Why Money Is a Bad Motivator and What Works Better

Why Money Is a Bad Motivator and What Works Better

What Motivates Employees? (Hint: It Isn’t Money!)

For years, businesses have operated under the assumption that money was the primary motivation for employees to remain with an employer, dedicate themselves to the company’s success and strive to produce exemplary work.
Managers have dangled merit increases, bonuses and other financial incentives in front of their employees in the belief that the pursuit of money would result in greater productivity, reduced turnover, improved product quality, better customer service and even lower rates of absenteeism.
If money is such a great motivator, why are so many companies still plagued by low productivity, high turnover, plummeting quality, disappointing customer service and high absenteeism despite the monetary carrots they have dangled before their employees?

The answer is simple: Money is not the best motivator for most employees.

screen-shot-2016-12-04-at-12-43-52-pm1. Researchers at Gallup compiled a study based on employee surveys, exit interviews and analyses of organizations and business units. They found that money ranked fourth on the list of the top five reasons that employees quit.
Money was a bigger issue for disengaged and actively disengaged employees (15 percent and 13 percent respectively). Money was also an issue among employees who believed that their employer did not value them and those who felt that their coworkers were not handling an appropriate amount of work. (1)

2. The “SHL Workers and Good Management Study” asked respondents what inspired them to work harder. The study found that only 20 percent of the workers surveyed reported that they found motivation in money and bonuses. (2)

3. Researcher Susan David conducted a study of business units that had extremely engaged employees. When she asked the employees what was behind their outstanding engagement scores, only 4 percent mentioned pay. (3)

Why Money Does Not Matter More

Naturally, employees are individuals who are motivated by different things. Even the same employee can have motivations that change over time. However, for more than 70 years, Maslow’s hierarchy of needs and its revised models have been used to demonstrate what motivates people. The concept is typically illustrated as a pyramid with five to eight tiers. Only after the needs defined in the lower tiers have been met does the motivation for the next tier become relevant. (4)


1. The bottom tier represents the basic physiological needs that are required for survival. These include sleep, shelter, food, warmth, air and water.
2. The second tier represents the desire to be safe. This tier includes needs such as freedom from fear, protection from the elements, law and order, stability and security.
3. The third tier includes the need to belong. It includes concepts such as being part of a group, friendship, trust, affection, acceptance and love.
4. The fourth tier covers the basic need for self-esteem. Esteem needs include independence, self-respect, achievement, respect from others, prestige and mastery.
5. In the revised models, the fifth tier represents cognitive needs. These include curiosity, exploration, the need for meaning, knowledge and predictability.
6. The revised models devote the sixth tier to the need for aesthetics. Needs include the search for and appreciation of beauty, form, balances and similar concepts.
7. The seventh tier in the revised models and the fifth tier in Maslow’s original hierarchy are devoted to self-actualization. Self-actualization involves self-fulfillment, realizing one’s own potential and pursuing personal growth.
8. The eighth tier in the revised models is labeled as transcendence needs. It involves helping others to reach self-actualization.

Reviewing the tiers, it is easy to see why some employees will not be motivated by money. However, deciding what will motivate different employees requires knowing your employees. To illustrate, a single parent struggling to provide for a family while working an entry level job may find money an effective motivator. However, as soon as he or she is secure in the knowledge that the children have everything they need, money will be less effective.

What Works Better than Money

In an ideal world, managers would know all employees well enough to accurately predict what they need. In companies with more than one or two employees, however, it is highly unlikely that the level of mutual trust and openness will be sufficient for this to occur.
This does not mean that it is impossible to find the right motivations, however. For all of their differences, humans share many common needs and desires.

1. People want to feel that their work is appreciated.

Behavioral economist Dan Ariely has conducted numerous studies on motivation. In one study:

  • He gave participants a piece of paper containing random letters and instructed them to find letter pairs.
  • The amount of money decreased with every round.screen-shot-2016-12-04-at-1-27-23-pm
  • The first group had to sign their sheets and give them to the experiment leader, who would look over the sheet before placing it in a pile.
  • The second group did not sign their sheets, and the experimenter did not look over their sheets before placing them in a pile.
  • The third group’s work was immediately shredded.
  • The third group wanted twice as much money to continue as the first group, and the second group wanted almost as much as the third group. (5)

The SHL study also found that having their work appreciated was a great motivator. Approximately 17 percent of the respondents stated that having the company acknowledge their work inspired them to work harder. (2)

Recognizing an employee’s performance can be a powerful motivator. A sincere compliment would work best, but even an acknowledgement of the employee’s efforts is better than silence.

2. People want to see the fruits of their labor.

In another study, Ariely had participants build Lego characters.

  • The pay declined for every character built after the first one.screen-shot-2016-12-04-at-1-30-03-pm
  • In the first group, the creations were placed under the table to await disassembly when the experiment ended.
  • In the second group, the creations were disassembled immediately and in front of the participants.
  • On average, the first group completed an average of 11 creations before quitting, but the second group only averaged seven. (5)

Although the participants knew that their creations would be disassembled eventually, seeing the fruits of their labor for a short time substantially improved their productivity. It gave them tangible proof that their work had meaning.


