Motivation = Meaningful work + Worthwhile goals

Is it unusual to believe that the best software development jobs aren't necessarily the best paid? I have never seen an employer successfully motivate a software team solely with better pay (though I have seen an employer demotivate a team with 'secret' pay differentials that failed to reflect skills and responsibilities.) I find it useful to reflect on the tension between the desire to earn more money and the satisfaction I already get from the work that pays my salary, especially at a time when the IT job market seems to be picking up and agencies are keen to attract attention with high headline salaries.

As Stever Robins of LeadershipDecisionworks Inc. wrote: You want people emotionally invested in the company's success. You can get that investment by giving them meaningful work in service of a worthwhile goal. Hire people who believe in what you're doing and match them to jobs. If you want to reward their commitment, then give them stock, but make it crystal clear you're rewarding their innate involvement, not trying to buy it.