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  • Writer's pictureClaire Watt

Newsletter August 2023 - Why money isn't always the biggest motivator


Money may make the world go round but it’s NOT our biggest motivator. Bad bonuses and incentives can actually be HUGELY DEMOTIVATING.

We all need money. Many of us wouldn’t say no to more of it. But for most people, it’s not the number one reason for getting out of bed in the morning This is true of the people who work for you too. They may have accepted the job for the pay, but they’ve stayed for other reasons. Maybe you have a really fantastic company culture. Perhaps your business is making a big difference to the lives of your customers. It may be because of the opportunities you offer your people to learn new skills. They’re examples of people’s intrinsic motivations. Their purpose, their autonomy, their mastery. Notice none of these involve cash? But they’re massive driving forces for people to stay with a company and flourish, or to move on to somewhere they can.


You should look at these intrinsic motivators to offer your people rewards that they really want. That make them see how much you value them and help them feel like you’re invested in their development. In fact, offering cash incentives can be ineffective at motivating people. It can even have the opposite effect when a bonus is too out of reach, or just not worth the effort. And how do you find out what motivates the people who work for you? You ask them! Communication is key here - as it is with many other elements of running a thriving business. Speak to your people. Get to know them on a personal level as well as a professional one. Learn about their goals and ambitions. Find out where they want their careers to take them. See what skills they have that you can build upon and what they still need to develop to get them there. Once you know all this, you’ll be able to reward them in the way that will have the most positive impact for everyone, without having to create complex bonus schemes or worry about budgets. That could be with recognition, more responsibility, or development opportunities, to name just a few ideas. Sounds good, doesn’t it? We help businesses do this all the time. If we can help you get started with more effective employee rewards, get in touch:


Read the whole newsletter here:


Newsletter August 2023
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Watt About Reward - Aug 23
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