3. People want autonomy.

A study led by Greg A. Chung-Yan of the University of Windsor found that the amount of freedom that employees have to handle a job their way can significantly impact their performance. Although there are some jobs that require strict compliance with a particular method or approvals at every stage, many tasks can be completed in a variety of ways. Allowing employees to choose the method that is most efficient for them can be an effective motivator. (6)

Employees who can use their own skill sets and creativity to succeed are being motivated from within. Their success is directly tied to their own initiative and talent, allowing them to have greater pride in the results.


4. People want to be challenged.

In the SHL study, 22 percent of the respondents stated that wanted to take on more responsibility. (2) In another study conducted by Dan Ariely:

  • He provided participants the materials to build their first origami product.
  • The first group received instructions, making their work easier and their products prettier.screen-shot-2016-12-04-at-1-33-37-pm
  • At the end, the builders were asked how much they would pay for the product, and the same question was posed to a group who had only observed.
  • The builders in the first group stated they would pay five times as much as the amount stated by the observers.
  • However, the second group valued their products even more highly than the first group even though the observers considered them less valuable. (5)

The more difficult it is to perform a task, the more pride people feel when they accomplish the task. Employees tend to tie the value of their work to the effort they expended. Limiting employees to simple, easily mastered tasks can rob them of their motivation to contribute to the company and make them feel unappreciated.

5. People want to feel a sense of belonging.

A sense of belonging can come from being a member of a team, contributing to the well-being of others or being a good fit for the company culture.

In the SHL study, the motivation cited by most respondents — 26 percent — was the support of colleagues and workplace culture.

(2) Adam Grant, a researcher, author and professor at Wharton College, found that the sense of belonging can extend to a desire to help others. In a study he conducted:

  • He placed signs at a hospital’s hand-washing stations.screen-shot-2016-12-04-at-1-37-53-pm
  • Half of the signs reminded nurses and doctors that hand hygiene protected them from catching diseases,
  • and the other half reminded them that hand hygiene protected their patients from catching diseases.
  • After measuring the amount of hand sanitizer and soap used at each station, he found that 45 percent more was used at the stations referring to patients.

(7) In the Gallup study, employees who did not feel connected to the company’s mission or its leadership were more likely to quit than those who felt connected. (1)

Relationships in the workplace can be powerful motivators. Whether the actions manifest as not wanting to let others down or a desire to do their part for the greater good, a sense of belonging increases the employee’s happiness.

Specific Actions to Motivate Employees

Just as employees are individuals, every organization is unique. This means that not every approach is suitable for every situation.

However, here are some actions that can help motivate your employees.

1. Be fair. Employees who perceive that you are “playing favorites” are not going to be highly motivated.
2. Give employees sincere praise frequently. Let them know that you appreciate the fact that they worked over the weekend to conduct an inventory, for example, or that you found the new format used for a report to be a great improvement.
3. Host company parties. Group activities can help build camaraderie and promote a sense of belonging. Throw monthly birthday celebrations for employees, host a company picnic or organize a potluck luncheon.
4. Recognize the personal and professional accomplishments of employees. Include a blurb in the company newsletter, take the employee to lunch or just make an announcement.
5. Find out what employees really want. Allow employees to respond to a survey anonymously or put up a suggestion box. Some employees might be motivated by flex time, others by opportunities to cross-train and still others by increased mentoring. Once you know what they want, you can decide whether it is possible to provide the opportunities they prefer.
6. Take a genuine interest in your employees, especially in their career goals. Discuss possible paths they can take to move up in the company, for example, or inquire about their progress if they are taking night classes to improve their skills.
7. Allow employees to take responsibility for their own work. Make sure that they understand the goals, any relevant deadlines and the quality of work they need to produce, but let them decide on the order of tasks and the methods they use to accomplish them.
8. Give employees the opportunity to prove themselves by giving them special assignments that will challenge them. If they succeed, praise them. If they fail, refrain from criticism; ask them what they would do differently next time or similar questions that will allow them to identify their own mistakes.

In conclusion, there are many ways to motivate employees, but for most, money is a bad motivator. If you still doubt that fact, ask several parents two questions.

screen-shot-2016-12-04-at-1-43-23-pm1. Without a safety net or harness, would you walk across a 6-inch board suspended between two skyscrapers for $1 million? Most people will say that they would not take the risk.

2. Without a safety net or harness, would you walk across a 6-inch board suspended between two skyscrapers to save your child’s life? Most parents would.

You see, despite the cynicism that has become increasingly prevalent in modern business, there are simply some things that many people are not willing to do for money that they would readily do for a different motivation.

Knowing what your employees want is at the core of a good company culture and workplace climate.
EPIC By Clarity Wave can help you find out what people want and chart a clear roadmap to help you achieve a more productive team.
Schedule a demo with us today and find out how we can help your company increase your employee engagement.

(1) http://www.gallup.com/businessjournal/106912/Turning-Around-Your-Turnover-Problem.aspx
(2) http://www.incentivemag.com/Strategy/Engagement/Study–Money-Not-a-Top-Motivator/
(3) https://hbr.org/2014/07/make-sure-your-employees-emotional-needs-are-met
(4) http://www.simplypsychology.org/maslow.html
(5) http://ideas.ted.com/what-motivates-us-at-work-7-fascinating-studies-that-give-insights/
(6) http://www.businessnewsdaily.com/75-autonomy-keeps-employees-happy-study-finds.html
(7) http://www.nytimes.com/2013/03/31/magazine/is-giving-the-secret-to-getting-ahead.html?ref=magazine&_r=0&pagewanted=all

Positive Workplace

How to Be More Positive in Our Workplace

In general, happiness depends greatly on how we perceive life and what we focus our attention on.


