What would your organization’s culture be like if everyone came to work, every single day, with anticipation of only great things happening? Problems would be resolved and relationships would deepen within the teams and mentors. Can you envision your people happy at their job, fully engaged, focused and performing their best? Well, it’s now up to the leadership team to ensure this happens. The last three blogs that I wrote covered the steps to recruit, select, and “wow” your new talent on their first day at your organization. However, the hardest task is to keep them working productively for you. Understanding what motivates any employee is critical in assisting them to reach their highest productivity. Companies, large and small, are realizing that turnover is often their largest unnecessary expense...but that can be rectified. It is interesting that some local companies are so concerned about younger members leaving them short-handed, they have decided not to hire anyone less than 28 years of age! That is going to cause a huge succession issue for the organization down the road. Other businesses are seeking workers outside of our country to acquire the right talent and attitudes for their company. This is hardly a solution for all companies, and our future generations are being affected.
So... what are some of the key motivators for employees to stay?
- Being heard and seen as a valued person
- Having confidence in the organization’s leadership
- Liking the work that they do and using their skillset
- Having made progress each day or week
What Can You Do?Gain as much information on what motivates each of your employees at work. Be curious – ask questions, and create a relationship with each of your employees. Ask them to be specific – what excites them; what are they passionate about; if nothing stopped them, what would they be doing in five years from now? Here's 14 vital motivators... and it’s not necessarily money:
- Give Them A Sense Of Belonging. Talk to them. Find out what they’re passionate about, and let them know how that fits with what the department is doing.
- Demonstrate And Be Accountable. Show through your actions that you value their skills, enthusiasm, comments, creativity, and eagerness to learn. Tell them. Give feedback…and expect it back, when you ask, “How can we help you?”
- Offer Interesting Or Challenging Work That Pushes Them To Grow. Yes...you’ll need to know them well enough in order to place them in appropriate departments, teams, or projects.
- Have Them Work With A Boss And Co-Workers They Like. This suggestion is easier said than done, but you can arrange a meeting with the team manager to ensure it’s a good fit before they begin.
- Share A Mission Or Purpose They Believe In Or Want To Support. If you support a global or community cause, your employees can be excellent advocates for your company. And, this is where you will see some budding leadership skills surface.
- Compensation And Benefits. Always offer a salary that is equal or better than what your competitors are offering. State when or if you will review their salary. Make it very clear what they need to accomplish before an increase will be considered.
- One-On-Ones. Carve out a regular time each week to get a ”health-check” of your employees. They need to know how they are doing; where they can improve, and that you have their back. Recognize, value, and encourage them. Keep it casual as you pass by their station.
- Build Their Confidence On An On-Going Basis. New recruits are often nervous and unsure of themselves. They want to please you and are worried that they may disappoint you. Remember, we’ve all had a “first week” somewhere and that it got better as time went on. For the first several weeks of training, catch them doing something right…and say something.
- Create A Safe Place To Work And Learn. New recruits will appreciate a welcoming space where they can learn and interact with leaders of different ages, experiences, and titles. Often meetings like this will have more value than a promotion.
- Give Examples Of The Performance You Expect. Visuals, examples, flow charts, or previous projects should be offered to your new employees so that they understand the caliber of work you want.
- Innovation And Change. Encourage ideas and input from your employees, even if they are young; be realistic with them about how new ideas will be processed. The key point is that they will be heard and considered, with a follow-up action.
- Mentoring. Mentoring, both up and down the organizational ladder can support and encourage employees to succeed. Both the younger recruits can learn from their more senior mentors, while the senior mentors will learn so much from the younger employees. Not only does this duel mentorship build relationships, but also it is a cost-effective way of improving motivation, clarity and productivity.
- Continuing Education And Professional Development. We live in a world where technology and methods are changing at warp speed. Life-long learning is a necessity, so it’s important for you to decide what extra training the organization will sponsor.
- Work-Life Balance. These days, the employee is given a larger task list with a shorter timeline. This leads to a stressful thought, “I am not getting paid enough for what I do”. If an organization has a solid practice of reducing work load on employees and thus giving a better work life balance then it would also follow that the employees are more likely to view their compensation as fair. The organization will also see the benefits with less absenteeism, stress, behaviour issues, tardiness, and leaving.