Tagged: employee engagement

What is the Primary Driver of Employee Motivation?

Top performers can deliver 400% more productivity than the average performer, a recent study shows.  So, how can the average company transform their workforce to an environment of top performers, and motivate those considered average to elevate their efforts to the next level?

Every person is motivated in different ways, but when it comes down to it, we’re all wired by the same DNA that makes us human.  We took research from several sources to find out what the primary driver of employee motivation really is.

  1. Compensation Incentives

When we refer to monetary incentives that drive employee motivation, we quickly turn our thoughts to salary and hourly rates.  A recent study from Glassdoor indicates that 43% of employees expect a pay raise, and 35% said they would leave a job if they didn’t receive one.  However, dollars and cents are far from the only compensation incentives that drive employee motivation. The same study reports that 79% of employees would prefer new or additional benefits.  Another compensation incentive includes paid leave, and 81% of Americans with a Bachelor’s degree say that companies who offer paid leave better incentivize employee retention and motivation.

  1. Employee Engagement

A study by Dale Carnegie Training noted that “only 29% of employees are fully engaged while 26% are disengaged.” So, how can an organization overcome this pitfall, and what drives true engagement for the average employee? According to William A. Kahn, a sense of meaning within an organization “can be seen as a feeling that one is receiving a return on investments of one’s self”. For employees, these returns can be realized when employees are doing work that challenges them, is varied or is somewhat autonomous. Six out of ten millennials surveyed say they will choose an employee that offers them a sense of purpose.  When companies give their employees a sense of belonging and purpose within the organization, they will perform more effectively and become self-sustainable.  Workers will invest in their own development when they’re incentivized to engage.  This leads us to point number four.

  1. Opportunities in Employee Development

As we stated above, employees expect raises and will be quick to look for a job elsewhere if the opportunity doesn’t arise. If employees feel they’re getting better at their job, becoming more knowledgeable and learning new skills, they shouldn’t be trapped by a metaphoric glass ceiling.  That’s why promoting from within is of utmost importance to keep employees motivated to always improve themselves. Many companies have a tendency to immediately look outside their own walls when it’s time to fill upper-management roles, however, this tactic can send shockwaves of negativity and dissatisfaction throughout the workplace, driving ambitious employees to feel unvalued and unwanted.

  1. Employee Recognition

In today’s corporate world, it is easy for organizations to focus on the product rather the people.  Organizations that invest in high-performing employee recognition programs are some of the most successful, profitable and innovative companies in the world. In fact, according to Gallup’s 2017 State of the American Workplace “highly engaged businesses realize a 17% increase in productivity and a 41% reduction in absenteeism.”  Another survey conducted by SuccessFactors found that the up-and-coming millennial generation want 50% more feedback from their managers and immediate supervisors than previous generations.

  1. Employee Brand

An effective employee brand can convey a sense of excitement that revolves around an outstanding culture.  When an organization builds a brand that encourages freedom and fun, employees’ high morale and energy will stimulate their creativity, collaboration, and innovation. It’s also vital for employees to feel that they are working for a company that focuses on sound morals and ethics.  58% of millennials claim that they would even take a pay cut to work for a company that shares their values.

  1. Work-Life Balance

Some old-timers scoff at the phrase “work-life balance” as it can sound like the lazy man’s excuse to sacrifice hard-work for time off.  However, society has and always will value their time with family and friends more than the hours they spend in the office.  Moreover, the joy of having time-off makes employees feel refreshed when they come back into the office.  This instills a sense of productivity that can be lost when they’re constantly being run down by the mundanity of overworking.  Nowadays, the workforce has realized the importance of work-life integrations, and as millennials continue to dominate the workforce, this matter is becoming the top reason why employees stay engaged in a company. By 2025, 75% of the global workforce will be millennials, and 88% desire quality work-life integration as a top reason to stay with a company

  1. The “Small Perks”

Sometimes the smallest benefits can make all the difference for employee motivation. Perks like periodic free lunches, discounts from corporate partnerships, casual Fridays, snow days or even occasional travel opportunities will increase employee happiness in such a way that they feel motivated to put in hard work as an appreciation of their business’ offers.

Creatively Addressing Workforce Automation

 

Automated technology continues to replace human workers in a wide variety of jobs and industries. This includes the retail, transportation, manufacturing and agriculture industries, just to name a few. Businesses with a backbone comprised largely of brick-and-mortar stores are struggling to keep up with online retailers, autonomous cars are threatening to replace humans in transport jobs, and automated farming technology continues to make leaps and bounds. Furthermore, according to a Harvard Business Review article, “robots have probably taken about 85% of the 5 million manufacturing jobs that have disappeared from the United States since 2000.” Companies are struggling to find a way to adapt their business models to accommodate the rapid replacement of humans in the workplace. The article further states that: “While our first instinct might be to help employees find new jobs, what we really need to do is is help companies shift into new markets focused on human services and adopt new business models that will allow employees, customers, and communities to benefit from technological change.”