You can easily be more positive at work


When we are the type of person who sees the glass half full, we are more likely to be happy, as opposed to when we perceive the glass as half empty. The filters or glasses we put on to look at life are one of the most important factors contributing to our emotional state.

That said, we can do conscious exercises that quickly help us change the mood we find ourselves in. We can create habits that will help us focus on gratitude and having a positive outlook in life, which, if perfected, is a task that will give us a life full of happy and fulfilling moments.

Below are some ideas of habits that are highly effective in generating a positive approach and therefore leading to greater gratitude and happiness in our daily lives:


1- Keep a notebook in which you write at least 3 things you are grateful for.

It has been proven that when people take the time out of their busy schedules to be appreciative and thankful for what they have, their level of happiness increases.

2- Take 10 conscious and deep breaths during the day.

Oxygenating the brain and doing conscious breathing helps relax the body and mind, leading to states of greater contemplation and joy.

3- Listen to your favorite tune or melody.

Indeed, music is a great tool to change your mood and has been proven to have therapeutic effects on the brain. Also, instrumental music without any lyrics is a great performance enhancer.

4- Recognize the great work of your colleagues.

Congratulating your coworkers helps create a positive and encouraging ambience for others to do the same with you. When we focus on what we do well, we tend to be happier than when we focus on our failures and those of others.

5- Take philanthropic action.

By feeling useful and meeting your needs to contribute to humanity, you´ll feel like a better human being. Doing volunteer work and being a good Samaritan is another great way to increase your level of happiness.

6- Smile more often.

Multiple studies show that people who smile more frequently often experience greater joy than the ones who only use a smile from time to time.

Just by practicing a few of these habits consistently, you will see your mood transforming into a more relaxed, positive and harmonious state.

When your focus is on the wonderful things out there in life, you will become more aware of the wonderful things that happen to you in your daily life and you will be able to admire the “small” big miracles of life more easily.


While it can’t play your favorite tune, EPIC, Employee Perceived Image of the Company® allows your team members to recognize their co-workers in a fun and engaging way. Click here to set up a demo with us today and find out how we are helping thousands of employees be more engaged in their companies.

What are the Real Costs of Employee Turnover

What Are the Real Costs of Employee Turnover?

In the current economy, some managers claim that they do not need to worry about retaining employees. They argue that workers should be happy to just have a job, and if any employee fails to appreciate all that the company is doing for them, he or she is welcome to leave. Managers assume that employees are not likely to quit a job that offers the security of a regular paycheck. According to the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics, however, that is not correct. The BLS report for June 2016 revealed that 2.9 million workers quit their jobs during the month, which was equivalent to 2 percent of the workforce. During the same period, there were only 1.6 million discharges and layoffs. (1) Obviously, not all employees are desperate to keep working at a job they do not enjoy or for a company to which they feel no loyalty. Employee turnover can have a serious impact on the health of an organization, but many managers are unaware of the actual costs that the company will pay to replace an employee.


What Are the True Costs of Turnover?

Some of the turnover costs can be easily quantified and tracked. Although indirect costs do not appear as a separate item on the income statement, they still affect the bottom line. Quantifiable costs include the expense of placing a classified ad or online job posting, headhunter fees, specialized formal training and relocation expenses for a new hire. Some companies pay the travel expenses for out-of-town candidates. It may also be possible to assign a dollar value to the time spent by the human resources department to sort through resumes and screen applicants.

“…it may be a year or more before the new hire’s productivity reaches the level of his or her predecessor”

The quantifiable costs are not insignificant, but they are only part of the true costs involved. A new hire will have to be onboarded and trained, so his or her productivity will be minimal initially. In addition, the employees assigned to complete these tasks will have their productivity reduced. Depending on the job, it may be a year or more before the new hire’s productivity reaches the level of his or her predecessor. Even in an entry-level job that requires little training, new hires are seldom as efficient as experienced workers. This is true whether the new hire is a restaurant worker, a receptionist, an accountant, a hotel housekeeper or a C-suite executive.

screen-shot-2016-09-14-at-9-09-44-pmWhen an employee leaves, knowledge is lost. Perhaps the former employee had learned shortcuts that allowed greater efficiency in the completion of tasks. Perhaps he or she had acquired relevant information about certain clients or developed a special rapport with them.

Maybe he was the only employee who knew how to make the aging copier work properly, or maybe he had a unique filing system that is unfathomable.

Another consideration is what the departure of an employee can mean for the remaining staff. Until the vacancy is filled, someone is going to have to take up the slack. Exempt employees may object to having to put in extra hours, and even if they do not voice their feelings, the quality of their work may suffer. Some non-exempt employees may welcome the overtime pay, but others may be more interested in having their time free than in the money. Many employees will begin to feel stressed, overworked and unappreciated, which means that they are more likely to seek another job.

screen-shot-2016-09-14-at-9-12-46-pmThere will also be tasks that fall through the cracks. Customers are not being engaged as they should, which could result in decreased sales. Filing backs up to the point that no one can easily find what they need. It may be impossible to meet the demand for service calls with the current staff. Potentially, a million small tasks could be neglected until they pile up into major problems.


