Sep 25, 2020 | How to (de)Motivate an Employee?
How To Motivate an Employee By Raising a Salary
As it turns out, it is not difficult to either motivate or demotivate an employee. Rather the opposite – it is actually quite simple.
Let’s start will two real-world stories. Jim quit from academia some time ago. He then decided to educate himself and requalify from experimental science to Data Science by taking online courses in programming and Machine Learning. He soon found a job in a small startup in IT and quickly indulged in his new industry career.
Many people who come to work in startups, go through this honeymoon phase first. At the job interview, the company owners successfully sell them the vision of improving the world and working on behalf of society together. And so they come to work excited and work hard to bring this vision to life. However, after a few months, they realize that the owners are just good salesmen. That they are not necessarily the protagonists that they claim to be but rather, they are mostly concerned about profits. And, there comes the mental dip.
Fortunately, this scenario didn’t happen in this case. When asked about his current state of mind, Jim grinned and said, “It’s fantastic! And they really appreciate me there. They even gave me the first raise after just a few months!”
How To Demotivate an Employee By… Raising a Salary
The second story, is the story of Hannah. When asked, “How are you doing at work?”, she snorted and said, “I just quit my job!” She wasn’t especially happy about the fact that her employer didn’t give her the opportunity to use her intellectual potential. The tasks that she was given, weren’t challenging and responsible enough for her. She said, “They gave me a senior position. They were paying me way too much given how simple my job was! This felt almost offensive to me.” It was a surprising turn of events given that just two years before, she was more than enthusiastic about her job. She used to be so deep in love with the company’s vision in the past!
Based on these two stories, one might ask the question: when does a raise increase motivation, and when does it work the other way around? It turns out that in certain circumstances, a reward from the employer can actually spoil the relationship between the employer and employee. Let’s get to the bottom of this phenomenon.