By Ashley Rivette
Ever wonder why people who receive few on-the-job monetary incentives for their efforts continue to be motivated? Miles Davis, Ph.D., dean of Shenandoah University’s Harry F. Byrd, Jr. School of Business, says money isn’t always the motivator that ensures employee productivity or satisfaction. In a recent interview on “The Valley Business Today” with Janet Michael from The River 95.3 FM, Dr. Davis suggests creating a balance between employees who are self-starters and work cultures that recognize good work.
“The best way to encourage and motivate employees for higher performance levels is by creating a decent working environment,” he said. “A comfortable environment means employees feel safe, and it’s where healthy relationships can develop between colleagues and employers. This safe and welcoming environment fosters employees who feel motivated, which in turn promotes higher levels of performance.”
Contrary to expectations, he said, money doesn’t prevent or eliminate dissatisfaction.
“Everybody wants a ‘self starter,’ but everyone will eventually stop being a ‘self starter’ if they are dissatisfied,” he explained.
Davis instead claimed a positive working environment fosters healthy relationships between employees and employers. Like any relationship, he says, the key to success is listening.
“Listening to employees is a sure way to identify what individually motivates them,” he said. “For some it may be vacation time, a thank you, or a lunch. Listening and being attentive to employees’ needs shows that their work is appreciated, and they are more likely to be motivated.”
Davis also suggested that employers seek out individuals who care about their work and do not need incentives. He credits those individuals as more likely to do work that represents their values. Ultimately, Davis recommends organizations create an environment where individuals feel they can make a difference, even if their efforts aren’t always rewarded with financial compensation.
To hear this interview in its entirety, check out the podcast at the River 95.3 FM.