The research from China confirms it: Despite the fourfold improvement in the level of per capita consumption that has occurred, there is no evidence of an increase in life satisfaction.
In other words, more money doesn’t mean more happiness.
Many organizations persist in ignoring this wisdom. For example, more incentives and flexibility don’t always equate to increased happiness. Consider these popular strategies to improve low annual employee satisfaction scores:
– Revamp incentives and benefits,
– Establish “flex time,”
– Allow work from remote offices.
Certainly, these are value-add benefits. Yet…satisfaction numbers remain at unacceptable levels.
Here’s the reason: Yes, it matters where and when we work, as well as how much we get paid. But what matters more? Why anyone, under daily and crushing pressures, would be compelled to give 100% effort.
Many organizations are doomed to mediocrity because of a leadership approach that assumes employees either have their why answered – or they don’t. Subsequently, they “hire for talent” as if it’s a plug-and-play exercise. (And upon failure they blame HR for their hiring policies.)
1) The why someone does their job determines their level of effort.
2) The why can be different for each person.
3) The why can change from job to job.
4) The why is a different motivator than money. (If they say that’s their highest motivation, you’ve hired the wrong person.)
5) The why is personal…and once you tap it the game changes.
Why would individuals on your team give their best effort? We may have assumptions. This week it’s better to ask.
Share your WHY (and your team’s) in the comments below so other leaders can be inspired by you and your team.
 Richard A. Easterlin, Robson Morgan, Malgorzata Switek, and Fei Wang, “China’s life satisfaction 1990-2010,” Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences of the United States of America, (April 6, 2012), accessed on May 22, 2012, http://www.pnas.org/content/early/2012/05/09/1205672109.full.pdf+html