I found this over on Jeff Atwood's blog today. Jeff was explaining issues around the Stack Exchange on Stack Overflow and spoke about what motivates employees. What is interesting is that money was not the top item on the list. Jeff was influenced by Dan Pink of the RSA org’s TED talk and other works.
The notion that money motivates employees comes from classical economics study of the Industrial Revolution. Back then people did tasks and built widgets, the more tasks they did, the more widgets they built, the more profit the company made. Today most people work in a knowledge economy. Dan Pink makes the argument that once someone have to use their brain at work, money is less and less of a motivator. I am republishing Dan’s video from YouTube about the “Surprising truth about what motivates us.” Worth watching.