Incentives for Employees

I have often wondered about the “value” placed on giving out bonuses and incentives.  I think there is a good value in it personally, because, hey, I get some extra cash for doing a “good” job.  I wonder if that is really what pushes me, though, when I work?  Do I do this just because I know that I’ll get a bonus at the end or is it something deeper? 

These questions came to mind as I read this article by Joel Spolsky in INC. magazine.  Please read the article yourself if you’re interested; I think it was a good topic to write about and the experience he had.  The main part that really got me thinking was, as I mentioned above, “What really drives me?”  (This question can be for anyone, not just Rob Caldwell.)  I think that I would do a good job regardless of getting a bonus or not.  As Joel states in his article, there are two kinds of motivation: extrinsic and intrinsic.  I have mostly intrinsic motivation to do a good job.  I do things because I want to do well, BUT (and I emphasize that, because there is a need to be frank here) I really like to be rewarded/recognized with some extra cash for going above and beyond.  Are a lot of people like me?  I’d guess yes.  Are there a lot of people that do everything just for the bonus?  I’d say, “Yes” to that one too.  Are there many other variants to these endless questions I’m asking???….

With all the different people in the world, with all their different motives to perform or not perform their work as best as possible, I think that incentives and/or recognition are important.  (Many people view their self-worth through what they receive or don’t receive.)  Figuring out what that is for each employee is the key.  What motivates your employees?  What motivates me? 

Can I get some extra cash for all my quesitons? 🙂

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