Posts Tagged ‘long lasting motivation’

The Wrath of the Vending Machine

November 16th, 2010

Quite often, when we discuss motivation in our workshops, especially when it is at the time of the year around annual reviews and bonuses, there would be someone who would wave the flag of money. The question we always ask in return is: for how long would a $ shot last?

To be fair, in our part of the world, the individual has to provide for so many things that are taken for granted elsewhere. Hence good pay is essential for survival. However, how effective would it be to build a motivation culture around money?

Here’s what I have to say about it:

– A Money Centered Motivation (MCM) culture is a magnet. It will attract all bounty hunters and fortune racers. It will attract them until further notice. The resignation notice. How come? Simple: someone, somewhere, has paid them more.

– One that should have been mentioned in physics books: the buildup rate of a wish list is greater than that of the money required for servicing it. What does that mean? Well, it means that the happiness of a temporary money surplus goes almost as far as when home is reached and the story told. Shortly afterwards, the money surplus will be leveled (because spent) and the gap both in our stomach and in the virtual bank account in our minds grows again. With it ends the motivation effect of the $ shot.

– Another thing you need to watch out for is the wrath of the machines. The vending machines. As you know, the technical makeup of a vending machine deactivates all buttons that you could push to get what you want from it unless you insert the accepted currency and in the accepted pieces of change. That’s exactly what you get in an MCM culture. What you’d be doing is gradually, yet very quickly, transforming your people into vending machines. You would be teaching people that the cost of the extra mile comes in cash or it doesn’t (when I say doesn’t, I mean the extra mile).

Please don’t think that I’m suggesting that money is not important. On the contrary, there needs to be enough money in your team’s pockets to keep their minds off it. But MCM is short term and short term only!

For motivation to last, it has to be based on making people enjoy what they spend the most of their waking adult lives doing: working! Lasting motivation is built on the relationship between manager and team members without losing focus on results. The key to motivation is to build the relationship in such a way to win hearts and minds. Pockets are not in the recipe. This won’t happen by email and won’t happen by remote control. You need to show up.

Remember your managers? Those with whom it was dark outside without you even noticing time? And those with whom you felt a second on your watch take a minute to tick? I am almost certain that you don’t label the first as the highest payers when you think of them or talk about them.

Have a dream. Attract volunteers ready to live your dream. Money-reward them fairly. Motivate through the relationship you build. Focus on results. Keep in mind: MCM is ST and ST only!

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“trace – training and coaching executives

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