What Motivates Your Staff To Outpeform? It’s Probably Not Money

One of my favorite scenes from the show Mad Men is this interaction between Don Draper and his faithful underling Peggy in Season 5. Don has just gotten an award for a commercial that Peggy helped write and she’s upset that she didn’t get any acknowledgement for her work.

His epic response: “That’s what the money is for!”

It really is amazing. Watch it here:

This sums up exactly what today’s employers are facing. Younger employees aren’t satisfied with just money anymore. Sure, everyone likes to get paid, but a paycheck isn’t much of a motivator.

Shifting Values

If you’ve been in any office or worked with a large, diverse team, you know that there are those team members that outperform and those that just get by. How can you motivate more of your team to be of star performers?

It starts with understanding what drives them.

Here’s a nice little graphic from a recent white paper I wrote (read it here) about how the differences between the current three generations of workers.

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You can see by the shifts in population sizes, that we’re entering a new workforce phase where organisational culture outweighs all.

Incentives: Money v. Experiential Rewards

An engaged team is your organisation’s best weapon, but incentivizing teams, especially multi-generational ones, has gotten much more difficult.

Firms with staff engagement campaigns need to think carefully about the reward/s offered. Cash bonuses are still popular, of course, but the “wow” factor is becoming more important.

Expect group experiences and travel incentives to become more common as firms work to ensure their reward packages offer both something different and something for everyone.

A Great Example

Living in Silicon Valley, I hear amazing stories about this new generation of workers. One friend’s tech start-up wanted to incentivize its sales team. The Head of Sales (a baby boomer) thought at first to use the traditional carrot of a cash bonus for the top salesperson. It barely moved the needle.

Then the company got creative, keeping the cash bonus as an option for those who wanted it but also offering the top salesperson the chance to drive a Ferrari for a day. For multiple quarters, the sales team crushed its numbers and a millennial won. The Ferrari incentive was the ticket.

The kicker? The winners barely put any miles on the car– instead, they drove it to popular locales and took tons of Instagram selfies.

And For Fun …

Here’s my favorite gif/meme from Mad Men:

Mad-Men-Don-Money