by Alex Palmer | August 30, 2012
Money can’t buy an engaged workforce, according to new research. The “SHL Workers and Good Management Study,” conducted by research firm, Galaxy Research, for assessment company SHL, found that while 20 percent of workers are motivated by money and bonuses, 26 percent are motivated by the support of their colleagues and the culture oftheir workplace.
The report, which drew on the responses of 1,277 adultworkers, asked respondents to weigh in on what drives them at their jobs and inspires them to work harder. Seventeen percent of respondents said that they were motivated by their company’s acknowledgement of their work.
“A sales manager might be driven by recognition, and pats on the back, so to speak, and others may be driven by growth opportunities andmore responsibility,” says Stephanie Christopher, SHL managing director, in a statement.
The survey also found that 22 percent of workers were looking for added responsibility, demonstrating that, even in a period where budget cuts have put additional pressure on workers, about one-fifth of employees still feel they could be taking on more. Additionally, just 9 percent said they would be interested in taking charge of a project should they be promoted.
According to Christopher, the results point to the variety of motivators that inspire individual employees, and it is incumbent upon the organization and manager to assess what rewards and motivators are most likely to inspire workers. As the findings demonstrate, in at least four out of five cases, that motivator is not money.  
“There are surveys you can do that are based on real models of motivation. Look at the results of those, and then match them up againstemployees,” adds Christopher. “By doing that you can identify mismatches: You might find people are motivated by flexible work hours, but you require everyone there 8.30 a.m. to 5.30 p.m. every day. You may need to change that.”