Last week, this blog delivered the annual dose of depression that comes when Gallup releases its yearly “State Of The American Workplace” report, confirming that 7 out of 10 Americans merely “show up” on Monday morning and are not engaged in their work.

It’s noteworthy that compensation did not make Gallup’s list of “12 Elements of Engagement.”

And why not? Isn’t it commonly said that many people will do most anything for money, including committing crimes, selling their bodies and taking other great risks?

Look again, with an eye toward compensation, at Gallup’s list of “12 Elements of Engagement.”

Relationship Driven Immediate Job Driven
In the last seven days, I have received recognition or praise for doing good work. I know what is expected of me at work.
My supervisor, or someone at work, seems to care about me as a person. I have the materials and equipment I need to do my work right.
There is someone at work who encourages my development. At work, I have the opportunity to do what I do best every day.
At work, my opinions seem to count. This last year, I have had opportunities at work to learn and grow.
The mission or purpose of my company makes me feel my job is important.
My associates or fellow employees are committed to doing quality work.
I have a best friend at work.
In the last six months someone at work has talked to me about my progress.

Remember the categories “relationship driven” and “immediate job driven” were put forward in this blog and do not reflect the views of Gallup.

In “A Theory of Human Motivation” put forward by Abraham Maslow in 1943, money ranks as a fundamental component of human motivation (if one associates money with access to food, housing and other sources of basic human comfort).

Fusion Leaders understand that the thread of compensation fundamentally weaves throughout most all of these engagement elements that derive from relationships. That’s because compensation is among the most explosive “anti-fusion” elements. The moment any worker concludes that their boss is only in his or her role to serve his or her own self-interests, becomes the moment when that worker disengages. After all, who would want to show up on Monday morning merely to enrich or empower their boss?

That is why perceptions around compensation can destroy most all of the “12 Elements of Engagement” that derive from relationships. Would you feel that your organization even had a true mission or purpose if your boss behaved as if he or she only cared about how much money they take home?

A Fusion Leader understands that relationships thrive when everyone in the organization places the organization’s purpose at an equal level to their own self-interests, especially the self interests of the leader. That “fuses” people together around the organizations purpose. That inspires; and that engages!

Because compensation can become such a combustible source of “anti-fusion,” it begs the question- “how much should the leader pay him/ her self and how much should he or she pay others? Where is the tipping point, when the leader’s compensation grows to a level that it causes workers to conclude that their boss is selfish and merely there to enrich him or her self?

Answering these questions is fundamental to the tenants of Fusion Leadership, which is why the next handful of blog posts will probe these basic questions relating to compensation.