Imagine for a moment, that when you go into work next you could hear the thoughts of every single employee in the office. You would know exactly how they feel about their job, their current assignment, and the joke you told to kick off that meeting. You would also learn something much more important. Why they show up to work every day, and what, if any resentments they have about their job.
Traditionally, companies and organizations have incentivized performance through money. The better you perform, the more you are supposed to get paid. Yet not every employee is motivated by money – and thank goodness. You would find yourself in bidding wars for top employees constantly if money were the only thing that mattered, and many innovative startups or nonprofits would not be able to get by.
Research shows that while money motivates some people, it can actually go against the values of someone else – a person who perhaps wants the world to be more harmonious or finds meaning by creating a more just world for example. We all have a unique combination of values that motivate us to perform, and no two of your employees – much less all of them – will be motivated by the same thing.