In our Motivation book, we explore the right and wrong ways of motivating people. We cover the importance of a meaningful purpose, of removing the barriers to motivation, and of creating the right working environment, among other things.
One thing that can’t be underestimated is the importance of making people feel valued and adequately rewarded for their work. Studies have shown that the consequences of getting this wrong may go further than just a drop in employee motivation – it can even make people sick. Indeed, according to the Effort-Reward Imbalance model, a perceived imbalance between work effort and reward, such that the effort is greater than the reward, leads to chronic work-related stress. This, in turn, is associated with lower immunity and poor health.
On the contrary, companies that get the balance right for their employees and that describe themselves as ‘highly motivated’ tend to have lower rates of absenteeism, lower turnover of staff, grow faster, and are more profitable. Google is a great example of this. As Steve Yegge, a well-known blogger and Google employee wrote, ‘You can’t help but want to do your absolute best for Google; you feel like you owe it to them for taking such incredibly good care of you.’
What can you do to ensure that you care for and invest in your people; that you make them feel valued and valuable? Remember, rewarding people doesn’t have to be financial – recognition can be just as powerful.