Great employees need more than pay
PEOPLE work for two reasons. One is the pay cheque, of course. But there’s another reason that is equally – if not more – important than a pay cheque.
The thing is, we expect to be paid for that work. Pay is a given. And higher pay, while certainly nice, doesn’t automatically lead to higher levels of happiness, or fulfilment, or self-worth.
For example, say I quadruple your salary: You now make four times what the average person doing your job earns, industrywide. For a day you’ll be ecstatic. In a week you’ll still be thrilled. In a month you’ll be pleased. But in time, no matter how relatively overpaid you might be, you’ll start to rationalize that number. It will make sense to you. You’ll adjust and adapt and in time come to expect it.
Why? You have to. Being an honest and ethical person requires you to believe you are fairly compensated, and that works both ways.
So, next year you’ll expect a salary increase, because getting a raise is like buying a bigger house: Very soon, “more” will become the new normal, as you rationalize the amount of money you earn. . . and decide you need more.
Yet “more” doesn’t mean you’ll be happier. A Princeton study by Daniel Kahneman and Angus Deaton found that making more than M75,000 per year does not significantly improve your day-to-day happiness. Once you earn that sum, your emotional well-being, and the pleasure you get from daily experiences, doesn’t get any better.
That’s why higher wages won’t cause employees to automatically perform at a higher level. Higher pay won’t make people want to work for you. Commitment, work ethic, motivation and, most importantly, job satisfaction are not based on pay.
To truly care about their jobs – and your business – your employees need other things (assuming you pay at least close to the industry average for the job performed, to take low or high pay out of the equation).
And so can you: 1. Provide opportunities Everyone’s goals are different. . . but then again, in some ways not. Show me an employee who doesn’t love to take ownership of a project or initiative (and I’ll show you a person we don’t want to hire). Great employees love to come forward and say, “I’m going to make (this) happen: Here’s what I’ll do, here’s what I’ll accomplish, here’s how we’ll measure progress, here’s what I need and here’s what I don’t want from you.”
Great employees love to take ownership. They don’t want to be given accountability – They want to own responsibility.
2. PROVIDE A UNIFIED VISION. Everything you do in your organisation attracts some people and repels others. That’s okay; you don’t really want employees who don’t embrace what you do and how you do it. If you don’t create a unified vision that people can decide whether to embrace (or opt out of), you’ll be left with a number of different visions. . . and your company will have no vision at all.
Working for a company like ours gives “Genecians” the opportunity to work in a field they’re genuinely interested in. Mobile technology, the app economy: To Genecians that’s really fun stuff, and knowing we’re on top and leading the way makes a huge difference.
3. Provide opportunities for ideas to FLOURISH. One of the main attractions of working for an entrepreneurial company is the opportunity to turn ideas into reality. Few things are worse for employee morale than having an idea – and proving a business case for that idea – only to see that idea stifled by egos or agendas or an attitude of, “That’s not the way we do things around here.”
Employees with an entrepreneurial mindset like to move fast, create new things and make things happen. Provide those opportunities, and employees will love their jobs. (Don’t provide those opportunities and you won’t have to worry about keeping great employees. In time your company will stagnate and fail.)
So, give employees the freedom to do interesting work that not only drives your organization forward but also drives personal satisfaction, and you’ll become the employer of choice for great people.
The key is to ensure those employees’ goals align with your company’s goals. Not just that they are the same. They align.
To truly care about their jobs, your employees need other things than money.