Job Satisfaction

Extrinsic Motivation: Salary

The Role of Money as a Motivator

There is a widely held belief that money is a great motivator, and to some extent, this is true. When we talk about extrinsic motivators, we refer to how employees are satisfied when their salary is at a baseline level or “industry standards.” Let us delve into this topic a bit further.

Examples of Money as a Motivator

When we witness athletes holding out for a new contract or not putting forth great effort on the field, we may hear comments such as, “these spoiled athletes, they are making so much money, and they are still whining and complaining.” However, consider the situation from the athlete’s perspective. If you are the best or second-best pitcher in baseball, and the top pitcher is making $25 million annually while you are only earning $3 million a year, it is understandable why you would not be content with your salary.

The same applies to the public and private sectors. As an analyst, you would be content if you are paid within $1000 a year relative to your counterparts, but if you are brought in and paid $60,000 when everyone else makes $90,000, it would be a problem.

Short-Term vs. Long-Term Motivation

While money can be a motivator in the short term, in the long run, employees do not come to work every day because they feel they are being paid their market worth. Even people who make a lot of money and are successful could still experience anxiety and unhappiness.

The Importance of Meeting Industry Standards

Today’s employees seek more than just short-term motivation. They want to feel that all aspects of their job meet industry standards to prevent dissatisfaction. Organizations that fail to recognize this may fall behind their competitors.

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