What motivates employees to go that ‘extra mile’? – you may be surprised!

It’s Friday, and we know what that means, the weekend is nearly here. Many firms struggle with motivating their staff, especially on a Friday as the weekend fast approaches. Many employers are naïve when it comes to motivation and believe that their staff are motivated by money alone. Employers are always searching for that motivator that will make their employees ‘go that extra mile’ for them. Employee engagement firm, tinypulse, recently conducted a survey asking over 200,000 employees across more than 500 organisations questions on a range of management topics including culture, recognition, grown, opportunities etc. The whole survey was very informative however the results regarding motivation is what I found most surprising.


Every (good) manager is always looking for ways to motivate their staff, so that as a team, and as a company, they continue to thrive. I was shocked to find that money didn’t even make it into the top 5 list of motivators at work! This doesn’t mean people are happy to work for free, but it means that once base salary is agreed, additional bonuses are not as effective as many would think.

And what is number one thing that motivates employees to go that extra mile? Camaraderie in the workplace alongside peer motivation. Some firms see camaraderie as a distraction and enforce strict rules to ensure silent offices. I honestly couldn’t think of anything worse than a silent office for 8 hours a day, it would drive me a little mad. I am a firm believer in that enjoyment in the work leads to a productive, happy workforce.

Take a look at the list below, does this match how you feel about motivation in the workplace?


The results were as follows:

– Camaraderie, peer motivation (20%)

– Intrinsic desire to a good job (17%)

– Feeling encouraged and recognized (13%)

– Having a real impact (10%)

– Growing professionally (8%)

– Meeting client/customer needs (8%)

– Money and benefits (7%)

– Positive supervisor/senior management (4%)

– Believe in the company/product (4%)

– Other (9%)


Admittedly, I was initially surprised at the positioning of camaraderie and money in this list. However, the more I thought about it, the more these results made sense. This survey was conducted across all organisation levels, not just senior management where compensation is high and frequently a major motivator. Also, if you consider several of the top responses in addition to “camaraderie” – for example, “feeling encouraged and recognized,” “having a real impact” and “growing professionally,” they describe the level of positive feelings employees have about working in a particular environment – in short, their attitude toward their corporate culture. 


Corporate culture plays a huge part in motivating a workforce and part of senior management’s role is to spread the desired corporate culture through their team.

The report went on to conclude, “Organizations must start intentionally finding high performing and high culture fit employees.  Further, organizations must be ruthless when it comes to rejecting individuals who aren’t a great fit.” Here at Stage, this is what we do. We know how important it is for a candidate to fit into the company’s culture and we ensure that those candidates we interview for our clients are the correct fit before putting them forward.

You may have read these findings and thought to yourself ‘I would have ranked money as number one’, but the value of the survey is not to gain insight into what you think, but into what large numbers think.

In this instance it shows that when it comes to “going the extra mile,” the overall cultural environment plays a key role in determining how far and fast people will run.

The full report is available here.


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