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 for their work.
Most Germans hope to advance within the hierarchies of their organisations. But only if it is line with their area of expertise and work experience.
Job security is for Germans the most important motivating factor. Germans strive for stability and predictability. Many, perhaps most Germans, prefer to 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 that expertise. The German economy, German companies, value the specialist more than the generalist.
Work-life balance is of such extraordinary importance to Germans that it is embedded in their labor laws, in how their companies treat their employees, in their expectations as a society.