? How do you motivate employees as a manager? It’s not easy, but the science is clear. Give employees some room (Autonomy) to improve & demonstrate their skills (Mastery) toward a grander company vision (Purpose).