Money vs. Freedom: What Motivates BNET UK Readers

Last Updated Apr 30, 2010 11:39 AM EDT


For those who missed the morning newsletter, BNET UK is asking readers to complete our quick poll on why we bother working at all -- and what or who drives us to work that bit harder.

Thanks to readers to have added their own personal take on motivation to the questionnaire -- here are a few of the observations BNET's readers have made so far.

Customers as motivators: As marketing director Andrew Beaven points out, we've forgotten to include clients among those who drive us to deliver -- they may not be as important as your boss or your shareholders, but they can be quite a motivator, especially if you're in a customer-facing role.

Motivation evolves: "When I worked as an HR manager in Russia, the initial concerns of job applicants were: how much did we pay and did we pay every month. Once they started work, they started asking about further training and promotion prospects. Motivation is a situational thing," says JKC Consulting's John Chapman. It also changes over time. "Money is always nice, but now the mortgage is paid off and the kids have flown the nest, it's of less importance to me," says Chapman.

Money vs. autonomy: Money's even less of a driver for training specialist Rus Slater, who has opted for balance, autonomy and giving something back. Opting to take the self-employed route, he says: "I wake up every morning and look forward to walking downstairs to work. I pack up at the end of each day and look forward to spending time with my family."

Compare that with the findings in Metro, the free-sheet, whose poll today found that a good salary was key to happiness at work and more of a motivator than environment or people. That said, Metro's survey also found people working (surprisingly) reasonable hours and generally pretty content at work -- only 11 percent of those surveyed were miserable in their jobs.

Is motivation innate? Maybe most fascinating is the idea of 'innate' motivation -- driven by what author Daniel Pink refers to as 'mastery', a desire to excel. It's a rare quality, but those who continuously 'up the ante' on themselves tend to take pride in whatever they are doing, as reader Iain Garden observes. While their workplace, boss or other factors may be less influential, it must matter to their motivation.

BNET UK will be taking a closer look at this once we've got the survey results in. Let us know if you'd like to add your commentary -- or share your views on motivation below.

(Image: graffiti.freiburg, CC2.0)