I try to be honest and transparent most of the time. It's not easy, but I think it can be useful to surround myself with the people who want me there and that I want there. Honesty is a great way to filter people in and out of your life.
Employee surveys can be difficult, even with the best intention. Surveys are usually used to see how satisfied employees are, so they won’t leave. Most managers want people to stay. Which is useful for most people, most of the time.
Sometimes surveys can help managers understand how employees think and feel about their relationship with their work. But only if people are honest. Which they rarely are.
I'm not certain why people aren't honest with surveys. My guess is they are afraid. They know a lot of their work is meaningless. If they tell their managers, will they catch on and lay them off? Or worse, double their meaningless workload?
It could also be from a lack of trust. 40% of people don't think their boss is competent. 20% of people don't even like their boss. That's a big deal. 25% of employees get more excited about their boss going on vacation than they do! (Want a source for this? Tough luck. I couldn't find the link. So, believe me, I'm a stranger on the internet. I'm just a different stranger than the person who originally wrote this.)
Fear and lack of trust are enough to make people never want to be honest. Especially on surveys. And let's all cut the lie. There is no such thing as an anonymous survey in the workplace.
This question usually comes up in every survey. “What is your biggest motivation for your work?” Or, “why are you here?” An easy answer to this is money. Most people just work for the money. Nothing wrong with that. A lot of people feel they have an impact on their colleagues, customers or partners. That is pretty noble I suppose. And they want more of that. They want to make a difference.
What is my greatest motivation for my work?
I believe people are intended (whether by design or accident) to produce and to serve.
By produce, I mean design/create/build things of value. Most things of value solve a problem or provide a benefit. And by serve, I mean design/create/build for the use and/or benefit of others.
This is deeply ingrained in the human condition.
People are the best versions of themselves when they embrace their intention - to create things that improve the lives of others. When people ignore their intention, they fall in to chaos.
This is my sole motivator for my work - whether its consulting, writing, teaching, cooking, composing or any other task I undertake.
Don’t get me wrong. Money is nice, too. I have some of it and I would like more of it. But my sole motivation is intrinsic. I want to produce and to serve.