Stop Trying to Bribe Your Employees and Do This Instead

“Throw money at it” is the go-to solution for managers, businesses, and sometimes even governments when something is not working out right. But this solution only works a meager fraction of the time. Most of the time, something beyond the financials is wrong. If you are a manager and your preferred mode of encouraging high employee productivity is “bribes” of some kind, you might be making the wrong move. In an article for Fast Company, J.T. O’Donnell describes why bribes do not work and what else to try.

Motivated to Change

Research has shown that a major problem of extrinsic motivations is they actually cause employees to become more disengaged with work, perhaps because work becomes more about the pressure to score those extra bonuses.  Furthermore, even when “bribes” come in the form of praise and adulation, this too is damaging because employees can get addicted to seeking that praise. Addiction to praise hurts employees’ ability to be happy at all.

O’Donnell shares these three tips to better motivate employees:

  1. Define intrinsic motivators of your best employees.
  2. Define and accurately articulate your employment brand.
  3. Promote your employment brand via storytelling.

An intrinsic motivator is “what drives a person to do something without any expected reward or external motivation,” and they do not always have a direct correlation to work or careers. For instance, if you offer great flextime that allows employees to work on unorthodox schedules in order to spend more time with their families, that will enhance their engagement. Offering perks like these and successfully promoting them can be thought of as an “employment brand.” O’Donnell seems to discuss this in the context of the organizational level, but there is nothing stopping you from creating such a brand at the team level within your organization either.

Although, if you can get this going at the organizational level, it will really pay off:

Everyone has seen pictures and read articles about the incredible spaces for team meetings, independent work, and rest time at Google. That’s no accident. It’s a well-crafted Employment Branding campaign designed to reinforce their belief that employees need the right space to collaborate, create, and rejuvenate. It’s no surprise millions of people want to work for them. They’ve tapped into the power of intrinsic motivation for work.

Getting your Employment Brand acknowledged and featured on sites other than your company website is an excellent way to show talent you are a company worth working for. Studies show investing in a strategy to help showcase and promote your company’s Employment Brand can reduce turnover by 28% and reduce recruiting expenses as much as 50%.

For additional thoughts, you can view the original article here:

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