Although compensation (Gehalt) is important to Germans, it is only one of several factors which motivate them. Nor is it the most important. Germans simply want to be compensated fairly.
Most, but not all, Germans hope to advance within the hierarchies of their organisations. But only if it is line with their area of expertise and work experience. And allows them to maintain a healthy work-life balance.
Job security is for Germans the most important motivating factor. Germans strive for stability, predictability, security. Ideally they’ll work for one employer, in one location, over their entire career.
Germans want to work in subject matter areas in line with their education, training and job experience. The goal is to deepen subject matter expertise. The German economy, therefore German companies, value the specialist more than the generalist.
Work-life balance is of such extraordinary importance to Germans that it is imbedded in their labor laws, in how their companies treat their employees, in their expectations as a society.
Back to Germany.