Money can’t buy employee engagement

What, then, are the prime motivators for employees?

What, then, are the prime motivators for employees?

Remember the movie, “Jerry Maguire,” and the classic line, “Show me the money!”? That may have been a big motivator for Cuba Gooding Jr.’s character, but as I’ve said before, financial incentives are not the main motivators when it comes to employee engagement.

If you doubt that premise, check out a presentation made at this year’s renowned TED Conference by Dan Pink, a leading expert in the science of human motivation. It’s 18 minutes long and worth every second.

Using research and humor, Pink makes a compelling case for the premise that financial incentives usually have the opposite effect on engagement and performance from what you’d expect.

He starts with research dating back 60 years from an experiment created by Karl Duncker called “the candle problem.” Basically, people are challenged with figuring out how to attach a candle to the wall in way that would prevent wax from dripping on the table.

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