Money can buy you a lot of things, but it can't buy you love. And its seems the same is true in the workplace, where pay and bonuses are unlikely to help drive success.
According to a new study, small-to-medium enterprises that encourage open communication, experimentation and risk-taking among their employees are more likely to see fast growth.
"Our study showed providing financial incentives linked to performance does not motivate staff to learn – money can't buy creativity," said Dr Carol Tan, lead investigator of the study at RMIT.
According to the survey of 253 small business CEOs, learning-oriented firms were more competitive because they could respond quickly to changing markets and unpredictable events.
“Fast-growth SMEs are the high-power engines of our economy, comprising only 3 to 10 per cent of firms but generating up to 90 per cent of employment growth,” Dr Tan said.
“These companies are not just the most innovative and creative, they're also the most learning oriented."
The study supported the argument that bosses need to lead by example, stimulate their employees intellectually and provide a clear route up the company ladder.
“In contrast, our study indicated that learning orientation in a firm is only enhanced when high levels of motivation are maintained and employees are treated as valuable resources,” Dr Tan said.
“Benefits and bonuses have their role, but they do not necessarily mean employees are committed to learning or to the goals of the venture.”