Bucket #1 Show me the Money!

In our last piece we introduced the idea that everyone has a “why” and that in general,  the “why” typically falls into one of 3 categories: money, internal motivation, and external motivation.  An employee’s “why” is the reason that you and your employee get up in the morning.  There is a clear correlation between purpose, and employee productivity and engagement. 

It’s easy to equate quantifiable gains with purpose. Money is the best example of this. Ask people you know why they go to work and all will mention money at some point. Money is a tangible reward for our efforts. The mental leap to equating money with purpose then makes a lot of sense. The truth is though, as much as we all need money to have the life we want to live, it may or may not be the “why” that gets you out of bed in the morning. In the next few weeks, we will look at each of the roles more closely. Let’s start with the first bucket: money.  

Bucket #1: Money

When money and financial rewards are an employee’s primary “why,” you’ll see greater compliance and adherence to role requirements. In this case, roles and rewards are clearly defined and reinforced.  What does this look like? 

  • Employees will do their job fully.
  • They know the exact role and scope of the job(s) they are expected to perform. 
  • They generally take all of their breaks and lunches, and clock-out when it’s time to go home. 
  • In some scenarios, overtime is paid for overtime hours worked. 
  • Going above and beyond the exact scope of their role mostly happens if there is something to be gained that will lead to even greater financial reward.

People who lead with financial reward can be relied upon to show up for work and do their jobs. If you need them to take on more responsibility, you’ll need to consider expanding their scope and increasing the pay or benefits. This is more of a transactional relationship that feels dependable and predictable and purposeful.

To be clear, everyone wants to be paid for the work they do – money is necessary. For employees in this group though it doesn’t really matter what they’re doing or where they’re working – they would leave to work for another company if it resulted in greater financial gains. So how do people who are primarily motivated by financial gains differ from everyone else? Check-out our next piece on the second group on our list: employees who thrive on internal motivations.

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