In most traditional business environments, the assumption is that people will be motivated by raises, bonuses, or promotion to a new title. The truth is that this type of motivation only works on about 15% of the population!
People with a nurturing personality (yellow) are motivated by helping others. Mother Teresa was a perfect example. These are the people who spend tireless hours volunteering their time at church, youth organizations, etc. and spend lots of time doing things for their family. They don't want, and are not impressed by, fancy things.
People with a "fun seeking" personality (blue) are motivated by having fun. Travel is a major motivator for these people, as well as contests. They also tend to like "risky" sports like sky diving or mountain climbing or scuba diving. Think of James Bond here.
Some say analytical types (green) are not motivated at all! But being one of them, I disagree. They are motivated by sharing information with others, so they are often good writers. And they like to do things for the technical challenge. You'll find them solving scientific or mathematical problems, programming computers, figuring out tax laws, or anything requiring analysis of data. They are not impressed with trappings either, and are often very frugal (sometimes to a fault.) Albert Einstein is a good example (and so is Scrooge! No offense, remember I'm a green.)
Most of the people who run companies are the money-focused, status-focused type (red), like Donald Trump. They structure all of their reward systems around money and status. This does NOT motivate 85% of the population, at least not directly. For the other three personality types, money is a means to an end rather than an end in itself. And many of them would rather have more time off than more money. The reds don't understand this because they are generally workaholics (isn't just about every entrepreneur you know always working, even on the golf course?)
Here is what money means to people:
- Yellow - meet their own basic needs, then help others
- Blue - after meeting basic needs, have some fun, get fancy trappings and travel
- Green - pay the bills, and save for the future, for the "what ifs"
What I love about MLM is how it can reward all of the personalities on their level.
- Yellow - help others with the products and the business opportunity
- Blue - win travel, travel to company events and meet lots of people
- Green - earn residual income that will be paid even if you are ill or disabled, and it can continue to take care of your family in the future
How can traditional businesses use this?
- Yellow - give them opportunities to serve their community on company time; give them more vacation
- Blue - have fun events for employees and their families, and contests to win vacations; give more vacation
- Green - provide ways to share their knowledge (usually without presenting to people) and save for the future; let them take money in lieu of vacation, but only to a point (they do need some time off because they tend to be very intense)
You will get much more cooperation from people if you remember to honor what motivates them, and not expect them to always be motivated by raises and promotions.