If asked, most of us would say we want more money, but if it was just about money then why has awarding prizes and having sales contests been such a good motivator for sales oriented companies?
I remember long ago, and far away when my first husband was explaining to my father about the sales program of the company he had just gone to work for. Their reward system was based on earning a ring, similar to a sports championship ring. If you did all these things, and met all these goals you were awarded a ring. Then, each successive year that you met the goals, a diamond was added to the ring around a center ruby. Finally at the end of many years, the ruby was replaced with a big, big diamond. It was a complex process, that required years of work and the meeting of goals. All the salesmen worked hard to get these rings. My dad listened, paused, and finally said “if you really want a ring, I’ll buy you a xxxxing ring!” And as funny as that was, it wasn’t about the ring, was it?
Through the years I’ve watched sales people bust their butts to win a prize that was worth very little in dollars and yet bunches in esteem. It seems obvious as we watch it with sales people. The rest of us are motivated by subtler things. Sometimes it’s as simple as feeling needed.
Over time, companies have learned that relational or social motivation works better in many ways than money. Most of us would rather work for these “kinder, gentler” companies that care about us, our feelings, our needs. It’s actually more effective to give an employee a “gift” in many instances, than to give them “cold” hard cash.
And those of us that don’t have employees, base most of our networking, connecting and referral stuff on creating relationships. We do that because it works.
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