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Chapter 16. Unique Motivational Needs of... > Matching Rewards to Professional Cha...

Matching Rewards to Professional Characteristics

How to Really Motivate Technical Experts

Dr. Von Glinow, author of The New Professionals, suggests that the real way to motivate technical professionals is by specifically creating a “new motivational schema”—incentives matched to the individual values and beliefs of the professionals. Interestingly, this motivational model closely resembles the characteristics of a professional association or university. (Research also indicates that technical experts have more loyalty to their academic discipline and alma mater than to their organization).

  Characteristics  Suggested Motivators
1. Expertise Provide for the maintenance and growth of professional skills over time to avoid obsolescence
Quality of facilities (space, privacy, equipment) and facilitative support services
Leaves of absence, seminars, management training, sabbatical (15–20% of base salary)
Development counseling (career-shifting)
2. Ethics Reduce conflicting demands from colleagues, superiors and clients
Allow information sharing with referents outside the firm (publication)
Provide recognition for technical and scientific contributions
3. Collegial Maintenance of Standards Peer and group evaluation and appraisals
Establishment of appropriate evaluation criteria
4. Autonomy Reduce the network rules and regulations for professionals
Protective structures (professional liaisons)
Use of time and funds for personal goals
Removal from physical plant to smaller “garage” environments of “independent business units” to induce creativity and innovation
Freedom to select tasks and projects and to implement one’s own ideas; flexible working hours
Delete “tight” supervisory controls
Delegate decision-making authority
5. Commitment to Calling Establish alternative promotional ladders to allow technical professionals to remain in their specialties (with parity)
Career assessment and development
6. External Referents and Identification Encourage attendance at professional meetings and research presentations
Publish and take out patents and copyrights under professional’s own name



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