WIIFM? What’s in it for me? That’s what everybody wants to know. So tell them!
As a manager, it can be frustrating to work with this type of attitude; especially if you are a true team player, where the good of the team matters more than the good of the individual. If you are willing to sacrifice for the greater good, it may be particularly hard for you to understand where people with this type of attitude are coming from, but it pays to take the time to try.
Employees may not be selfish, entitled or disengaged if they always seem to be looking for what’s in it for them. This is actually quite natural. Different generations and different behavioral styles approach things from a variety of ways. People look at work differently. Some people work to live, some people live to work. Neither is right or wrong, but as a manager, it’s important to know what motivates your employees.
Employees who think about work as a means to a paycheck are not going to be motivated in the same way as others who are more focused on specific achievement, but that doesn’t mean they will not work as hard or be as successful. Their motivator might be money, and at this point in their life, that may be the most important thing because money is tight. They may not have the luxury to make a little less as long as they are challenged and interested at work. For those people, you have to tell them about the financial reward for them exceeding your expectations. They need to know there is a raise in their future. That’s what’s in it for them. And if it’s not going to happen, you will have a disgruntled employee. And a disgruntled employee is not a productive employee.
Employees who are motivated by praise, status, etc. must be handled differently. They will care less about the financial reward and more about public acknowledgement. They need to be recognized for the job they did; the pat on the back, the employee of the month award, etc. That’s what’s in it for them. If they are not feeling appreciated, no amount of money will motivate them the same way.
So don’t be put off by employees who seem to only care how much money they make. Successful managers recognize that everyone is different so different things will motivate them. They don’t look negatively on employees because their need or motivator is money. The common denominator for success here is appreciation. Employees need to know they are appreciated and doing what you can to provide the motivation they need shows you know them and appreciate their work. Managers and organizations also need to feel that employees appreciate them. So as an employee, when your motivators are acknowledged and management is paying attention to what’s important to you, saying thank you will go a long way on that end. Win / win. Everyone gets what they want and the organization thrives.
Thoughts…….. Contact me at abbe@TECResourceCenter.com
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