The Mathematics of Employee Turnover

“Direct costs can be as much as 60 percent of the former employee’s annual salary”

When it comes to assigning a specific amount to turnover, the experts are not in agreement. However, the Society for Human Resource Management (2) has conducted extensive research on the subject. SHRM estimates that the direct costs can be as much as 60 percent of the former employee’s annual salary and that total costs can be as much as 200 percent. An average company loses 12 percent of its pre-tax income to turnover costs, according to the SHRM, and companies with excessively high turnover rates lose almost 40 percent.

The Center for American Progress, also known as CAP, provides different estimates. (3) CAP estimates that it costs 16.1 percent of the annual salary if the job pays no more than $30,000, 19.7 percent if the job pays between $30,001 and $50,000 and 20.4 percent for jobs paying between $50,001 and $75,000 annually. For senior executives or those holding jobs requiring stringent educational credentials, CAP estimates that costs can be as much as 213 percent.


All estimates stated by SHRM and CAP include both tangible and intangible costs. To illustrate the mathematics, the CAP estimates will be used. Assume that a company has 100 employees earning $25,000 per year. If 2 percent of them quit each month, that is equivalent to 24 employees per year. At 16.1 percent, it will cost $4,025 to replace each employee who quits. This yields a total of $96,600 for replacing these employees.

Employee Turnover Costs 1

Now assume that the company only had 18 employees quit who earned $25,000 annually. However, three supervisors also quit, and each of them earned $45,000 per year. Two middle managers earning $60,000 annually quit as well as a senior executive earning $125,000. The math is as follows.

18 employees @ ($25,000 x 16.1 percent) = $72,450
3 employees @ ($45,000 x 19.7 percent) = $26,595
2 employees @ ($60,000 x 20.4 percent) = $24,480
1 employee @ ($125,000 x 213 percent) = $266,250

The grand total is $389,775, and that is using the lower estimates. Based on the estimates provided by SHRM, the direct costs alone could easily reach $498,000. Most companies could find better ways to spend this money.

Employee turnover costs 2

Why Employees Quit

Employees quit for a variety of reasons. Some never intended to stay beyond a certain point. Perhaps they wanted to have their student loan paid off or have a certain amount in their savings account. They may leave to follow a spouse who has been transferred or to stay home with the children. Maybe they want to go to medical school and know that the demands of their education would conflict with the job. There is not much that an employer can do to retain this group of employees.

Employee DissatisfactionHowever, most employees leave because of dissatisfaction.

-Contrary to what many believe, dissatisfaction with salary is not the leading cause.
– Conflict with a supervisor or co-worker, feeling undervalued, a lack of critical training and the belief that career advancement is impossible all rank higher than salary disputes.
– Employees who have been with the company for only a short time often claim that the realities of the job were not what was presented to them during the hiring process.
– Employees with several years of tenure frequently cite factors such as being passed over for a promotion or being treated unfairly.

The basic key to employee retention is employee engagement

Although many employers try to understand why employees leave, it is often more beneficial to examine why employees stay. The basic key to employee retention is employee engagement.
SHRM divides employee engagement into three categories: links, fit and sacrifice.

Connections and LinksLinks are the connections that employees have with their co-workers, mentors and work groups as well as ties to the community.


Fit describes the degree to which employees view themselves as a good fit with their company, job and community.


Sacrifice represents what the employee would give up to leave the job.

Employees with strong links tend to have more difficulty leaving their friends at work or relatives in the community. Fit can imply that the employee believes that he or she excels at the job or embraces the values of the company, but it can also imply how well the employee enjoys the community. For example, employees who are avid snowboarders might not enjoy working and living in South Texas as much as they would enjoy other parts of the country. Sacrifice can involve forfeiting incentives that the company has tied to tenure, selling a beloved home or having to transfer children to a different school.

Employers can take steps to foster employee engagement in all three categories.
They might, for example:

  • Encourage employees to participate in local charity events,
  • Foster collaborative efforts,
  • Offer benefits that require a specific tenure or
  • Provide special benefits that would be difficult to find with another company.

Having a third party administer surveys to employees is an excellent way
to obtain the information needed

However, it is impossible for an employer to know what will engage employees without asking them. Employees are unique individuals who have different motivations, desires, dislikes and lifestyles. The problem arises when employers try to convince employees to share all of this with them. Employees may feel that they could suffer for their openness or say the wrong thing. Having a third party administer surveys to employees is an excellent way to obtain the information needed without the time and frustration that can be involved when attempting to get honest feedback from employees.

Surveys can cover a wide range of areas, including the employee’s relationship with his or her immediate supervisor, overall job satisfaction or training needed. Employees can be asked how well the job duties were explained during the interview process, whether they feel their work is sufficiently challenging or what benefits are most important. Employees may reveal whether they believe that the work they do matters, have pride in their employer, feel appreciated and believe that they have a future with the company — all of which are hallmarks of an engaged employee.

Retaining top talent can be challenging, but replacing them can be much more difficult. No single strategy for employee retention will work for every employer, but every employer can find a strategy that will work.

If you want to learn more about how to conduct real-time employee surveys without going crazy in the process visit ClarityWave.com to learn more about our Employee Engagement software, EPIC™



Working with Millennials

What’s it really like to work with Millennials?

MillennialsIt’s well known that some like to throw around the term “narcissistic” and subsequently write off the most recent generation to hit the professional workforce. But, as time has been able to tell a little more detail about them, the Millennial generation acts in very similar ways to those that have come before it.

