Law Practice Tip #330
August 24, 2014

SCARF motivates employees more than money

Neuroscience research shows that money is not what motivates all your employees or associates to achieve their work performance goals. There’s more. Leaders should implement the five motivators that make up Dr David Rock’s acronym SCARF – Status, Certainty, Autonomy, Relatedness and Fairness.

Some ideas to increase SCARF:

  • Give your employees opportunities to improve and learn, as an acknowledgment of their capabilities. (Status)
  • Publicly acknowledge employees. (Status)
  • Give goals that your employees are certain to achieve. (Certainty)
  • Let your employees be able to count on you and your word – have your meetings start when you say they will start. (Certainty)
  • Let your employees have choices rather than directives – "Here are two ways you could do this, which do you want to do?" rather than "Do this like this." (Autonomy)
  • Encourage comfortable, safe social connections between employees. (Relatedness)
  • Don’t allow cliques that exclude employees. (Relatedness)
  • When budget cuts occur, make sure they are transparent and fair, so that partners experience cuts too, not just lower level employees. (Fairness)
  • Allow your teams/employees to identify their own rules as they compare to others in the firm. (Fairness)

If you’re a solo (as I am) or an employee you can also make sure that you pay attention to these motivators to motivate yourself.

What motivators will you start to implement?

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