More Valuable Than Money

When most people have a less-than-positive dining experience, a refund isn’t the most valuable thing they are looking for. And when most people come to work they are not only motivated by the value of the money they stand to make that day.

We know this because we have all taken a full refund never to return, and millions of people admit they are disengaged and demotivated at work, all the while cashing paychecks.

Even so, throwing money at people to motivate performance or to make problems go away is a common practice. Unfortunately, this requires little imagination, little effort, and little follow-up. Money is rarely turned down, and who doesn’t want more of it? And when we don’t retain that customer, or motivate that employee we scratch our heads, wonder why, and try the exact same practice next time.

If you’re seeking to make a lasting difference, money can’t be your go-to. What really matters and what most people want is to be seen, heard, and valued.

Imagine if tomorrow everyone you interacted with felt a profound sense of connection and belonging because of how you treated them. How might that change your organization’s culture?

Here are some ideas that are more valuable than money, that cost nothing, that are abundantly available, and that can make a lasting difference:

  • Give your full attention

  • Say “please” and “thank you”

  • Smile, make eye contact, and say “Hello!” to everyone you see

  • Be consistent in your actions

  • Keep your promises

  • Speak an encouraging word to someone

  • Give credit

  • Take responsibility

  • When you’re in the wrong, offer a heartfelt apology

  • Be kind to someone

  • Make time and create space to listen to people

  • Reconcile small hurts

  • Serve a need before being asked

Out of the millions of opportunities that are presented to people all over the world to make a difference every day, my money is on you.


Ryan Bond