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Do employees really just want more money?

Do employees really just want more money?

When asked what do employees really want, the first gut response to this question is – MORE MONEY!  I know this is something I hear from my clients a lot.  They have a problem employee and one of the main contentions from the employee’s perspective is that they aren’t paid enough.

Have you ever given a raise to a problem employee? (By the way, “problem employee” is someone who you have determined has an attitude problem, not a skills, knowledge or behavioral limitation.)  Do you know what happens when you do?

For a little while, they are appeased.  You seem to have scratched where they itched.  But within a very short time, the grumblings start again.  Now it’s something else.  Their attitude goes back to where it was and in short you haven’t solved a problem.  Now you’re just paying more for it.

The reason for this – and I know it is hard to accept at first – but compensation and job satisfaction rarely have little to do with each other.  This isn’t to say that people don’t want to be fairly compensated for the work they do.  It’s just that there are more important things nowadays that lead to job satisfaction.

In 2005, a survey was conducted of Fortune 100 employees.  It asked what individuals were motivated by.  The results were ranked in this order:

  1. Task/Job Interest
  2. Recognition
  3. Wages/Benefits
  4. Good Management
  5. Workplace Flexibility

“Research indicates that workers have three prime needs: Interesting work, recognition for doing a good job, and being let in on things that are going on in the company.” ~ Zig Ziglar, Motivational Author & Speaker