A lot of companies believe that – in today’s economic climate – good candidates are all over the place just waiting for a job vacancy so they can apply. Not the case I’m afraid -the best candidates are staying put if they have all of the things they need at the company they currently work for and if they are looking, then you’ll be in strong competition with other companies who want their skills and experience too.
So how can your company attract and keep the best? What motivates employees?
Show me the money!
Everyone has different motivations for working. Reasons for working are as individual as the person, but, we all work because we obtain something that we need from work. The something we obtain from work impacts our morale, motivation & the quality of our lives.
Some people work for love, others work for personal fulfillment. Some like to achieve goals and feel that they are contributing to something. Others have personal missions they accomplish through meaningful work, whilst some truly love what they do or the clients they serve. Many like the camaraderie and interaction with customers and colleagues and others like to fill their time with activity. Some employees like change, challenge, and problems to solve - Motivation is clearly individual and diverse.
Whatever your personal reasons for working, the bottom line, however, is that almost everyone works for money.
Compensation, salary, bonuses, benefits, remuneration, money pays the bills! Money provides housing, gives children clothing and food, pays for holidays and leisure time and eventually, retirement. To ignore the importance of money and benefits as motivation for people who work is a mistake.
Fair benefits and pay are the key to a successful company that recruits and retains committed workers. If you provide a good wage for your employees, you can then work on additional motivation issues. Without the fair, living wage, however, you risk losing your best people to a better-paying employer.
In fact, recent research from Watson Wyatt Worldwide in The Human Capital Edge: 21 People Management Practices Your Company Must Implement (or Avoid) to Maximize Shareholder Value, (Compare Prices) recommends, that to attract the best employees, you need to pay more than your average-paying counterparts in the marketplace. Money provides basic motivation.
Ok you pay the Money? What’s Next for Motivation?
Control of their own work inspires motivation: including the ability to impact decisions; setting clear and measurable goals; clear responsibility for a complete or defined task; job enrichment; tasks performed in the work itself; and recognition for achievement.
To belong to the in-crowd creates motivation; receiving timely information and communication; understanding management’s formulas for decision making; team and meeting participation opportunities & visual documention and posting of work progress and accomplishments.
The opportunity for growth & development is motivational and includes education and training, a clearly defined career path, team participation, succession planning – all these things make a difference in motivating your employees.
Leadership is key to motivation – employees want clear expectations that provide a picture of the outcomes desired, with goal setting, feedback and an appropriate structure or framework.
Recognition for Performance Creates Motivation
In The Human Capital Edge, authors Bruce Pfau and Ira Kay say that people want recognition for their individual performance with pay tied to their performance. Employees want people who don’t perform fired, in fact, failure to discipline and fire non-performers is one of the most demotivating actions a company can take – or fail to take. It ranks on the top of the list next to paying poor performers the same wage as non-performers in deflating motivation.
Additionally, the authors found that a disconnect continues to exist between what employers think people want at work and what people say they want for motivation. “Employers far underrate the importance to employees of such things as flexible work schedules or opportunities for advancement in their decision to join or leave a company.
“That means that many companies are working very hard (and using scarce resources) on the wrong tools,” say Pfau and Kay. (p. 32) People want employers to pay them above market rates. They seek flexible work schedules. They want stock options, a chance to learn, and the increased sharing of rationale behind management decisions and direction.
So What You Can Do to increase Motivation and boost Morale?
The key to creating a work environment that fosters motivation are the wants and needs of the individual. Why not ask your employees what they want from work and whether they are getting it? With this information you may well be surprised at how many simple and inexpensive opportunities you have to create a motivational, desirable work environment. Pay attention to what is important to the people you employ for high motivation and positive morale. You’ll achieve awesome business success.