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Money or Memories: What Are The Best Ways to Motivate Employees

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If there’re two things that’re both too important and too scarce in supply at workplaces, they’re motivation and productivity. Checkout the Gallup Employee Engagement Report and you’ll get the picture. Per that report, only 13% of employees around the globe say that they’re engaged at work. And since motivation directly affects productivity, this kind of disengagement and un-motivation among employees hurts businesses in a big way.

Now, this is not some hidden wisdom. Most managers understand the importance and scarcity of employee engagement. Yet most of them don’t put up a strategy to maintain motivation among their employees. This is still something limited only to Google-s, Intel-s and Apple-s of the world.

So, the question is how to keep employees motivated? Or it’ll be more apt to put it this way:

 Which motivators should be used to motivate employees?

Well, one motivator is very common: money. It makes sense because most people work to earn money for a living. It’s also the most easily available one (specially in case of large businesses). But what if you’re a small business owner? Moreover, is it the best motivator anymore in this complex world? Let’s figure out.

Is money the best motivator?

According to HR magazine’s survey conducted on 1,000 employees in UK, a mere 13% of employees said that they felt motivated from performance based cash bonuses. A research published in Harvard Business Review paints even more striking picture: it says that there’s little-to-no relation between pay and job satisfaction, and this is true for a wide variety of cultures and economies.

Is there a better way?

Certainly. According to a McKinsey Quarterly study, in contrast to monetary rewards praise and attention from management motivate 67% and 63% of employees respectively. Same applies for future leadership opportunities – they motivate 62% of employees.

What does this mean?

Based on these findings, one thing is clear. When it comes to motivation, memories trump money. Almost all the top motivating factors – whether they’re attention of management, gifts or leadership opportunities – end up lasting for a long time in the memories of employees.

So if you want to motivate your workforce, after hiring the right kind of people the next thing you should do is continuing to provide them memorable events or things in their work lives. You’ll certainly see a positive change in the motivation and engagement levels of your employees.

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