Money No Longer a Top Motivator: PsychTests.com Reveals What Employees Need to Feel Engaged
PsychTests.com's latest research reveals the top things employees need from their company in order to feel inspired to work hard.
MONTREAL, CANADA (MARKETWIRE) -- March 23, 2012
PsychTests.com, a pioneer in online personality, career, and IQ assessments has released its newest research on the top motivators that keep employees driven. Their research reveals that money and other financial rewards have been replaced by less tangible sources of motivation.
Employee motivation is no longer as simple (or one-sided) as the old "dangle the carrot in front the donkey" bit - or in this case, dangle the big fat bonus. Even self-made mogul Donald Trump admitted that money was only "a way to keep score - the real excitement is playing the game". After assessing over 1000 different people from all walks of life about what keeps them motivated at work, PsychTests' latest research reveals that Financial Reward didn't even crack the top ten of their 23 work motivators. The top five motivators were: Customer Orientation (desire to make customers happy), Achievement (desire to work in a goal-oriented and challenging work environment), Inspiration (desire to inspire others through one's work), Identity and Purpose (desire to work in a company/field that is in line with one's values and ethics), and Fun & Enjoyment (desire to work in a position/corporate culture that is inherently entertaining). Financial Reward took the 12th spot.
Gender comparisons reveal that women are motivated by factors like Altruism (desire to help make the world a better place), Balanced Lifestyle (desire for work hours and company culture that is conducive to maintaining a life outside of work), and Customer Orientation. Men, on the other hand, were motivated by Financial Reward, Power (desire to be in a position of leadership/authority), Status (driven by the social standing their job will bring them), Contribution (desire to make a noteworthy theoretical/inventive/creative contribution to one's field) and Responsibility (desire to take on major projects and be fully responsible for their success). In terms of Financial Reward specifically, it ranked 8th for men and 15th for women.
PsychTests' data also reveal that motivators like Change and Variety (desire for a dynamic work environment where tasks and projects vary), Creativity (desire to express one's originality through creative or innovative endeavors), Learning (desire to gain new knowledge, insight, and skills), Independence (freedom to make important decisions, work flexible hours, and choose one's own approach to projects), and Stability (job security, steady pay) increased with age.
On the flipside, performance ratings were highest for those who had a strict attitude toward safety, who were attentive and responsible, and who scored well in conscientiousness, a trait that has been found to be crucial in high-risk jobs like police officers (Detrick & Chibnall, 2006) and production workers (Wallance & Vodanovich, 2003), and to be a strong predictor of job performance in general, across different occupations (Stewart, 1999).
So how does a company keep each of their individual employees motivated without "breaking the bank?" Dr. Jerabek, president of the company, sheds some light: "When managers think of motivation and incentives, many of them automatically assume it has to be a bonus or some other financial reward. This is clearly not what employees need based on our research - at least not money alone. Our advice is pretty straightforward: Ask your employees what they need from you to thrive in their position. A lot of managers may be surprised to learn that most employees get a motivational boost from simple things like regular verbal praise, opportunities to learn new skills, or more independence and decision-making power. These are incentives that not only boost morale, but also benefit the company in the long run."
PsychTests' research further highlights the importance of tailoring motivation to each employee, as the factors that lead to job satisfaction can vary greatly. For example, test-takers who indicated that they were quite content with their job scored high on 14 different motivators. Interestingly, those low in job satisfaction had only two top motivators: Balanced Lifestyle and Stability - two basic motivators that they are clearly lacking in their company and that could potentially be standing in the way of their success and sense of fulfillment. And for managers who are still convinced that dangling money in front of their employees is the key to productivity, PsychTests' research reveals one more interesting tidbit.
"When we compared people in different socio-economic brackets, we uncovered significant variability in the types of motivators that were important to each group," explains Dr. Jerabek. "Those in a high economic bracket were motivated by factors like Change and Variety, Independence, Responsibility, Power and, interestingly, they also enjoy being in a very active and high-pressure work environment. Those in the middle class were motivated by Stability, while those in the lower economic bracket only had Structure and Order as a motivator (desire for clear tasks, roles, and a structured hierarchy of employees). Once again, money was not a significant motivator."
"The bottom line of our research is that managers need to step out of the 'one-size-fits-all' approach to motivation - or the 'everyone-has-a-price'," encourages Dr. Jerabek. "One of the most important pieces of information we uncovered from this study was that only 18% of people feel that their employer motivates them effectively - this is very telling. People aren't getting the motivation they need from the company they work hard for, and this can lead to disenchantment, dissatisfaction, and in turn, lower productivity."
Those who wish to learn more about their own career motivators can go to can go to http://testyourself.psychtests.com/testid/3153.
HR managers interested in using this or other pre-employment tests can visit http://corporate.psychtests.com/solutions/hr_testing.
About Psychtests AIM Inc.
PsychTests AIM Inc. originally appeared on the internet scene in 1996. Since its inception, it has become a pre-eminent provider of psychological assessment products and services to human resource personnel, therapists, academics, researchers and a host of other professionals around the world. PsychTests AIM Inc. staff is comprised of a dedicated team of psychologists, test developers, researchers, statisticians, writers, and artificial intelligence experts. The company's research division, Plumeus Inc., is supported in part by Research and Development Tax Credit awarded by Industry Canada.