How do you motivate the 21st century employee?
It is often said that people are an organisations greatest asset. But it’s not people, it’s talented people who engage, own issues, out-perform peers and have reach for the future that are an organisations greatest asset, whatever generation they come from. Retaining talent is not only good for performance, it is good for profit. A replacement employee with all the associated costs and loss of productivity will cost a business between £34K to £85k. A modern organisation needs to do four things if it is to retain its greatest asset, its talent and maintain its profit levels:
Attract great talent: Any organisation that is ambitious and wants to grow needs to be able to attract talent. This is all about two things: an organisations real values and its presence within the recruitment arena in terms of reputation and current employees.
Develop and retain great talent: If an organisation is to grow it needs to develop its good people and be seen to invest in them so they have fulfilling yet challenging jobs that inspire and motivate them.
Synergise performance across 5 different generations in the workplace: The modern workforce is more generationally diverse than ever before. Different generations have different expectations of their work environment.
- Mature (65+) – Hardworking and trustworthy, they see motivation as a moral obligation.
- Baby Boomers (46 – 64) – Optimistic and goal oriented, they are motivated by affecting change.
- Gen X (31 – 45) – Clever and resourceful, they are motivated by having flexible responsibilities and seeking status.
- Gen Y (under 30) – Resilient and realistic about their futures, they are motivated by challenging and innovative work responsibilities.
- Gen Z (18 and below) – Millennials
How to motivate your staff in effective ways: Talent needs to be engaged if it is not to lose motivation. Every single employee arrives on day one with enthusiasm and expectation and it dwindles as the employee becomes aware of the realities of their role. It often amazes me that leaders often blame the individual for losing motivation without looking at themselves. Good leaders are able to motivate their talent to achieve great things by knowing their needs and their ambitions, by challenging them appropriately to inspire greater performance, by influencing them to develop themselves and supporting them in doing so.
This is a challenge for all leaders and business owners, but one which can be made easier if we have an understanding of what motivates the 21st century employee. While every individual will have their own motivators, there are clear trends and research to show what motivates employees has changed significantly over time and, as employers, we may not be getting it right.
The Gallup “State of the Global Workplace Report (2015)” shares robust research showing that there are now:
- 13% of employees are engaged at work
- 63% do not share this engagement, meaning that they are lacking in motivation and are more unlikely to invest any discretionary effort in company goals or outcomes.
- 24% of employees are ‘actively disengaged’, being unproductive, unsatisfied in their jobs and more likely to spread negative feelings amongst their colleagues
Leaders and Organisations need to reflect on the costs of training and losing talent to truly realise the importance of supplying the right leadership to inspire, influence, motivate and retain talent.
“Start the retention process when the person is still open to staying and not after they’ve already told you they’re leaving” – Jeff Weiner ……. In fact, start it right now!