We have closed out our most recent poll on rewards that motivate you and the results are quite interesting. Edging out the lead was monetary rewards which took 28.3% of the vote. However, tied for second place was private praise and public praise, each with 26.1% of the vote. This means that while the largest number of people said that receiving a monetary reward made them feel most valued, more than half our respondents felt most valued through some sort of praise from superiors.
This should be seen as an encouraging result for managers, particularly in stressed economic times. While money is still certainly important to people, simply being acknowledged, either privately or in front of a group, is seen by the majority of people surveyed as the best way to show appreciation and acknowledge a job well done. It is also notable that an equal number of people preferred to receive such praise in a private context and publically. This means that there isn’t a “right” way to do these things. One employee may enjoy being acknowledged in front of her peers, while another may find such attention embarrassing or even the cause of anxiety.
As a manager, this difference means that a one-size-fits-all approach may not be ideal and the onus is on that manager to know her team well enough that she can reward her employees in the way that most motivates them individually.
Tied for third place in our results were praise from coworkers and praise from clients/constituents, both coming in at 8.7%. This shows that while people value the input and regard they receive from coworkers and clients, in the end, the boss’s opinion is the most important. After all, most of us care just as much about our own career trajectories as we do about making our clients happy so it makes sense that we would be most influenced by our bosses, who often have the largest effect on the direction of our careers.
What did you think of our results? Where you surprised by the findings?