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The Invisible Employee: Using Carrots to See the Hidden Potential in Everyone, Second Edition by Chester Elton, Adrian Gostick

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3.2. BREAKING THE BREAD BARRIER

They say money can't buy happiness. But we've never seen a sad person piloting a 60-foot luxury yacht. They look pretty happy to us.

Is money the big driver of employee satisfaction? Well, it definitely counts. But, when it comes to happy, engaged, stellar performing employees, money is not the grand prize.

A 2009 study proves that when it comes to the best places to work for federal employees, workers cited strong leadership and straight answers more often than pay and benefits. According to the comprehensive study of the federal workforce, the Nuclear Regulatory Commission sits atop the list of best places to work in the government. The number one reason? Because senior management takes the time to listen to the staff. Go figure.

The survey recommends that managers communicate, communicate, and communicate. In fact, less than half of federal workers say they receive the information they need from their boss, a number that trails the private sector by a whopping 18 percent points.

Still, when it comes to rewards, isn't it all about the green? Well, not so much. As an employee motivator, money has been proven to have little staying power. And yet, for as long as companies have offered incentives to make people work harder, employees have requested money over any other reward. And managers give in.

"I'd rather have the cash," says your employee.

"But we are giving out $7 movie tickets."

"I don't care, I want the cash."

For once, we'd recommend not ...

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