Category: Social Media
According to a recent Wall Street Journal report, Facebook's initial public offering is expected to create nearly 1,000 millionaires among Facebook employees. How will the company keep those "20-something" millionaires motivated and focused on their jobs?
Facebook's problem is, to some degree, every employer's problem: how do you continue to motivate someone if you can't do it with money? Granted, Facebook's challenge is the flip-side of the challenge most companies face in this economy, but recent studies indicate the same tools and techniques would help both Facebook and companies that can't afford monetary incentives.
A study conducted by McKinsey & Co. during the heart of the global recession found that most employers attempt to motivate employees with financial incentives. In the study entitled "Economic Conditions Snapshot, June 2009: McKinsey Global Survey Results," McKinsey found the most common incentives used by employers to motivate employees were financial in nature: salary increases, performance-related bonuses and stock options. However, when employees in that same study were asked what was most effective in motivating them toward better performance, the responses were markedly different.
The top three most effective methods of motivation for employees were:
1. praise from a direct supervisor (67 percent);
2. personal attention from a company leader, especially one-on-one attention (63 percent); and
3. opportunities to lead teams or projects (62 percent).
Money came in fourth place at 60 percent.
The McKinsey survey confirmed what organizational behavior and development experts have been telling us for years, in good economies and bad economies. For example, in a national survey conducted in 2000, among 1,200 randomly selected employees, across various jobs and sizes of companies, only half the respondents rated compensation as "very important" or "extremely important" in their motivation toward success. Interestingly, there was no statistical difference among Generation X, Generation Y and Baby Boomer respondents. See "The rewards of work: what employees value,"Sibson & Company and WorldatWork (2000).
In terms of actual outcomes, you might consider one additional tool to motivate employees: let them see the real impact of their work. In a 2007 study, a team of researchers from the University of Michigan studied a group of fund-raising call center employees. The researchers asked the fund-raisers to interact briefly (five minute sessions) with scholarship students who were the ultimate recipients of the fundraising efforts. Over the course of the following month, the short interaction had a dramatic impact on both motivation and results. Fund-raisers who had interacted with the scholarship recipients spent twice as much time on the phone with potential donors and brought in nearly three times as much funding as they had prior to the conversations. Even brief exposure to the actual impact of one's work can help maintain motivation and improve results. See "Impact and the Art of Motivation Maintenance: The Effects of Contact with Beneficiaries on Persistence Behavior," Organizational Behavior and Human Decision Processes, A. Grant, E. Campbell, G. Chen, K. Cottone, D. Lapedis, K, Lee (2007).
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