The #1 Thing Employees Crave

» Posted by on Oct 13, 2011 in Coaching, Human Resources, Leadership, Management | 0 comments

“I’ve quit a couple of jobs in my life,” a Nashville man told me recently.  “When I did,” he said,  “something odd usually happened – I was offered more money.”

The interesting thing is the man quit anyway.

“Only later did that strike me as backwards.” he said, “I hated working for the company, dreaded each and every day, felt like the life was being sucked out of me, and they wanted me to stay.

“Who would want someone like that working for their company? People who feel that way are a cancer. I was a cancer to them and they were a cancer to me.”

Logically, one would think that getting rid of the unhappy employee would be prudent, not giving him more money to hang around to poison others’ attitudes.

But strangely enough, that’s how many companies operate.

They assume the only reason an employee would quit is that they were offered more money to work somewhere else.  So they throw more money at them hoping they’ll hang around.

Research performed years ago and periodically repeated, indicates that money is not the number one motivator of people.

The top motivator of people is appreciation for a necessary job done well.  Recognition.

Once basic needs are met, people place three things ahead of money:

  • Work using their strengths and interests.
  • Work that fulfills them.
  • Work that provides reasonable autonomy.

People want employers to give them a job to do, tell them the results they require, and leave them alone to do it.

They crave recognition and appreciation for doing a necessary job well.
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