As the anniversary of my redundancy from my previous workplace approaches, I have been thinking about workplace motivation. A blog post entitled The four motivators influenced some of my thinking at the time.

The thrust of the post is that one is motivated by three “loyalties” and also “money”. Everyone is motivated by a different balance of loyalty to an individual, a group, and a mission, alongside a broad definition of “money” (including perks, nice office, short commute etc).

This was certainly true of me in that role. I was motivated to do my best for my team, for my friends in the wider business, and in pursuit of the missions of the organisation. There were also specific individuals who inspired me.

These loyalties could probably be considered to fulfil the “purpose” aspect of Autonomy, Mastery, Purpose

Something that bothered me about the post is how much work “money” is doing in the list, and how it differs from the others in not being expressed as a “loyalty”.

“Money”, here, includes actual money - salary, pension, subsidised lunch etc, but also “prestige”. For me, it also included a nice office, and a short commute among other things.

One motivator that it does not cover is simple interest in one’s work. You may have all of the above, but if you are stuck just churning out the same old CRUD applications, your heart may cease to be in it after a while.

Perhaps “money” could better be replaced by “loyalty to self and dependents”. This could cover those other aspects not easily included under money.