Get a good job with more pay and you're okay
But if you ask for a rise it's no surprise
That they're giving none away.
-- Money, Pink Floyd
My friend Kimota just posted an article on his blog about raises which got me thinking about money and how it relates to motivation with respect to your job. When I was younger and much more foolish I though that money in the form of bonuses and raises were the best forms of motivation. Having been on both ends (giving and receiving raises) now, I have come to the conclusion that motivation is very loosely tied to salary and raises if at all.
I think this is based purely on expectations. If you expect to get a raise of n% for whatever reason - good performance review, better than average quality of work, high inflation rate, impression from the manager, talk amongst peers, previous raises - but end up getting less than n% (or even if you get n%) then the raise is looked at in a negative light because it didn't meet your expectations. This is similar to going to a good movie that has been built up by reviews and recommendations as the best thing ever and then being disappointed because it was merely a good movie.
A bonus is slightly better than a raise in terms of motivation because, generally, it is not expected, it follows a particular accomplishment and it is a large sudden, influx of cash you can blow on whatever takes your fancy at the time. That feeling lasts a little while and may translate into better motivation at work. However, because these 'spot' bonuses are usually rare, the realization comes that because you got a bonus recently, no matter what you do now you won't be 'due' for another bonus for a long time - so the motivation trails off.
Instead of money, I've realized that the motivation has to come from the work itself. Motivation is a two part problem - you have to be motivated by something to perform well. And your manager has to figure out what motivates you and attempt to give you that motivating item regularly. Here are some of the things that motivate me and how a manager can ensure that I'm motivated:
|Challenge||Make sure you are challenged in your tasks|
|Praise/Recognition||Make sure you get positive reinforcement|
|Competition||Make sure you feel like you are in a competition and are doing well - but not winning|
|Accomplishment||Make sure you are aware of how completing your tasks will affect the product/marketplace/team|
|Chance for advancement/power||Publish the career development path opportunities, talk about continuous learning with employee, etc.|