If you can schedule 10 minutes to watch this fascinating video about motivating high performance, you won't regret it.
In the video Dan Pink explores how humans aren't as easily manipulated as we think, and how classic employee performance motivation schemes (rewarding top performers with monetary rewards) are ineffective.
For simple, straight forward, mechanical tasks, traditional carrot/stick reward schemes work well. However when the task gets more complicated, and requires conceptual and creative thinking, monetary rewards don't work at all.
If you pay people enough so that the issue of the money is off the table, then 3 key factors that lead to better performance and personal satisfaction:
1. Autonomy (self-direction makes employees more engaged, and produces better results)
2. Mastery (people get satisfaction from challenge, and getting better at what they do)
3. Purpose (people like working for organisations that aren't solely concerned with profit: making a contribution and doing something that helps make the world a better place gets you up in the morning and racing to work)