Misunderstanding rewards hampers motivation

'Compensation is a right, recognition is a gift'
By Bob Nelson
|Canadian HR Reporter|Last Updated: 06/28/2004

Motivation is one of those words that is commonly used to describe the fuzzy notion of “why we do what we do.” There are numerous misconceptions about motivation that make the topic all the more difficult to understand, but examining them helps avoid their pitfalls. Here are rules to apply to employee recognition.

Most managers think money is the top motivator — it’s not

What employees really want is to be valued for a job well done by those they hold in high esteem. Sure compensation is important, but most employees consider it a right — an exchange for the work one does. As management consultant Rosabeth Moss Kanter puts it, “Compensation is a right; recognition is a gift.”