The Cost of Workplace Motivation

What truly motivates you to work harder? Although it’s personal, here are some ideas to ponder: 
What’s the transaction? There’s give and take with any relationship. The question is what are you giving and what are you receiving? We all want meaning, to feel valued and to make a difference at work, but at what cost? Would you rather get a bonus check or perk that’s equivalent? Bottom line: If you’re happy at your job, you’re receiving value. If not, well…you can figure it out.
What are your expectations? Think pricing. When you purchase a luxury item, there’s the perception that it will make you feel better. When you’re underpaid, you feel undervalued. Why is that? Money is the most expensive motivator, but ironically one of the least effective. A high salary actually doesn’t make you work harder. Any volunteer will attest to that. Clearly irrational, but true.
It comes down to relationships. Look at companies such as TOMS, Betterworks, Factual & Shopzilla. They focus on culture, more than anything else. It’s the little things that make the difference. You know what “perks” represent? Care. Perks say, “I care about you enough to eliminate distractions and give you the proper resources to do your best work.” There’s a difference between being paid to work and working to make a difference. Relationships are about emotional investment. Now that’s motivating.

Interested in learning more about this concept of social vs. market norms? Check out Predictably Irrational by Dan Ariely.

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