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Mailbag: Motivation

Apr 17, 20032 mins
Data Center

* Readers share their thoughts on what motivates them

In a recent newsletter about employee motivation, I asked what employers can do to make you rise to the challenge (see

For Dale, it’s as simple as clear communication about corporate goals and objectives. That makes sense to me. It’s tough to do your job in overseeing IT when you don’t know what the company wants to achieve.

Mel Hudson, vice president of IT for a U.S. subsidiary of a global technology company he can’t identify, shares more detailed thoughts. He says his motivation and strong work ethic of good planning, hard work, long hours, being a good manager, etc., have served his employers well and allowed him to reach his current position. However, he’s now having trouble inspiring the same commitment from his employees.

“The employer’s side of the ‘contract’ has been decreasing over the years to the point where it is becoming increasing difficult for me to motivate my staff,” he writes. Noting that he has undergone extensive management training and has three degrees including an MBA, he has come to disagree with management trainers when it comes to motivation.

“After all the studies, magic quadrants, pyramids….. to explain the various theories related to motivation, I have concluded that the best motivation method is to ‘show me the money.'”

He says that if he was asked what he wants during a management course, he’s likely to answer “challenge, responsibility, feeling of accomplishment” and so forth. But deep down, he says, “I think we all want the same things – security, perks, car, image, ego, etc.”

Hudson concludes, “The main reason, I believe, that we want more responsibility and challenge is NOT because we desire to work longer and harder.  I believe we want the money!”