Some of their more unique traits, though, are as follows:

  • A confidence (and potentially overconfidence) in both their worth as an individual and the role that they play on any team

  • A willingness to and enjoyment in working as a team

  • An incredibly structured mindset that has provided the positive of seemingly tireless workers and potential negative of being unable to handle excess time

  • A positive attitude toward the future that allows them to be far more trusting in their superiors and government than the generation that preceded them

While they may be young and seemingly innocent, this generation holds the future in their hands. Below are some ways to help you understand the best ways to work with Millennials and some things to avoid when trying to keep them happy.

Work-life Balance

As the manager or team leader of a group containing Millennials, it is important to make sure that they feel their workplace is balanced well with their home and personal life. If they are working long hours, promote events that they may invite someone to join them in or, if a business event, that they can then bring something home from.

If you are working under a Millennial, ask them about their home life and, whatever you may be thinking, be supportive.

Like the baby boomer generation, Generation Y is also money-motivated.

Research shows that they tend to switch jobs more often than other generations due to seeking a higher wage. For this reason, encourage your Millennial coworker to apply for raises or promotions within the company. If you are working under one, be aware that their drive to earn more money may affect how they view your performance, and try to not take critique too personally.

Social is key

If you are working nearby Millennials, you know how true it is that this generation loves to be social. However, there is a hoard of online social media sites that attest to this fact if you’re closest neighbor is the wall. If you are one of the Gen X’ers, you may find their social rambling seemingly void of higher thought and motivation. But beneath some of the more surface talk are individuals who are highly motivated by a positive view of the future. Encourage them to harness their positivity toward making their immediate surrounding a better place and you may just have the next great idea.

Always on the move

As the manager of people belonging to Generation Y, you may notice that they never seem to be still. Having been raised during the technological revolution, these individuals can handle the tech side of a job while planning their next adventure with their buddies. To an extent, this ease of multitasking is incredibly beneficial. As the manager, though, you need to monitor employee engagement and keep them occupied with tasks that focus on them getting one job at a time done successfully. If they feel they are not being challenged, not only will they be bored, but they may just leave altogether.

Praise often and generously

Generation Y is not one to suspect your praise of their work. Take the time to acknowledge their effort and success, as it will keep them loyal to you as a friend, employee, or coworker, and loyal to the company as a whole. If there isn’t praise to be given, then choose to speak candidly and to the point. Communicate with them quickly over messaging or emails. These workers do not “beat around the bush,” and would rather that you don’t either.

Finally, as mentioned, Millennial’s view the future in optimistic terms. For the workplace, this means that no task is unsolvable. Let their natural flare for group work bring about a successful result. If you are on a team with a Millennial, try your best to absorb their energy. For Baby Boomers this may not be as difficult, but for those in Generation X, it may prove to be a challenge. If you’re struggling to channel your inner sunshine, then find the task that needs done and help the team carry on.

EPIC by Clarity WaveReal-time tools like Clarity Wave’s EPIC PRO™ allow Millennials to quickly and easily express their opinions and perceptions of their workplace and coworkers in a safe and anonymous environment. It also fosters a community-building environment that allows people to praise their peers with a variety of badges and stickers.

Working with Gen X’ers

Generation X entails those born anywhere from 1965 to 1980.

Generation X'er ManGrowing up in this fast-paced era has provided some incredibly eager and adept people. While the preceding and following generations tend to see positives and place trust in institutions, Generation X is the opposite. Some of their leading characteristics are:

  • A pervading cynicism of anything that stays positive or seems “too good to be true”

  • An individualistic drive that spurs them to take pride in being able to do everything on their own

  • An adeptness to technology that did not exist before, as they were the generation growing up with each advance and learning to manipulate devices at a young age

  • A flexibility in both personal and professional circumstances, resulting in their being able to leave jobs at a higher rate

While their strong personalities might offend some, it doesn’t mean they aren’t essential parts of the team. The following information may be a good guide to use when seeking to keep a happy workplace with individuals from Generation X.

This is the generation that prefers you to simply lay out the task before them and tell them how to complete it. Tying in mission statements and how their effort makes you feel might actually deter their desire to complete the task, so just keep it simple. These individuals have lived through many economical highs and lows, and tend to be distrusting of both the good and the bad times. As their fellow coworker, try not to take it on yourself to correct their personal views, and just let them work.

Employee surveys show that:

  • Communicating with Generation X’ers is best done by email. Keep things formal and to the point, just like you do with face to face conversation.
  • Too much positivity from their boss tends to be met with skepticism,
  • while too much from their peer or subordinate can be met with anything from mild indifference to outright annoyance.

You might love that your cat just learned the alphabet, but to a Generation X’er, that was five minutes of their work day that could have been spent completing a task.

To ensure employee happiness, keep someone of this generation engaged in solving a task. These workers tend to be very efficient and creative thinkers, and if you loosen the leash and allow them to think outside the box and create their own solution, you’ll probably love what you get. As a manager, you won’t have to be as concerned over employee engagement with this generation. They love the feeling of finishing a job and doing it well.

Compliment or reward this individual directly after they have done something noteworthy. As mentioned, they tend to be cynical. If your compliment is too late in taking place, they may be wondering just what you want from them. On the same note, don’t over compliment. If you are working underneath Generation X’ers, it may be best to avoid complimenting at all if not done in group settings. When appropriate, however, keep compliments simple and matter-of-fact.

