Employee Motivation Management – Part I: The Wage Rotation Phenomenon

In the 16 years of management experience I’ve gained, I’ve continually heard that employee turnover is due to salary and benefits. Turnover essentially becomes an accepted industry phenomenon where efforts to improve employee retention stall. After all, if the only perceived cause of turnover is ‘pay’, while financial and budgetary constraints mean that pay cannot be changed, why should one try to address a problem that one has no idea about? control?

Some of you reading this know that salary has been discovered and identified as a minimal cause of turnover (typically <10%). Instead, leading observational research has identified development, leadership, and management individuals as the primary cause of turnover.

It is from this point that I seek to encourage you to take a second look at the turnover you experience in your workplace and in your teams. In doing so, I will cover the motivational factors, the costs of turnover, external position compression, and the reality of current research associated with the causes of turnover.

Motivating factors

First, it is more important to first understand the motivating factors among employees and how those factors interact. Motivational factors (intrinsic) and hygiene (extrinsic factors) are described below. It is important to note that ‘payment’ is an extrinsic factor. Extrinsic factors are those in which the absence of extrinsic factors contributes to dissatisfaction, although the presence of such factors does not necessarily result in greater job satisfaction. Therefore, it could be argued that if satisfactory pay is not forthcoming, the absence will ‘contribute to dissatisfaction’.

Next, what is associated with ‘payment’ among your team? This is the key to developing balance within your workforce. If the workforce is largely extrinsically motivated, it is likely that it is also motivated by status, job security, relationships with peers, and relationships with supervisors. By enhancing the presence of extrinsically motivated factors, a balance among extrinsically motivated employees begins to take shape. Subtle alterations of relationship presence, job status equality/inequality assessment, and job security communications can enhance the ‘presence’ of factors that do not necessarily lead to satisfaction, but reduce dissatisfaction through factor presence.

Now, what about a combined motivation? Or what about a workforce that is intrinsically motivated, even though salary is actually a key motivating factor? Again, it is important to understand the dynamics of your workforce. However, if a team is intrinsically motivated and paid demotivated, exploring extrinsic compensatory factors (status, relationships, etc.) to enhance presence can balance the motivational dynamic. Furthermore, intrinsic factors are those that, when present, have a positive influence on employee satisfaction. If a leader can increase the presence and quality of intrinsic factors, naturally a counterbalance against extrinsic factors begins to take shape. Remember, ‘pay’ is one of an endless list of causes of turnover and a bottom factor in the top 10 most recognized factors.

All that said, the motivation approach is based on two approaches: (1) what motivates your team and (2) what factorial presence does the environment possess. Every workforce, microculture, and demographic drives variation.

In the next article, I’ll explore the costs and compression associated with turnover related to pay motivators.

Motivation and Intrinsic Motivational Factors

– achievement

– Completion of tasks, early completion.

– Recognition

– Performance benefits, monetary or non-monetary

– The job itself

– Essence of the work done that contributes and contributes to satisfaction.

– Responsibility

– Autonomy to perform a task, individual terms in making a decision about how the work is carried out

– Advance

– Greater responsibility, status and financial benefits

– Increase

– Opportunity to learn new skills.

Hygiene and extrinsic motivating factors

– Police Company

– Transparency of policies that are easy to understand and follow

– Supervision

– Supervisor’s style and approach (i.e. participatory, democratic, etc.)

– Relationship with the Supervisor

– Superior influence, confidence and consistency.

– Relationship with peers

– Influence and connection between peers.

– Working conditions

– Work environment, environment, equipment quality, work schedule and physical environment (health and comfort)

– Salary

– Earnings and the influence of the monetary form against one’s effort

– Condition

– Respect socially driven by career, role and/or position


– The degree to which the organization is able to offer consistent career paths for employees

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