Can You Pay Me To Be Motivated?
Brien Lee, 10 May 2015

How many of you think that higher salaries and bonuses guarantee higher motivation in people?

Before we answer that question, let’s quickly define two words we often use when talking about this i.e. motivation and incentives.

Motivation is internal. It’s the drive that comes from within our hearts. It’s a powerful emotion that powers our actions. It’s what gets us to stretch ourselves, achieve more and become more.

Incentives, on the other hand, is an external influencer. It is offered in the hope that you will be persuaded to act. People give you incentives to get a certain behavior in return.

So can we give an incentive for someone to be motivated? Can you pay me 10% more salary to increase my motivation by 10%?

Well, you can certainly pay me more to do more tasks or spend more hours in the office i.e. change my behavior. Promote me and change my job description and I will do that, sure. But will I feel more motivated while I’m doing all that extra work?

Stop reading for a moment and consider this. What do you think? Incentives can get you a certain behavior, but does it get you motivation?

Based on various studies done in companies across the world, a short answer is this: No, motivation and incentives are not the same thing. And yes, having both of these can get the best out of your team. So aim for both!