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In industries where talent is thin on the ground, finding the perfect candidate can often feel like looking for a needle in a haystack. So how do employers beat out their competitors to ensure they secure the best talent in the market? We take a look at what really motivates employees and how employers should approach their pay and benefits.
Key to talent management and boosting job performance is motivation – and it’s clear that top performers within any company stand out because of their motivation as well as their skills. In a global survey of more than 50 Fortune 1000 companies involving 1.2 million employees, a landslide 85 per cent of all companies polled report that employee motivation declines dramatically after six months.
So how can you turn this around?
It need not be over complicated. Typically people have three broad goals from their work life: equity – to be respected and treated fairly; achievement – to take pride in the job and the results achieved, and camaraderie – to have good work relationships. To keep up morale, management should meet all three – and it’s not enough to achieve one while sacrificing another. For example, improved recognition can’t replace better pay and better pay can’t substitute taking pride in your work.
Instill a purpose
Key to boosting employee enthusiasm is to set a clear and inspiring organizational purpose. Often referred to as a mission or vision the purpose should clearly set out what the company wants to achieve and should focus on the big picture of helping the customer achieve their aim – working towards the greater good if you will – rather than a smaller tactical purpose such as keeping the reports up to date.
Getting recognised for an achievement is one of the most fundamental human needs. Reinforcing an accomplishment means that someone is far more likely to go on to achieve more of them. While this can’t be a substitute for fair pay, a little recognition goes a long way.
Be a facilitator
This is something that many managers fail to grasp. As a manager, it is your role to help your team members get their jobs done. If your mindset is to think of them as your customers rather than your staff, then you’re probably already working as a facilitator – and it will pay dividends. Represent your team, defend their interests at all times and, critically, let people get on with their jobs – you’ll see a huge difference in their response.
Coach to improve
One reason managers struggle to help their team to improve is that they don’t know how to give feedback. The basic principles of coaching can change this substantially. Performance feedback should be given at the time of an occurrence – good or bad – and credit your team with the intelligence that they will want praise where due, or to be told when something has gone wrong. They need to know when they are not performing, so keep feedback relevant to their role and specific to the task in hand. Giving suggestions and allowing the person space to arrive at their own conclusion as to how things can be improved – letting them make a few mistakes if you can – will always bring about the best results.
Most work will be done better by team effort, so create good teams that offer a mix of complementary skills. Organise your employees into self-managed teams, and give them authority over certain aspects of their work. Creating a team has as much to do with camaraderie as core skills. At the same time it is important to create an opportunity for cross-learning and diversity of approach. Set clear objectives and define your expectations to allow your team to flourish.
Ultimately, it’s all about treating people how you’d like to be treated yourself. There are models of team building and employee motivation that you can implement to create a clear path of improvement. One thing is clear: the Millennials and Gen Zers are not going to be happy with what motivated their grandparents. They are seeking flexible working patterns, jobs that they actively enjoy and that fit in with their lifestyle needs and the opportunity to do good in the world.
Get in touch with P3PM to find out how to put in place a strategy of employee motivation that will help you attract and keep the best talent for your business success.
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