When it comes to employee loyalty, there are three motivators more important than money.
That’s according to Harvard Business School Professor Rosabeth Moss Kanter, who’s pretty much the smartest person on the planet when it comes to employee loyalty. You might want to listen to her.
The three before money? Also M’s, according to Professor Kanter…
Membership: Create community by honoring individuality. Employees have a strong desire to feel like part of a team.
Mastery: Help people develop deep skills. Employees have a strong desire to learn new skills and feel accomplished.
Meaning: Repeat and reinforce a larger purpose. Employees have a strong desire to be striving toward some greater good.
Therefore, as you brainstorm ways to reward employees and increase motivation and employee loyalty, consider what projects, training, and team activities you could use to celebrate milestones in your company.
Interestingly, and Professor Kanter doesn’t mention this in any of her research that I’ve read, these motivators correspond nicely with Abraham Maslow’s Hierarchy of Needs. Maslow taught us that man is a perpetually wanting creature, and he illustrated it in this pyramid.
Once one level is met, you ascend to another, and we are always striving to reach the next level.
Isn’t it interesting, then, that Professor Kanter’s three M’s each ascends a level higher into Maslow’s Hierarchy?
Money’s required for the first two levels to provide basic needs.
Membership provides for psychological belonging and love needs.
Mastery satisfies our psychological need for prestige and feelings of accomplishment.
And finally, meaning… and humankind’s search for it… satisfies the very highest order of Maslow’s hierarchy.
Dude. It’s science.
In other words, two really, really smart people – and me – are saying you need to strongly consider recalibrating how you motivate your team.
What steps will you take to do so? When? If not, why not? I’d love to hear your thoughts.