Employees' Motivation

Topics: Employment, Motivation, Attribute, Employment compensation / Pages: 37 (9177 words) / Published: Aug 29th, 2013
THE IMPORTANCE OF PAY IN EMPLOYEE MOTIVATION: DISCREPANCIES BETWEEN WHAT PEOPLE SAY AND WHAT THEY DO

Sara L. Rynes, Barry Gerhart, and Kathleen A. Minette

A majority of human resources professionals appear to believe that employees are likely to overreport the importance of pay in employee surveys. However, research suggests the opposite is actually true. We review evidence showing the discrepancies between what people say and do with respect to pay. We then discuss why pay is likely to be such an important general motivator, as well as a variety of reasons why managers might underestimate its importance. We note that pay is not equally important in all situations or to all individuals, and identify circumstances under which pay is likely to be more (or less) important to employees. We close with recommendations for implementing research findings with respect to pay and suggestions for evaluating pay systems. © 2004 Wiley Periodicals, Inc.

It is easy to overestimate the frequency with which adults actually go to the opera and underestimate the frequency with which they watch TV cartoons on Saturday mornings, based on their self-reports. (Nunnally & Bernstein, 1994, p. 383)

Rynes, Colbert, and Brown (2002) presented the following statement to 959 members of the Society for Human Resource Management (SHRM): “Surveys that directly ask employees how important pay is to them are likely to overestimate pay’s true importance in actual decisions” (p. 158). If our interpretation (and that of Rynes et al.) of the research literature is accurate, then the correct true-false answer to the above statement is “false.” In other words, people are

more likely to underreport than to overreport the importance of pay as a motivational factor in most situations. Put another way, research suggests that pay is much more important in people’s actual choices and behaviors than it is in their self-reports of what motivates them, much like the cartoon viewers mentioned in the

You May Also Find These Documents Helpful

  • Motivation Level of Employees or Employees Motivation
  • Motivation of Employees
  • Motivation of Employees
  • Motivation and Employees
  • Motivation and Employees
  • Motivation in Employees
  • Motivation and Employees
  • Motivation for Employees
  • Motivation of Employees
  • Motivation and Employees