Although we know money doesn’t buy happiness, most companies still using monetary incentives to reward good performance and ignore poor performers by depriving them of an increase.

“Gee, what if that reinforces more of the poor performance?”

As a result, you have people all around the world chasing that carrot of a higher salary, believing that this will somehow make them work harder AND make them happier while they’re there. In fact, many leave jobs for this reason (apart from poor management) and believe that in a new role with more money, life will be better. Because THEN they’ll really love their job.

This isn’t actually accurate at all.

In this engaging video, Dan Pink details how money works as a motivating factor only for mechanical and routine work. Once the task begins to involve cognitive skill or some conceptual creativity, higher levels of remuneration actually leads to poorer performance! Seems strange, doesn’t it?

Well, they’ve replicated this study around the world and have found the exact same thing. The higher the pay, the poorer performance on challenging tasks at work.

What they’ve found is that money IS important, however only to the point so as we’re not left wondering how we will make ends meet. This means that it is important to be paid ENOUGH to allow the issue of money to be taken off the table.

What happens then is instead, we are able to focus on work (not how much we should be getting paid).

So what motivates you at work? What do you think it is that will allow you to perform better AND find happiness in what you do? Daniel Pink says it is autonomy, purpose and mastery. And I have to say, I’ve experienced this myself many times over, so have to agree with him!

What have your experiences been? Do you agree? Do you disagree? And why?

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