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Money used at work places as a workforce

Workforce,Money,Work Place

“Customer’s last name” 1
The Effectiveness of Money in the Workforce

At various points in my life, I have had the unfortunate opportunity to experience unemployment. During these days (or weeks or months) of character-building hardship, pouring over internet ads and classifies, I’d usually come across fun jobs that didn’t pay very much, or awful jobs that paid grandly. What I wanted was something in between: something I’d enjoy doing but something that would also be fairly lucrative. Most people are looking for the same thing. So while money may be the primary motivator at work, research shows that the most effective motivator is a combination of money and recognition, praise, enjoyment, and benefits. Perhaps that’s why not everyone is the garbage man.

That having been said, the dollar amount brought home certainly speaks loudly to the person providing the income. If a company wants to have more productivity, the best method is through “plant or company wide participation and cooperation, encouraged by bonus payments” (Geare 100). The afore mentioned Geare researched a scheme called the Scanlon Plan, which “encouraged participation by rewarding it highly” (Geare 105). The purpose of the scheme is to get workers involved and pay them for doing so. But not all workers want to be involved. New Zealand tried to establish such a scheme during World War II, but “it seems workers were only interested in making good money while they could, and the idea of taking a consultive part in the day to day running of the business had no place in their minds” (Geare 105). In this case the workers wanted neither praise nor recognition, but a quick buck.

For other people, however, money is directly tied to praise and recognition. In the pursuit of money, most people don’t want a wad of cash sitting in the bank doing nothing. Money means “more than cash—it can mean recognition, achievement, security, power, the opportunity to obtain material possessions or to self-actualize during leisure hours, etc” (Geare 106). Money represents the ability to accomplish and do what you want.

In society there are other factors that motivate people: scoring that touchdown motivates the football player, teaching that baby to walk motivates the mother, and the college diploma motivates the student. But in the business world, money is a prime factor…: people organize and start businesses to make money…organizations use money to attract, motivate, and retain employees; they use money to reward and recognize, as well as withhold it as punishment…symbolically, money is often associated with four of the most important symbolic attributes humans strive for: (1) achievement and recognition, (2) status and respect, (3) freedom and control, and (4) power. Mitchell et al 570.

Even with money representing so many things, money alone does not make a strong work force. (If it did, we would all be garbage men.) “Money has significant impacts on people’s motivation and their work-related behavior in organizations. However, money isn’t everything and its “Customer’s last name” 2 meaning is ‘in the eye of the beholder’” (Tang 197). Depending on the individual’s current role or station in life, money can rearrange itself into a secondary priority. “For top performers, more than half of the 459 responding human resources professionals said money was a strong motivator. For “sandwich generation” employees—those caring for children and aging parents—benefits such as flexible scheduling and telecommuting were most appealing”(Corporate Meetings and Incentives 24). Employees can be so difficult to please.

Workers want more of whatever is needed for satisfaction at any given time: pay, security, praise, recognition, self-expression. In the case of executives, ego-motivation rather than economic motivation is predominant—achievement, prestige, self-expression, power, recognition.” Belcher 112 Recognition and power are certainly important motivators, and many other motivators can be found once an employee is satisfied with her salary. “It is possible to conceive of non-financial rewards as at least partial substitutes for financial rewards” (Belcher 103), however, non-financial rewards are limited in their power. Eventually the recognition plaque means nothing if a financial reward does not back it up. “Even professors are not content with the recognition that their title gives them—they want higher salaries than those of associate professors” (Geare 106).

There is substantial research that money is the most effective motivator in the workforce; it is also clear that “a mix of non-monetary and monetary awards is most effective at improving employee morale” (Corporate Meetings and Incentives 24). Employees with good morale equal happy employees and happy employees equal more productive employees. So while over the course of my life I’ve been a secretary, a telemarketer, and editor, and more, the jobs that have brought me the most satisfaction have provided me with money to live on, recognition in the work force, and plenty of flexibility to be with my family.

Works cited
Belcher, David W. “Toward a Behavioral Science Theory of Wages.” The Journal of the
Academy of Management 90 1962: 103-112.
Geare, A.J. “Productivity from Scanlon-Type Plans.” The Academy of Management
Review 1.3 1976: 99-108.
Mitchell, Terence, and Amy E. Mickel. “The Meaning of Money: An Individual-
Difference Perspective.” The Academy of Management Review 24.3 1999: 568-578.

“Customer’s last name” 3
“New Study: Mix of Motivators Drives Performance.” Corporate Meetings & Incentives
24.7 2005: 24.
Tang, Thomas Li-Ping. “The Meaning of Money Revisited.” Journal of Organizational
Behavior 13.2 1992: 197-202.

Published: 2007-02-06

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