More Than a Store

Providing community-focused human services is one way to combat plummeting brick-and-mortar sales, but it isn’t such a far-out proposition as it seems. Walmart, for example, is already rolling out optometry services, beauty salons and restaurants at various locations. Imagine the various potential revenue sources from offering similar services such as day care, elder care or a community meeting space. Doing so would not only give employees being replaced by robots a new job, but it would make businesses an integral part of the community.

Stock Options

Another tactic some companies are trying is offering employees replaced by robots generous stock options. If an employee was replaced, yet holds stock in the company, they could benefit from the increased value as a result of utilizing automated workers. Consider the example of the Chobani founder, Hamdi Ulukaya, who gave 10% of his stock in the yogurt company to 2,000 employees, while the rest received stock options worth about $150,000 each. This approach provides a financial buffer for employees that will suffer from technological unemployment. This tactic is particularly valuable if a company has immediate plans to automate its jobs.

As reliance on enterprise technology continues to grow and automated workers begin replacing humans, companies have a duty to invest in the potential of their employees. While the knee-jerk reaction might be to simply help employees find new jobs, companies that shift into new markets and adapt their business models to allow employees, customers and communities to benefit from technological change will see a prosperous future in automating the majority of their workforce. Want to discover other leading industry trends? Read this article about what HR teams need most in 2017.

 

 

How to Drive True Engagement in the Workplace

employee engagement

 

In today’s candidate-driven job market, employers are challenged with re-thinking HR retention strategies. Because candidates are increasingly influencing retention strategies, companies require a method of identifying which employees are merely satisfied and which are truly engaged.

One of the subtle challenges HR faces is making the distinction between engaged and satisfied employees. This distinction may seem small, but engaged employees and satisfied employees produce very different end results. A 2011 Corporate Leadership Council Study even shows that revenue expectations for companies with highly engaged employees is 23% greater than for those with a satisfied workforce. Engaged employees are enthusiastic about their work and committed to the organization. They are positive, always willing to learn and driven by improvement. On the other hand, satisfied employees are content with their job but generally lack enthusiasm about their status or career path. This can result in employees only meeting minimum requirements and staying comfortably in the same position within an organization.

Whether a workforce is made up of engaged or satisfied employees, understanding the key psychological conditions that drive true engagement can help companies craft winning HR retention strategies.

What Drives True Engagement for Employees

 

Meaning

According to William A. Kahn, a sense of meaning within an organization “can be seen as a feeling that one is receiving a return on investments of one’s self”. For employees, these returns can be realized when employees are doing work that challenges them, is varied or is somewhat autonomous. When employees are micromanaged or expected to complete tasks unbefitting their skill level, they will start to feel their meaning within an organization is trivial, resulting in lower engagement. Additionally, when companies give their employees a sense of belonging and purpose within the organization, they will perform more effectively and become self-sustainable.

Safety

Another key driver of employee engagement is safety. Kahn describes safety in the workplace as feeling able to express one’s self without any negative consequences. By giving employees a safe place to voice their concerns, frustrations and criticism, they will feel valued and rewarded for their engagement. In the same study, Kahn stresses the importance of supportive, resilient and clarifying management in spearheading engagement initiatives. When team leaders encourage employees to provide honest feedback and communication, the result is a greater sense of safety to express innovative ideas.

Capacity

The final condition critical to driving engagement in the workplace is psychological capacity or availability. Kahn’s research found that having the right physical, emotional or psychological resources to personally engage is the key element for properly engaged employees. Providing these resources is best achieved through understanding the talents and motivators of employees. With the understanding of the various skill levels and abilities, companies can challenge employees and nurture their growth, which drives engagement.

By fully understanding the conditions required to convert satisfied employees into engaged top performers, companies can build winning HR retention strategies. Through instilling a culture of meaning, safety and capacity, employers can improve workplace productivity. To increase your knowledge about the effects of employee engagement, explore how disengagement can be threatening the leadership development in your company.

See You at the 2017 Total Rewards Conference

 

If you want to learn more about how to effectively engage employees in the workplace, meet up with us at “Begin with TEEM — Transparent Employee Engagement Model: An Adventure Through the HR Looking Glass” at the #WorldatWork 2017 Total Rewards Conference in #WashingtonDC. See you there!

Begin with TEEM — Transparent Employee Engagement Model: An Adventure Through the HR Looking Glass – Wednesday, May 10, 9:30AM 

Session Leaders:

  • Tammy Sharp, Senior Compensation Analyst, Austin Community College