The famous scene in the movie “Jerry McGuire” had Tom Cruise and Cuba Gooding, Jr. shout at each other, “Show me the money!” In the real workplace, the tag line should be, “show me respect”.
In a recent blog post on BNET, Warren Greshes wrote, “Money is not something that makes people love their jobs; it´s just something that might stop you from hating it. ”
In grad school, we read an article about the “KITA” method of motivating employees (KITA – Kick in the A**). What research has long suggested is money has a temporary effect on motivating employees. If someone feels that they are underpaid for their work, it can de-motivate them. The argument is that people work for more than money. Frederick Hertzberg, who developed the widely used theories on motivation, argues that factors such as recognition, responsibility and the intrinsic aspects of the job are what will motivate people.
I was on line in Costco yesterday, and a manager came over to the checkout person and spoke with her. I could only hear the “congratulations” part and see the smile on her face. It turns out that after two years as a part-timer she was being given a full time slot. She also told me how much she like the job and the company. As a part timer, she still got vacation, sick days and health insurance. She told me that she had done her job, worked hard and felt that her efforts were being recognized. Looking around the store (I’m there more than once a week), one sees familiar faces. Yes, they pay more than Wal-mart, but still – it’s the attitude of the employees, the “atmosphere” in the store.
The takeaway: Pay should be at least average for your area – if you are losing people for higher pay, you do need to raise your pay scale. There is nothing wrong with an across the board increase, but do include a performance review each year. Say “thank you” a lot – and mean it. If someone does something really outstanding, praise them in public. Try to delegate responsibility – your staff will appreciate it, and it can free up time for you to enjoy your hard work.