I came across this great article today: “5 ways to keep your rock star employees happy“. I remember listening to Helle H. Hein at the staff seminar this year. She talked about the stereotypes at the workplace; the primadonnas, the performance chasers, the pragmatists and the paycheck driven (shaky translation, I know..). The two first categories of these stereotypes pretty well match what the author of the article calls “rock stars”.
Hygiene factors (as Hein calls it) like salary and other benefits are important up to a certain point. After that, they are necessary, but not the primary care of these “rock stars”. Being praised for good work and constructively criticized when necessary – at the right time during the process – is seen as much more important. Meaningful work and direct feedback from leaders matter more than the “hygiene factors”.
I recommend having a look at the article and Hein`s book “Motivation: motivationsteori og praktisk anvendelse” (if you can read Danish..)