Coincidentally, I’ve had several conversations this past month about people being satisfied with the amount of money that they were making. (That loud thump you heard was a baby boomer passing-out from the very idea.) To these individuals, the amount of free time they had to spend to travel, visit friends, be active in their children’s school, or pursue hobbies was more important than chasing bonuses. As long as everyone was dry, warm, and had full bellies, nothing else seemed to really matter. And, maybe it’s because I straddle the Gen X and Millennial generation (The Oregon Trail Generation), but I sort of get it. Like wearing designer clothes, or neck tattoos, it’s a lifestyle choice. As a team leader, just because making money is the most important thing to you, doesn’t mean that it has the same value to the rest of your team.
Unless you are a tree, sea turtle, or galaxy, the most valuable resource is time. These conversations made me think of a post I wrote back in March of 2011. And, it got me thinking more. If money is not your prime motivator, then be more productive. Work less.
Being present in a work environment and being productive are two completely different things. We can all figure out ways to come in earlier and leave later, but do we actually accomplish more? (Queue “The Battle Hymn of the Republic” because it’s soapbox time.) Every time I hear or read a story about the fabled marathon deal (you know the one that took six hours), I know that there is a customer having one of the worst buying experiences of their entire lives. That five-pounder got made, but it likely cost $30,000 in repeat, referral, and service business. During that same time period a daughter got her neck tattooed.
For those employees who don’t respond to cash incentives, give them finite goals. Encourage them to exceed performance targets in the shortest amount of time possible. Make them so efficient that you could care less about them taking a couple hour break to catch their kid’s concert. If they care less about Gulfstreams and Goyards, let them work towards something they do care about. If they don’t want to be Number One for the money, give them ways to be Number One for their lifestyle. Their loyalty, along with their customers’ devotion will be paid back ten fold.