Is money the only motivation at work?How can one prove that money is the only motivation?

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pmiranda2857 eNotes educator| Certified Educator

Money is not the only motivation for work, because there are people who spend countless hours working in fields like teachers, who are not paid nearly what they are worth.  When you choose a profession, the first criteria for the selection is that one must love what they do, or else, you will be unhappy.

Money has a part in the decision, but it is not the only motivation.  Another factor is location, how long a commute are you willing to put up with twice a day?  If your answer is that you want to work closer to home, then perhaps money cannot be the initial motivator for the decision.

Some people want to work in certain professions and will accept less money in order to gain entry into a certain field.

Money as the only motivation can be proven only in the extreme circumstances where individuals will do anything for money, such as commit crimes, willingly injure people by engaging in immoral activities, or knowingly breaking the law.

coachshera eNotes educator| Certified Educator
Is money the only motivation at work?

How can one prove that money is the only motivation?

 Studies continue to show that salary is not the #1 motivation for work and that employees are motivated (and stay with their companies) for  the following reasons:

  1. Their work and contributions are recognied and  valued.  They feel appreciated and part of a community.
  2. They receive on-going feedback from their manager/supervisor, thus they feel "in" on things. This creates trust in the workplace.
  3.  There are on-going opportunties for learning and professional development

Salary ranks #4. 


  1. The Leadership Challenge, James Kouzes and Barry Posner
  2. 1001 Rewards and Recognition, Dr. Bob Nelson
  3. Society for Organizational Learning, Peter Senge 
litteacher8 eNotes educator| Certified Educator

I would argue that money is not even the main motivator.  People do need money, and they might use salary as when searching for a job.  When people are actually at work, however, they want to be satisfied with what they do.  They want to enjoy the people they work with, feel respected, and feel like they have job security and opportunities for advancement.  People motivated by money alone are rarely happy in their jobs.  There has to be more to life.

ask996 eNotes educator| Certified Educator

I think the “facts” of this issue probably depend upon many things. One is age. I would hypothesize that many of those who think money is the only motivation would be in the 20ish to 35ish range. I would hope that the longer people live and work, the more they realize there is a great value in working at a career that makes them happy. Of course socio/economic status would tie into this philosophy.

raitu | Student

Money plus ... having interest in what we are doing!

romka123 | Student

For many people money is motivation to work, But we cannot blame them because everyone needs to survive. If person work because of the money and never keeps eyes open to do what to make him or her happy and make money that person will stock only to work for money


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yitbarek | Student

for me its not because mony canot buy satisfaction for the person and i donot bleave it dosen't do nothing for the emmployee. in some cases monye may play as a great rol for the person. emplyees dosen't feel good if they dosen't get enouph salary for the work they did for the organization. and many employee depend on the environment that they work and they depand on the freedem that they get on their job. trust me decsion making mandate given for employee has played a great role in the employee, only mony can not be taken as a motive for the employee but  we can say that mony have a share in the motives  of the employee.

bisheka | Student

money is a motivator spesially for workers at lowerlevels of management according to the theory of ''fredrick taylor'' if workers are paid more they they would increase their effectiveness at work but if they are unfulfilled by their work in some waythey would not increase their effectiveness at work.whislt the theory of ''abraham maslow '' states that a level of hierachy will need to be made available to other workers that is PHYSIOLOGICAL NEEDS,SECURITY NEEDS,SOCIAL NEEDS,ESTEEM & SELF ACTUALISATION.....each will need to be  made available one after the other.....''herzbergs'' theory states that money is only a hygiene factor thus resposibility,achievement,advancement & regconitions.............

ssoufi | Student

confucius had it right with the saying "choose a job you love and you will never have to work a day in your life."

masloe has some rules and guides for job satisfaction and motivation.if someone refer to them can get good ideas.


travelclub | Student

Lets face it, money is motivationg. Let me ask you a question. Would you get up and go to work tomorrow and everyday if you were not getting paid? If you answer NO then money is the motivation.

You need money to eat, have a place to sleep, Transportation, and to take care of your family. I can promise you that if I was doing something and it did not allow me to take care of my family then I would not be doing it.

Now is money the only motivation, NO! If your friend needs a helping hand, I am sure you would help without charging him, if you are a friend. Lets take a look at another example. Do you clean your house for money? No, you clean your house for comfort, which in this case is the motivation. So it all depends on what the tasks it to determine what the motivational reason is.




