If money is a motivator, then why are the hardest working people employed in nonprofit organisations. Some work in some of the most difficult conditions imaginable — disaster recovery zones, countries gripped by famine and flood and earn a fraction of what they would if they were in the private sector. Yet its rare for these managers of nonprofits to complain about getting their staff motivated.
It turns out that the theory of incentive is not really accurate. Frederick Herzberg has published an updated theory – hygiene factor and motivation factors.
Hygiene factors are status, compensation, job security, work conditions, company policies and supervisory practices.
Motivation factors includes challenging work, recognition, responsibility, and personal growth. Feelings that we are making a meaningful contribution to work.
It is frightfully easy for us to lose our sense of the difference between what brings money and what causes happiness. Beyond a certain point, hygiene factors such as money, status, compensation, and job security are much more a by-product of being happy with a job rather than the cause of it.
As for leaders, here’s a better set of questions worth pondering about. Is this work meaningful? Is this job going to develop the person? Are they going to learn new things? How can we create opportunities for recognition and achievement? How can I give more responsibility?