More proof that money isn’t the best motivator

If you attended the IAAPA Expo last week, you saw the results of a lot of hard work. Did you know that much of that work was done by volunteers?

Here are some of my favorite volunteers – The IAAPA HR Committee!

Me, Shaun McKeogh, Linda Gerson, Alexis Means, Mike Manassee, Brad Loxley (Missing: Mary Burton)


While at IAAPA, did you…

  • Go to an education session? The people that have been working since January to pick the right topics, speakers and mix of programming for you, along with the speakers themselves, are volunteers.
  • Attend the Brass Ring Awards? The people who sift through the entries and determine the best of the best of our industry… volunteers.
  • Interact with a Show Ambassador? Maybe they checked you into an education session, helped you find Dippin’ Dots or welcomed you onto the bus on the way to Universal. Yep, volunteers.

Why all this talk about volunteers? Because in this day and age of tighter budgets and doing more with less, we have to find out what really motivates people, and I think we can get some really good insight by looking at why the volunteers do what they do.

So why do people volunteer?

They believe in the cause.  Whether it’s helping clean up after Hurricane Sandy or planning education programs, something about the process connects to the individual on a deep level.  They feel “compelled” to do what they can to help.

They feel they can make a difference.  They understand that their contribution of time, effort and care will help someone else grow, learn, or sometimes, survive.

They know they will be supported. Causes are not taken on by individuals, but by teams.  A united front gains momentum through helping others and continuing to move forward, even if it is only an inch at a time.

Let’s apply this to your business…

Do you have a “cause”?  This could be why you are in business, how you want to serve your guests or treat employees.  The cause itself isn’t as important as getting your employees to believe in it.

Can your employees make a difference?  YES, and they can choose to make a positive difference in the lives of your guests or a negative one.  Many people don’t know how they impact the company, so they don’t know what a difference they make.

Are your employees supported?  By you, perhaps.  But what about the rest of the leadership team or the other employees?  No employee is an island.

Remember all the things mentioned above that are accomplished by volunteers?  Now think of the things you struggle to get your employees to do… What’s missing?

Here’s a hint… it’s not money.

Thanks for reading!

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