Motivation, Bonuses and Open Source

Let’s start with a few quick observations on money and motivation.

  1. Bonuses can be an easy and expensive way to demotivate staff just as to motivate them.
  2. Experiments consistently show that financial motivation can actually reduce performance particularly on tasks that require thinking … like programming.
  3. If money were the sole motivator then open source would not have transformed the world and society would lose the massive contributions made by other volunteers.
  4. But equally … unfair rewards and low salaries can switch off the mind of your team.

So why do many organizations persist with financial bonuses as their core incentive?  What’s the right balance of rewards?

Read on…