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Effect of Money as Motivation for Employees

Paper Type: Free Essay Subject: Employment
Wordcount: 1483 words Published: 23rd Sep 2019

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Money can be used to motivate any worker.

Motivation has been defined as an internal drive which leads individuals to achieve their goals or organizational objectives (Certo, 2000). The number of organizations in these days attempts to find the best way to motivate and increase their workers’ efforts and performances as when workers are motivated, it contributes to actual productivity of organization. There are several factors which have an influence on employee motivation and one of the most significant factors is money. Since money can be used to fulfill their basic needs such as food, water, and clothes and many companies might still motivate their employees by using money or financial incentive. However, many theoretical literatures do not use this financial reward as being thing that leads to motivation.

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Everyone seems to have different motivators in working. Money therefore can be viewed differently depending on each individuals’ perspectives. Some workers might see it as an important thing in their working lives, while others might value other things such as power, achievement, or relationship at the workplace. Thus, motivation can be described into two ways which are extrinsic motivation and intrinsic motivation. An extrinsic motivation relates to external things because workers will be motivated by money, bonus, or other kind of rewards. On the other hand, an extrinsic motivation contrasts to an intrinsic motivation which workers will focus on the actual motivation, passion, and interest in the work itself. They will be happy and enjoy doing the actual tasks without any concern about getting money or reward. As a result, it seems that workers are not only motivated by money, but also motivated by other different factors. Money is only one of the various motivators and some workers may see it less attractive for them as there are theories that represent other factors regarding intrinsic motivation. Therefore, this essay will illustrate the reasons why money could not be used to motivate any workers in the workplace with relevant theories and examples.

According to, Frederick Winslow Taylor’s theory, Scientific Management (SM), this theory placed money as a primary motivation for employees. They have to work hard in order to earn as much money as they can. If they work less, they will be paid less. Relationship in the workplace is also eroded due to high competition to produce and complete their own tasks. A worker will focus only on their works without helping or caring each other. They will be paid through their performances or piece rates to ensure that the economic rewards of work were tied to actual productivity (Knights, 2017; Willmott, 2017). Thus, money seems to be the main motivation for workers to work harder. They will not be concerned that they are happy or enjoy the work. They will ignore their own interest and passion since they focus merely on money. Workers’ motivation tends to change from being autonomous or driven by internal factors to being controlled and driven by external factors like financial incentives (Krug & Braver, 2014Ryan & Deci, 2000). It could be linked to what known as overjustification effect. When workers receive lots of reward of doing something, they will finally lose their interests in what they are doing, just interested in getting reward on it. The work will gradually become meaningless for them. Consequently, this monetary rewards or money could eventually decrease worker’s motivation. They might be finally tired and bored with the work since they have lost their interest or their internal drive in work.

In addition, from Herzberg’s two factor theory, his idea is involved in motivation at work which can be determined by two separated factors: job satisfaction which is considered as motivation factors and job dissatisfaction which is hygiene factors. These are associated with satisfaction with the job and dissatisfaction when something is annoying the workers. Motivators or satisfaction primarily consist of achievement, advancement, personal growth, recognition, responsibility and work itself. Whereas dissatisfaction or hygiene include company policy, relationship with boss, relationship with colleagues, salary, supervision, and working conditions. It is noticeable that salary or money is considered as dissatifiers. “In the theory, salary was mentioned more often as a hygiene factor than a motivator, that is, Herzberg claimed that money adds little to job satisfaction” (Weisberg &Dent, 2016) It might be low pay or low salary that make employees feel dissatisfy. Nonetheless, money alone could not motivate or satisfy workers. It seems that money could not satisfy any worker in the workplace as someone might prefer their work achievement, opportunity for advancement and growth, recognition from others and the meaningful, interesting, and challenging work itself. Workers may value these motivators instead of money. Therefore, both intrinsic and extrinsic motivation are seen as an important key of job satisfaction (Auerbach et al, 2010), only money or extrinsic motivation could not motivate all employees.

In conclusion, although money is one of the main factors to motivate workers, it could not motivate and encourage everybody in the workplace in the long run. Workers also need to have an intrinsic motivation in order to know their actual interest and passion in work. They will always be happy and enjoy working which will result in more productivity or effective work performance. Accordingly, using money or any kind of financial rewards could not be an efficient method to motivate any worker. If organizations need to motivate their workers by using money, they should come along with some intrinsic motivation to ensure that everybody is motivated and happy.




        Conrad, D., Ghosh, Amit., & Isaacson, M. (2015). Employee motivation factors. International Journal of Public Leadership; Bingley Volume. 11, Issue. 2, 92-106. 

        Damij, N., Levnajić, Zoran, R., & Suklan, J. (2015). What Motivates Us for Work? Intricate Web of Factors beyond Money and Prestige. PLoS One; San Francisco Vol. 10, Issue. 7.

  • David, K & Hugh, W. (2017). Introducing Organizational Behaviour and Management. Third Edition. 41-42.
  • Melinda, W., & Eric, D. (2016). Meaning or money? Non-profit employee satisfaction. Voluntary Sector Review; Manchester Volume. 7, Issue. 3, 293-313.
  • Thibault, A., Gagné, M., Forest, J., Guerrero, S., Séguin, M., & Papachristopoulos, K. (2016). The Relation Between Financial Incentives, Motivation, and Performance: An Integrative SDT-Based Investigation. Journal of Personnel Psychology. Issue, Volume 16(2), 61–76.


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