Money is a great motivator for employees but only if you remember two important things about it. Firstly, money is not the root of all evil but love of money is. Neither is money, however, the source of all pleasure but it can make a huge difference with the kind of life you can have.
Money Cannot Buy Forgiveness
Love isn’t the only thing money can’t buy. Forgiveness is also something that’s invaluable. Consider, for instance, the loved ones of a murder victim. Naturally, they seek compensation from the wrongdoer but only because it’s within their rights to do so and it’s a way of upholding justice. But obtaining compensation does not erase the hurt and it certainly doesn’t make them less angry.
The same goes for employees. Money can’t be a primary motivator for people working for you if you think paying them substantial wages will excuse all your wrongdoing in their eyes. Perhaps, for a while, some of your employees can tolerate unfair treatment to continue earning at the same rate. But their tolerance can only go so far. Rest assured that in the end, employees will reach their limit and choose fair treatment over higher wages.
Money Must Be Earned
Generosity is good but not if it’s excessively practiced. As an employer, it is your role to compensate employees fairly and in a timely manner. Fairness, however, cuts both ways. You pay them well because they deserve it. They are loyal to you, good to your customers, and diligent in work.
Money will cease to become a motivator if you give it to them freely without expecting anything in exchange. If you pay them to do nothing in the office, these people can’t be considered your employees. Rather, they become your burdens.
Money Must Be Equally and Fairly Distributed
Don’t play favoritisms and don’t use money to distinguish who’s in your good side and who’s not. If that’s the case, money would end becoming a hindrance rather than a motivator.
Money in terms of incentives must be based on performance. Standards used for determining the amount of money to be rewarded should be uniform and objective. They must not be biased for or against certain employees.
If the reward system you’re using isn’t fair or equal, not everyone will be motivated by it. Yes, those who are favored by it will work harder, but those who aren’t favored could feel resentment towards you and their colleagues. Afterwards, it could lead to dissension and, eventually, a significantly negative impact on your company.
Money Must Come from a Good Source
Right things come from the right sources. Your employees must also see for themselves that the company’s profits are a product of an honest day of work and not through corruption and deception.
You cannot expect your employees to be motivated to do good things at work no matter how much you’re paying them if they can see for themselves that the company is involved in illicit activities. In such situations, you are only encouraging them to do the same: they will be motivated, yes, but they’ll be motivated not to work hard with honesty and integrity but to work hard at cheating your company out of your very own money!
Ultimately, remember that although money is essentially a great motivational tool, it can turn out to be counterproductive depending on how you wield it.