While it may be frustrating to feel like they tend to be on the negative side during team meetings, these workers will usually offer their own idea if they don’t like the ones being given. Try to view their critique as a way of achieving the best results for the task rather than outright attack on your worth as a human.

Boomers may be hesitant to serve under Generation X.

Because this generation places high value in keeping time for home life, there tends to be more flexibility in the workplace allowing for employees to take time for their families and personal life. Take this as a sign of higher efficiency instead of a sign that the company is about to fail.

Overall, Generation X’ers bring incredible work ethic to the team.

Be sure to keep it simple and direct when communicating and let their natural ingenuity lead the way when appropriate. The best workplace is one that manages hard work with time spent enjoying life. This generation is one that understands the value in working efficiently and enjoying the leisure that is earned.


Real-time tools like Clarity Wave’s EPIC™ allow Gen X’ers to quickly and easily express their opinions and perceptions of their workplace and coworkers in a safe and anonymous environment.

If you want to learn more about how to conduct real-time employee surveys without going crazy in the process visit ClarityWave.com to learn more about our Employee Engagement software, EPIC™


Schedule a demo to see how EPIC™ by Clarity Wave can help you have more engaged employees and improve your company’s culture.

Working with Baby Boomers

Working with Baby Boomers

Working with Baby BoomersThe baby boomer generation has perhaps been one of the most notable generations in the recent century. The generation following what has been termed “The Great Generation,” baby boomers were born after World War II between 1946 and 1964 and grew up in the 50’s, 60’s, and early 70’s. This generation typically involves the following:

  • Eager and devoted work ethic that seeks to be rewarded with monetary compensation
  • A “work hard, play hard” mentality
  • Individualistic and independant mindsets that enable them to work their best when taking charge of a project alone
  • A competitive nature which seeks to perform well both for themselves and in front of others

Working with the baby boomers can seem intimidating due to what feels a potentially larger age gap than what you may be used to, but you will discover that they are excellent workers when they know the goal. Below are some tips and techniques to consider when trying to keep a happy and productive work environment with a baby boomer.

The Baby Boomer’s Relationship With Technology

A major thing to consider when working with any baby boomers on your workforce is that they have lived through major technological improvements. They may be struggling to keep up with each new update and advance. When handing out assignments or seeking for effective motivation, consider possible tutorials a baby boomer may be able to take advantage of to successfully complete the task. Coating the request with a compliment won’t hurt, either.

Baby Boomer WomanBaby boomers are dedicated employees.

Employee surveys show that they plan to work much longer than the generation before them. They are known for working with vigor and efficiency. As a peer or subordinate, it would be wise to recognize their hard work by responding to messages or acknowledging their years of experience. Likewise, if you are in a management position, allow them a moment in the limelight to show their knowledge and display their effort.

This generation is extremely money motivated.

They put in long hours so that when they aren’t working they can use their paycheck to relax in style. If there is a project that offers a higher payout, the baby boomer will get the job done while simultaneously packing for the cruise he just earned. Millennial’s may not understand this drive as much, and tend to want to work smarter, not harder.

Potential frictions and conflicts

The significant age gap that may occur between the separate generations in the workforce has the potential to cause conflict. Since the baby boomer will have potentially up to 50 years more life experience than the younger Millennial’s, tension may arise when their younger counter parts begin to climb the ladder and excel. To manage this, direct attention toward the achievements and capabilities of individual members of the team. Back in the day, baby boomers were the generation that brought about the Civil Rights movement and the rise of feminism. The realm of the individual is almost like home for them.

If you are on the receiving end of any hostility, don’t feel too overwhelmed. Like many other areas of life, some people are skilled in areas you are not. Endeavor to find those areas in your baby boomer coworkers, and remind yourself of your own strengths. It just may be that that the individual feels that his job may be threatened by your work.

While it may not be your duty to reassure the baby boomer that you won’t be moving into their office next week, it could go a long way in keeping a peaceful work environment. As a manager, it is you job to keep workflow producing and ensure employee happiness. Take time to calm any potential fears a member of this generation might have, as it will help them move on with their projects. You might even give them specific projects that appeal to their strengths and years of knowledge in the field.

If possible, have their work ethic be a source of inspiration for younger generations. As a subordinate of the baby boomer, take notes. While you may not agree with them on how to run your social life, you should be able to find the innovations they have contributed to the company that actually make your job easier.

EPIC PRO Employee Engagement SoftwareReal-time tools like Clarity Wave’s EPIC PRO™ allow baby boomers to quickly and easily express their opinions and perceptions of their workplace and coworkers in a safe and anonymous environment.

If you want to learn more about how to conduct real-time employee surveys without going crazy in the process visit ClarityWave.com to learn more about our Employee Engagement software, EPIC™


Schedule a demo to see how EPIC™ by Clarity Wave can help you have more engaged employees and improve your company’s culture.

How to Shield Yourself from Secondhand Stress


The roots of secondhand stress.

Ever had your perky mood instantly brought down by the negativity and complaints of co-workers around you causing you secondhand stress? Ever felt demotivated to go to work knowing you´d be entering a field of stress and toxicity for the rest of the day?

It´s no secret that our brains easily respond to emotional contagion, such as smiles, yawns, and yes, stress. The simple fact of observing someone who´s feeling stressed can directly affect our nervous system and spike up the levels of cortisol, also known as the “stress hormone”. You don´t even have to hear or see the stressed out person; you can smell them. That´s right, stress causes people to sweat out stress hormones, which are picked up by our olfactory senses. So, negativity at your workplace can literally drift right into your cubicle.

