Motivation: to provide a motive. Ok, so what is it that provides a motive for people to work hard, to perform, to reach their goals? And if there are differences among cultures – for example Germany and the USA – re: motivation, what exactly are those differences?
Compensation, literally money earned at the end of the month, is by far the most important factor which motivates Americans to work hard, meet goals, and improve.
In the U.S. career advancement is second to compensation in importance. Americans strive to move up the hierarchy. In fact, advancement often brings with it a significant increase in compensation. They go hand-in-hand.
Americans know that no job is truly secure. Job security comes only through being valuable to the organisation, continuous skills development, steady career advancement, and constant exposure to new opportunities.
Americans want to work in subject matter areas which offer solid compensation, a clear path for advancement, and increasing opportunities and options. The American economy, therefore American companies, value the generalist more than the specialist.
Until recent years work-life balance had been of far less importance to Americans. It is not imbedded in their labor laws. U.S. companies do not yet see it as their responsibility. Work-life balance has, however, become a topic of intense discussion within American society.