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In Defense of Dough

ONE OF the colleagues that work for me nearly quit in a huff when appraisals did not result in the raise she was expecting. She had recently done a top-notch job with a tricky project and was expecting a bumper - thumper raise. Of course, I had done the needful— thump her on her back, shake her paw and acknowledge her contribution in public. However, I did fail to anticipate, that for her, no money was `no thanks'.

Many people believe that money is the best reward, a top motivator. Do I believe it to be true? I am no HR expert, but I do know that money can be a very strong motivator, for some the only motivator. Well, I didn't subscribe to this theory till recently, until my subordinate let her displeasure and disappointment be known.

When we quote research and studies and write on how best to motivate employees, we always like to place facts that support our hypothesis! Though we quote that `limited recognition' and `lack of open communication' are some of the strong reasons why employees turn tail and quit in a huff, money is not mentioned because it is vulgar to talk about it. But hey, let it go on record that money is a great (if not the greatest) motivator.

Money makes the world go round; it pays for our luxuries, for our annual holidays and for our occasional binges.

What can a plaque, or public recognition of work well done do for you besides providing a momentary twinge of pride? On the other hand, think what a bonus can do. You can carry the memories (of that yachting trip) till you turn up your toes!

On a serious note, it so happens that often people end up working at jobs they don't like and for bosses who never show their appreciation. For such employees monetary gain thus becomes barter for enduring a miserable job.

In some other companies cash awards are deliberately given to thank people, to recognise an extraordinary effort or for desired behaviour. The message being sent here is unless you win a monetary award, your contribution to the company is not important. Over a period of time employees come to expect a cash award as the only form of saying thanks. People start correlating the amount they make with their perceived worth to the company.

So, the question, do I believe money makes an employee more professional? It may not, but it can certainly elicit their best effort. Pavlov's dogs, anyone?

PADMA RAMESH

padma.hyd@cnkonline.com

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