There usually isn´t much we can do to change the people or environment around us. But we do have the power to change our response and shield ourselves from those storms of negativity.


Here´s how:


Don´t engage in their drama.

Instead of feeding the stress, complaints or victimization by responding with comments such as “awwwwwwww” and ooey gooey “oh my god poor youuuu” or with an equally stressed out energy, try to bring back your focus on the task at hand or the subject of your work related interaction. You can even practice compassion for their state and ask if there is anything you can do to help them out.

Another way is to simply avoid interaction altogether whenever possible, until the storm has passed.


Don´t take it personal.

When someone´s stressed out, he or she might lash out at anyone or anything having the misfortune of being in his or her way. So don´t hook into it, even though it may push certain buttons of offensiveness, anger or insecurity within you. Keep in mind that it has nothing to do with you. This is their own projection.


Build your shield.

Create a positive routine every morning before going to work, such as writing down 3 things you are grateful for, writing an email praising someone or giving them love, doing a meditation or even some early morning exercise. “Exercise??!” You may ask. Yup! Exercise is one of the most effective ways to build self-esteem, as your brain records a victory every single time you exercise via the release of endorphins.



Here´s a quick and easy way to come into your center, no matter what your background or experience is.

It´s called the “Coming Home Breath” or the “Cleansing Breath”, by breath expert Dan Brule. The Coming Home Breath is basically an exaggerated sigh of relief. It involves a full expansive inhale with a quick and total release of the exhale. It´s actually a natural automatic response to a change in our physical, emotional or psychological state. When we move from a state of pain to no pain, or from fear to no fear, the sigh of relief naturally happens by itself. And when we consciously give ourselves a sigh of relief, we naturally move our system toward a state of comfort and pleasure.[1]

It´s a way to trick your mind into thinking “I made it home, I can relax now”. You know that breath you take when you´ve had a long day at work; you arrive home to your spouse or favorite pet and drop into your comfy chair, a nice drink in your hands….“aaaaaaaaaaaaah”.

This technique is a great and easy tool to use at work; unnoticed.


Create new and positive responses.

Instead of lashing out yourself in response to other people´s stressed energy, turn it around! Return your co-workers’ stressed nonverbals with a smile or a nod of understanding.


Avoid negative exposure to social media and news articles.

Continuous exposure to such frequency can easily spike up your cortisol levels and encourage your system to “tune into” stressful vibrations and thus easily respond to.


Surround yourself with only people who are going to lift you higher.” – Oprah Winfrey

Work with and hang out as much as you can with people who have an uplifting energy, praising other people for their work or character instead of hanging out with the bullies, gossipers and complainers.



So here is our selection of ideas you can choose from in order to build a stronger immunity to stress. Remember, you can´t always change your environment, but you do have the power to choose your response and action to any situation

If you want to learn more about how to conduct real-time employee surveys without going crazy in the process visit ClarityWave.com to learn more about our Employee Engagement software, EPIC™


Schedule a demo to see how EPIC™ by Clarity Wave can help you have more engaged employees and improve your company’s culture.

[1] http://www.breathmastery.com/two-core-techniques-in-breathwork/


What kills employee motivation?

What are the main factors that discourage employees?

According to the eminent businessman and writer Dale Carnegie, employees do not resign from the company but from the people with whom they don’t want to work. This maxim is completely true in 100% of the cases. However, when an employee decides to quit his or her job, everyone loses. And almost always, the company is the most harmed.

We must bear in mind that it usually takes several months for the average worker to start to become profitable for the company. Each new addition to the company involves considerable expense until the worker begins to be efficient and productive. If after months of preparation, the employee decides to leave, for whatever reason, the company must re-invest time, money and resources on another worker, multiplying the expense and subtracting the benefits. In other words, dissatisfied workers decrease the productivity of the company.

The great challenge: How to motivate your staff?

Therefore one of the major saving measures for companies will be to retain the loyalty of their employees. Not an easy task at a time when mobility is on the agenda. To achieve employee loyalty and improve productivity, the creation a good working environment is a priority.

Generally, workers migrate to companies that offer better wages and economic incentives. However, contrary to popular belief, the economic factor is not the main reason for dissatisfaction among employees. We will have to dig deeper in order to find out and know the real reasons why they feel unmotivated and seek to achieve their goals in other companies.

If the economic factor is not decisive, what are the real reasons for dissatisfaction?

  • Feeling ignored during a promotion. For a worker, there is nothing more frustrating than to realize that no one considers their worth, expertise and that others less capable or less experienced are promoted before them.
  • To discover that they earn less than other employees performing similar work .
  • They receive very low salary increases or even none.
  • There are no clear guidelines as to how to perform the work nor a good internal communication. This causes the worker to feel confused, disoriented and frustrated.
  • Loss of empathy and confidence in the leaders and superiors.
  • Within the company, there are no opportunities for promotion or advancement.
  • The worker feels his or her effort and value are not adequately recognized by the company.
  • When the work requires a considerable effort, too much stress, anxiety and fatigue or a sacrifice of personal and family life.


According to a recent study by Forbes magazine, the reasons for dissatisfaction among employees are very significant and should be taken into account:

  • More than a third of workers see themselves working in a different company in the next 12 months.
  • Almost half of the employees do not identify themselves with their bosses.
  • The career goals of more than 60% of employees do not agree with their superiors’ plans for them.
  • Only about 25% of workers believe that their work is recognized by employers.

