Q: What motivates employees more, money or job satisfaction?
Petite Interiors Co. – CEO/head designer
In the design industry, I feel it’s a combination of both. It can be such a tough industry to break into. Working for free or for very low pay is common, but that can’t be sustained – we all have bills to pay, no matter how much we love our jobs! Employing a team of creatives, it’s also important that they feel they are utilising all of their skills. A varied workload is imperative for their job satisfaction. If I put one of my interior designers on data entry for two weeks, I’d have a riot on my hands! Regularly checking in with how they are feeling, what they are enjoying and allowing them to try new things, I feel, is the key to happy, motivated employees.
Helloworld Kawana – Owner/manager
Most employees in this industry get great satisfaction hearing clients express what a wonderful holiday they had and that they’ve told all their friends and family. In comparison to other retail jobs, travel agents spend a considerable amount of time consulting with customers. Potential clients will quickly identify if the agent is motivated by money rather than their needs. Performance is based on repeat and referral business therefore there has to be a level of employee job satisfaction to retain staff and maintain success in our industry. Happy staff are more motivated to look after clients, which ultimately increases sales and revenue to be passed on to employees as commission or a bonus (or travel perks). Therefore, it’s fair to say both are motivators, but in the travel world, it’s job satisfaction that generates money.
TAFE East Coast – Regional business development lead
When discussing employees and what motivates them, one size does not fit all in most instances. Pay is a psychological symbol, and the meaning of money is largely subjective. We all have a tendency to think or worry about money, and different people value money for different reasons. For some, money provides security and comfort, while for others it funds their next adventure or bucket list item. If businesses want to motivate their staff, they need to understand what their employees really value and appreciate that each individual is bound to be different. The most important factor pertaining to employee motivation and engagement in the workplace is leadership. Effective leaders are paramount to productivity; they motivate staff to make a real difference. It’s about encouragement through coaching, feedback and listening to understand how, as a manager, you can get the best out of your team.
The Fortune Institute – CEO
According to a study of four million employees done by The Gallup Organisation, a need for genuine appreciation from their bosses was ranked higher than all other aspects by employees – more important than even more money. Even more surprising is how little appreciation the average worker gets – Gallup’s research showed that over 60 per cent of workers have not been told even once that they have done a good job in the last year! On the other hand, those who said they had received appreciation from bosses in the last seven days commonly recorded an increase in productivity, often above 10 per cent. Gallup’s studies also show that employees who report that they are not recognised at their company are three times more likely to say they’ll quit in the next year. If you want a great company, start appreciating the people who are building it.
Shine Beauty – CEO
I am a strong believer that job satisfaction and empowering your employees is a greater motivator, and worth more to employees than just money alone. An incentive program is extremely important; however working with your staff, understanding their needs and providing flexibility of working hours when possible, will motivate a team more than money ever will. For example, in my business we are predominantly women and mothers. We recognise that many in our staff base have family commitments and that allowing them to manage these during their working week ensures we have happy, loyal and satisfied employees. Allowing a mum an early finish to attend a child’s doctor appointment supports their personal needs and encourages a healthy work/life balance, which is often more appreciated and highly valued than financial gain.
Suncoast Christian College – Principal
In education, it’s almost always job satisfaction over money. People are attracted to teaching because of a sense of calling rather than the lure of a great salary, which might help them feel better about the parts of the job they don’t enjoy, but won’t be enough to keep them in the profession. Teachers are motivated by making a difference in young people’s lives. The feeling that their work is meaningful and valued by others creates a powerful sense of self-worth and therefore job satisfaction. Workplace wellbeing guru Angela Maiers calls this “mattering” and argues that its impact is immeasurable and immense – the search for significance is a biological necessity not just a nicety. As a result, people will give their all at work when they enjoy deep job satisfaction.