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gopikrishna | Student

Think about your salaryIt’s no surprise that money is a great motivator. However, after some time at the same job, we tend to forget that big motivator and what it brings to us. Remind yourself of the money you are getting for the work you are doing, and think about all the things that you want to do with the money. Focus on long term growth Whatever your current position, there is most certainly room for advancement. There is always some other position that you can work towards, and this can be one of the best ways to motivate yourself at work. Only positive talk Focus on the positive, surround yourself with like-minded people that enjoy their work and are there for a reason and you will be guaranteed to always be in a frame of mind where your motivation is pristine. Compete with your peers Even if you are not in a position where your work dictates your salary, you should always strive to perform better than everyone else around. Such things like being more professional, quicker at answering questions, quicker at resolving issues…these are ways that you can compete with your coworkers within your own mind in a way to motivate yourself to increase the quality of your work.

mksb | Student

Today it is write.

but i think money does not matter in some think

siroin | Student
Is money the only motivation at work?

How can one prove that money is the only motivation?

  If money were the only motivation to work, we'd only work when we needed money and would jump from job to job more often.  Money is, of course, one of the motivators to work.  It's what allows us to pay for the things we need and the things we want.  Intially, when you first get a job, money is a good motivator but studies show that this becomes less of a motivator as time goes on. 

Money is an extrinsic motivator, meaning motivation we get from an outside source.  We will stick with a job, enjoy working and take pride in our work when we are intrinsically motivated.  That means motivation from within.  In an article called "Punished by Rewards?" an interview with Alfie Kohn.  It goes so far as to say "A lot of people have had the experience of having done something just because they loved it - until they started to get paid for doing it, after which they wouldn't dream of doing it again without getting paid.  Extrinsic motivators cause intrinsic motivation to evaporate."

Getting paid for work is a fact of life but getting paid for work that you love to do, that's what is truly motivating.

melani | Student

For nearly half of the population money is the main motivator to perform a job regularly and properly.Without money one cannot survive and the rate of poverty will rise.Furthermore,when a person is looking for a job,his first priority is to consult the salary before opting for a particular job.According to Taylor,people are motivated with high level of income and it is the best way to achieve success in the economic growth.However,there are some exception where some people love to do there job and money is not a priority for them but the majority need money as it is essential for them to have it.To be able to have a better standard of living,money is the solution and it motivates people to work.

oterachris | Student

Money is a motivating factor.

This I say depending on the following factors:

1. Individual Age

2. Individual Interest and objectives

3. Individual passion

Different people have different thinking. I as a 26 year old fellow having been brought up in an average family, am out there looking for employment definately money will have to be my motivator as long as I have my papers. If an employment cant meet my needs and yet I am employable then the next exit shall be my refuge

krishna-agrawala | Student

Any proof that money is the only motivation at work, has to be a flawed proof, because money is not the only motivation at work.

Sure people are motivated by money and other things that Morey can buy, but we cannot obtain full support and motivation of employees by offering money alone. Even other worldly inducements like a fancy job title or a big office is not enough to get the best out of people.

All these types of motivators are external to the job - something they receive in exchange for their time and effort. There are other motivators intrinsic to the job. People do a job well when they enjoy the process of doing the job.People also derive satisfaction from the feeling of having done a job well. We can motivate people best when we combine monetary rewards with appropriate organization system and culture, including supervisory behavior that enables people to enjoy their work and are able to see the worth of the results they produce.

giraffeandahalf | Student

I think that this only holds true if you are considering suvival.  I would say that my job is motivated by money in that I wouldn't do it for free at this point in my life.  One, because I can't afford to, and two, because money is at least giving me a sense that my efforts are seen as worthwhile and rewarded.  However, I think that once the basics of survival are considered, money becomes less important.  I wouldn't do a different job, just because it paid more money...I also consider work hours, vacation, how much I feel I give and add to people's lives by doing the job and how the job fits into my worldview.  

readysetgrow4kids | Student

This is more of an opinion, I don't think it can be proven.  The reason is, for many people money is the only motivation to go to work.  This is really a sad situation and people in this situation should continue working for other employment.  

 Since this is an opinion, it can't be proven.