Show Me The Money: Motivating People Beyond Cold Hard Cash

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While the saying “show me the money” has stuck since Jerry Maguire and Rod Tidwell were shouting it back and forth, it turns out, in many cases, nonfinancial motivators may be more effective than cold hard cash. Many call centers utilize prizes, gift cards, time off and more to keep their agents engaged to great effect and now there is research that backs up those activities:

Numerous studies have concluded that for people with satisfactory salaries, some nonfinancial motivators are more effective than extra cash in building long-term employee engagement in most sectors, job functions, and business contexts. Many financial rewards mainly generate short-term boosts of energy, which can have damaging unintended consequences.

via Motivating people, getting beyond money – McKinsey Quarterly – Organization – Talent.