A brilliant article based on a survey by Martin Dewhurst a director in McKinsey’s London office reveals some interesting findings of related to common beliefs regarding the financial incentives for motivation.
Many financial rewards mainly generate short-term boosts of energy, which can have damaging unintended consequences.
Numerous studies have concluded that for people with satisfactory salaries, some non-financial motivators are more effective than extra cash in building long-term employee engagement in most sectors, job functions, and business contexts.
The respondents in the McKinsey Quarterly survey view three noncash motivators—praise from immediate managers, leadership attention (for example, one-on-one conversations), and a chance to lead projects or task forces—as no less or even more effective motivators than the three highest-rated financial incentives: cash bonuses, increased base pay, and stock or stock options.
Which are the top three non-financial motivators?
The survey’s top three non-financial motivators play critical roles in making employees feel that their companies value them, take their well-being seriously, and strive to create opportunities for career growth. These themes recur constantly in most studies on ways to motivate and engage employees.
The HR directors McKinsey researchers spoke with, for example, emphasized leadership attention as a way to signal the importance of retaining top talent.
You may like to read the full essay at:
My take on the above findings
I entirely agree with findings of the above survey. However I feel the challenge lies in addressing the organizational culture. The focus has to be on the macro-organization. The culture as well as the leadership must be embedded in the values and philosophy. The people must identify with the core purpose destiny of the organization. It is not easy unless the leadership leads from the front. Here I wish to present once again an inspirational quote:
“Life is not worth living, Without a purpose or meaning” – Buddha
The debate – financial versus non-financial motivators will therefore become quite meaningless. People will be self motivated and respond to organizational crisis and down-turns beyond all expectations. Their levels of emotional stability too will be very high leading to quality decision making and productivity.
As always I look forward to your critical comments. Thank you.