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***For Karl McCracken's personal (mainly triathlon) blog, please visit http://karlmccracken.wordpress.com/ This blog is an alternative way for you to get access to our TeamTips series of articles. TeamTips is a short, fortnightly article that's aimed at TeamLeaders. Each edition covers a subject that's important for Team Leaders' performance - both in technical issues and man-management.

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Thursday, September 21, 2006

It's Not About The Money (1)

Why it’s Important

Early on in most client projects, this is a question I put to the management:

“So, why do people come to work here?”

I always have a private bet with myself that someone in the team will give the answer:

“For the money”

And so far, I’ve won the bet every single time.

This of course, isn’t the right answer at all. Don’t get me wrong, we all go to work in general for the money. Without money, it’s pretty hard to keep a roof over your head, pay the bills, and feed the family. And there are probably very few of us who, if we won the lottery (and really won - I mean several million pounds, not three numbers for a tenner!), would keep going to work.

But the question wasn’t about work in general. It was about your specific organisation, and could be re-phrased as:

“Given that unemployment’s low, so most people could find an alternative job that pays more than you do, why do they stay here, and how do you motivate them to get more out of them?”

Now that’s not such a snappy question, but probably one that’s far more useful to ask. Properly motivated people will achieve the impossible.

So if you can figure out what makes each of your team members tick, you’ll be astonished by what they can do, and how little it often costs.

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