Academic journal article ABA Banking Journal

Motivation: It Isn't Always about Money

Academic journal article ABA Banking Journal

Motivation: It Isn't Always about Money

Article excerpt


A motive is defined as something that causes a person to act in a certain way. Determining just what is that "something" is at the heart of any bank's incentive plan.

According to Kathy Smith, president of Bank Compensation Consulting, the most common motives behind incentive programs can be viewed as the four Rs: Rewarding, Recruiting, Retaining, and Retirement. Aside from these drivers, a bank must also have a culture that encourages the achievement of goals.

This one-two punch of the right workplace culture coupled with effective drivers is something understood by Trey Maust, co-president/CEO of $124 million-assets Lewis & Clark Bank, Oregon City, Ore. The bank's "Go Beyond" concept speaks to exceeding expectations, and incorporates quarterly coaching sessions.

Maust further developed the concept by adding incentive programs. Each employee is given three to five goals to accomplish. Maust and the employee evaluate whether the goals were met or not, or were exceeded. Based on this evaluation, each employee is considered for monetary compensation.

The program allows for goal customization and measures work output of those whose tasks are not based on production or easily measured. "I think what's very challenging for a lot of employees that don't have metrics-based results is to determine, 'Am I doing what I'm supposed to be doing, and how well am I doing it?'" says Maust.

He adds: "Motivationally, it's very difficult to just dangle money in front of somebody and have that motivate their behavior. …

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