The search on how to get your employees’ best performance, productivity and satisfaction is our goal and guarantee of your success.

Happy employees are the basic engine to increase productivity. There are strategies to improve the organizational climate of your company that will help you achieve more easily the success you expect . At Clarity Wave we have developed EPIC™, a new system that holds the keys for saving costs and increasing profits of your company by showing you how to have more productive employees. We carry out a thorough diagnostic of the work environment that will enable your company improve working conditions and productivity.

If you want to learn more about how to conduct real-time employee surveys without going crazy in the process visit ClarityWave.com to learn more about our Employee Engagement software, EPIC™


Schedule a demo to see how EPIC™ by Clarity Wave can help you have more engaged employees and improve your company’s culture.


Felicidad en el trabajo

Why you and your employees are responsible for happiness at work?

Poets, philosophers and artists throughout history have sought to give a definition to the term “happiness”. In short we can say that “it is the state of the person that occurs when it has reached a goal it has set.”

Carita feliz - Happy face. Felicidad en el trabajo

Happiness at work

“Happiness at work” is not just a happy face

If we take the term “happiness” at the  workplace, it entails the successful completion of all the elements and concepts so that we are satisfied with our work. But it would be a good idea if we were to analyze carefully the following points:

  • Although there may be many external factors influencing that there exists a good atmosphere and that the  employees live happily within the company, neither the  excess of amenities nor other facilities will yield happiness. This is something that comes from everyone, you and your employees, with conviction, with courage and determination.
  • Although the term happiness refers to our attitude after obtaining a result, true happiness resides is not in the destination but in the journey. Therefore,in order to feel happy, we should not expect to get what we want, because our attitude begins now at this time.
  • It is necessary for the company to provide a valuable part of the system, so that its employees are happy, but if there are any adverse social or personal situations that may affect happiness, then at this point the responsibility as a company stops. The employees must also have mechanisms to cope with the situation with courage and move forward without affecting their work.The company can only be a source of companionship.

The main asset of the company is the Human  Talent. A beautiful infrastructure, a proper corporate image and the enactment of values, become channels for help, but you are as responsible for so much happiness at work as are your employees.This is because the  infrastructure, the image and the policies, are the  elements that provide the characteristics of the system. Because everyone has in its insides the flame of happiness, this fire is kindled  at every moment, in every adverse situation that can be converted into strength, and on every aspect of our lives.


Let’s recall that much of our existence, is dedicated precisely to the company which has become our second home. Why not make our second home a happy place? It starts with you and your work group, and will be possible with a change of attitude and openness to innovation and an enjoyment of the little moments that life brings.


If you are concerned with how happy are your employees and what to do with this issue, a team of collaborators at ClarityWave® ,our company, has thought of all these situations and strategies and have designed strategies  to measure and make sound decisions in order to increase levels of happiness in your company. Just simply contact us through our websitewww.claritywave.com  and we will give you the right solution.

If you want to learn more about how to conduct real-time employee surveys without going crazy in the process visit ClarityWave.com to learn more about our Employee Engagement software, EPIC™


Schedule a demo to see how EPIC™ by Clarity Wave can help you have more engaged employees and improve your company’s culture.

Empleada satisfecha

Is the employee involvement synonymous with job satisfaction?

Let’s take an example:

We have a great team, a great leader who coordinates the process and continually motivates its employees and values their results, optimal working conditions, that make you want to work and a company that is constantly giving good incentives and worker benefits that allow you to be satisfied. This results inevitably in excellent results for the company because the employee feels identified, happy and involved in his work and strives to do so.

If you were in this case, does this represent for you job satisfaction?

This is where we wonder if these two concepts are synonymous. In practice they are, since it is not appropriate to think I can perform my job well and have the motivation to do it the best way and not be satisfied. We cannot separate one concept from the other as they are tied; satisfaction equals involvement.

It is also likely that situations may arise in which I do my work very well but only to receive a good financial reward, or to achieve a particular monetary objective, but unfortunately this stops to be called involvement. Why? Because when we are really involved as employees, we give our utmost, not only for obtaining personal results, but also in search of the key objectives that the company seeks.

This is where we think that both our satisfaction and the feeling of being involved, represents a comprehensiveness, that concerns all areas of personality, together with the policies and objectives of the organization. A clear example of this is seen in companies like Google, where workers are so much involved that it results in a state of permanent innovation. The creative factor is a key asset in this company, which never gets tired of designing strategies so that its employees remain satisfied and involved with their work.

Is it the responsibility of the company that involvement and job satisfaction be synonymous?

Largely yes, but also the personal contribution is essential. If the company provides all the means, but the attitude of its employees is far from what the plotted objectives and the goal of the company were, then we do not find job satisfaction, and the people are undermining the good name of the company. This is why ClarityWave, an enterprise created to help you look at the degree of satisfaction of your employees, offers your company a complete package of options to determine the degree of satisfaction and involvement of your employees and what to do about how to make good decisions to help improve your productivity, and that of your employees, reducing the permanent rotation which represents large sums. We are looking forward to serving you.

If you want to learn more about how to conduct real-time employee surveys without going crazy in the process visit ClarityWave.com to learn more about our Employee Engagement software, EPIC™


Schedule a demo to see how EPIC™ by Clarity Wave can help you have more engaged employees and improve your company’s culture.

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