Success is the reward for a job well done, and its measured a variety of ways.  For some, success equates to stature – corner office and a spiffy title.  For others, it’s green – a hulking bank account.  And then you have those searching for a sense of fulfilment – belonging (if you will.)  Motivating each of these personalities requires guile, experience, and open-mindedness.

For years, I didn’t understand what made me tick, and this posed a challenge to my employers. Primarily, people use money as a means of motivation. To be fair, that approach is quite helpful; however, financial gain is not the end game for everyone. I grew up with my Depression-era grandparents who taught me a valuable lesson about money – one day it’s here, next it’s *poof*!  Because of their experiences, they were fierce savers, and proponents of finding satisfaction in the work you did rather than the thickness of your wallet. They instilled upon me that pride is derived by providing value, and value is achieved through accomplishment.

Motivating someone like myself can be challenging to managers solely employing money as a carrot. I liken this to what we’re experiencing in the workplace today with Millennial employees. They are much more focused on creating a difference in this world, and fully enjoying life, rather than toiling away 40-hours a week for a paycheck that could evaporate within a press release. The workplace is evolving, and it’s finally catching up to the human aspect of the workforce. People are people. Most importantly, they are individuals. Each being driven by a separate set of goals and ethics. While that can seem intimidating, it’s quite easy to understand how to motivate your employees, and it’s something you should be doing anyway.

When leaders build relationships with people within their organizations there is a deeper connection to the understanding of what makes ‘Jim’, ‘Jim’, and what makes ‘Sally’, ‘Sally’. When leaders understand those nuances, they can develop a plan satisfying the motivational needs of their team members. As a leader, you can help employees unlock what they’re passionate about at work. With that knowledge, you can empower them to succeed by delegating challenging and meaningful responsibilities. Furthermore, you’ll be able to develop a much more efficient mechanism for reward.

Let’s say Jim isn’t really a morning person. His peak efficiency occurs later in the day. If it makes sense, you could create a win-win situation by amending his schedule to accommodate. Sally on the other hand has a son in soccer and would love to make a few games throughout the season. Allow her the flexibility to do so. In both the situations you provided reward, but most importantly you further developed a relationship with both Jim and Sally. And what did it cost you? Nothing?

Granted, there are those who are driven by financial and personal gain.  Get an understanding of where they want to be over the next few years. If someone is in it for the money, perhaps you can adjust their compensation package to align with that reward? Are you able to include a commission incentive on top of salary? (NOTE: Great added benefit, the more they earn, the more revenue they must produce.) If someone has their eye on a certain position, how can you help them develop into that role? What can you do to aid that individual in making the contributions necessary to reach their goal?  Again, both approaches further develop relationships, provide an upside to your business, and provide employees the motivational support they need.

Everyone is different, so get creative. Talk to your people. Gain a command of what gets them out of bed in the morning, and why. With that information, create an organization anyone would be proud to serve.