' It's not all about the money ' : The real conclusion from our research and that described in  '' What graduates want '' [ July 23rd ] is that different people want different things.

In a large-scale survey of what motivates business students and professionals, we consistently found that most thought ''positioning'' was the biggest motivation for career opportunities, followed by ''lifestyle'' [ free time and flexibility ].

That was the case before the pandemic. But the data now show a neat flip. It is as of those future opportunities lost their sheen as the very concept of '' future '' grew hazier and more uncertain.

By contrast, the lifestyle afforded by remote work, once the realm of science fiction, was shown to be not only possible but desirable or even necessary. Hence '' life styles '' overtook ''positioning'' for the first time.

Until recently companies focused on the motivating power of compensation, which is appealing  [although with a diminishing return] and easy to measure.

By over-focusing on compensation, employers do a disservice both to the people they are trying to motivate and to their shareholders. 

Why not give a little more autonomy as a reward to the employee who finds it gratifying, a little more recognition for someone who craves that?

You will be fine-tuning your rewards to fit the individual employee, and doing it free.

The World Students Society thanks writer James Waldroop, President CareerLeader, Brookline, Massachusetts.


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