It's Not All About the Money

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By Beverly Crowell

Not long after he won the Master’s, PGA golfer Bubba Watson announced that he would sit out of a major golf tournament and the chance to win part of $9.5 million in prize money. Bubba posted on Twitter, “I’ve decided to pull out of the Players. I need to spend more time with Caleb and Angie, plan to take at least a month off. The Players is one of the best weeks of the year but bonding with my son and wife is what it is all about right now.”

In ongoing research, Career Systems International has learned that what matters most to employees is often not related to money at all. In fact, employees tell us that they what they value most is the opportunity to spend time with family and friends; serve their community; and have the flexibility to do what they want both inside and outside of the workplace. Certainly, not every employee is wired this way, but many are.

Unfortunately, many leaders make the crucial mistake of assuming a dissatisfied employee is frustrated about pay, benefits, or lack of promotion within the company. Again, this could be true, but leaders everywhere should take note of what Bubba is saying and make no assumptions. If you want to know what matters most to your people and the values on which their decisions are made, simply ask.

Here are some tested questions to get to the values of your employee from the best-selling engagement and retention book, Love ‘Em or Lose ‘Em: Getting Good People to Stay.

What do you need most from your work?

  • What makes for a really great day?
  • What would you miss if you left this job?
  • What did you like best about other jobs you had?
  • Success to you means…

Once you ask the question, stop and listen. What do you hear is important? What words or phrases come up more often than others? What are they excited about? Be curious and ask questions to understand more. Oh, and one final thought  –

“Values are the emotional salary of work, and some folks are drawing no wages at all.” – Howard Figler

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