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Are bonuses really the best incentive?

Categories: Motivation | Tagged , | Leave a comment

Are bonuses really the best incentive?

The subject of motivation is a troubling one for me. I have a lot of it, but can’t seem to find ways to motivate others. Others do what they feel like. They are often not motivated by money no matter how desperately they need cash. They are not motivated even by success. Bonuses and commissions motivate people to a point, but they are also complicated. If your industry is slow for a month, your salesperson might lose their bonus when it is not their fault. Sales quotas are not a really good measuring stick of someone’s achievement. The other problem with bonuses is that they can create an unhealthy attitude towards competition which might not be good for the collaborative future of your company’s work culture. Sometimes it makes more sense to give real feedback to the employees. Tell them what customers felt. Talk to them about how meaningful their work is for the company. Share your vision for the future of the company. If they don’t share the vision, it is not always so easy to get them to share your dream.

I just was reading an article about motivating workers by making them aware of the larger impact of their work. But, how do you use this strategy to get them to subscribe to your larger vision for your company? Most workers just don’t care that much about long term visions. It is about them making money, and/or being a hero in the work-world. These are selfish goals and have nothing to do with the company’s long term contribution to society.

I have learned that selling your vision to visionless people is not so easy. But, you can use psychological buttons to do this. You can put them in the position of the consumer or society. Ask them how they would feel if they did business with a company who not only gave good service, but did a lot of extra meaningful things as well verses one who merely got the job done. If they can feel the meaningfulness of the vision, they are more likely to subscribe. Remember, there is reason, and there is emotion. Emotion sells a whole lot better than reason with 99% of the people!

(1) re workers motivated by bonuses or by being told of their positive impact on society?
(2) I have learned that selling your vision to visionless people is not so easy.

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