This is a question endlessly researched by organizations everywhere as they do their best to keep their people happy.
Results from a survey released in October of this year by Mercer, one of the world’s leading HR consulting firms, tell a familiar story about what motivates Canadian and US workers and helps them feel more engaged at work.
Drum roll, please. In order of importance, employees are affected by:
- Being treated with respect
- Work-life balance
- Type of work they do
- Quality of people they work with
- Quality of leadership in the organization
Although the results may not be surprising, what is surprising is that measures of what’s most important continues to remain similar even in the face of economic downturns and challenges.
ACTION: So what do these results suggest about the way we treat each other in our organizations? These approaches come to mind. Pick one and spend some time with it this week.
1. Take the time to acknowledge and connect with the real person behind the box on the org chart. Respect is conveyed through attention and acknowledgement.
2. Become knowledgeable about people’s lives beyond the workplace. Express concern about the impact that expectations in the workplace have on family and community life. Be prepared to help resolve conflicts.
3. Pay attention to the way that jobs are designed. Create opportunities for people to be more autonomous in the way they set their priorities and attack their tasks. Look for ways to connect people to the pieces of the job that give them opportunities to stretch and grow – or use their best skills.
4. Work on yourself. Are you the respectful, kind, thoughtful person that you would be proud to call a colleague? Or do you need to sharpen up your relationship skills?
5. Same story on the leadership front. Learn more about how your leadership approaches and decisions affect others. For this you need honest feedback. Be brave enough to seek it and courageous enough to hear it.
Show me the money may have been the rallying call for Cuba Gooding Junior in the movie, Jerry Maguire. But it’s not the money that makes the biggest difference in today’s workplaces. It’s respect, balance, challenge, relationship and leadership. Which one will you focus on in your workplace?
QUOTE OF THE WEEK: Here’s a challenge for you, Pause readers. I invite you to share your treasured quotes about life balance and perspective. Drop me a line with your favorite words of wisdom . You know – the ones that are posted on your bulletin board, hanging on your fridge, and tagged on to the end of your email signature file. I’ll share the compilation before the end of the year.
RESOURCE OF THE WEEK: Here’s a link to the more complete research results from the Mercer study as reported by the Society for Human Resource Management. The post includes detailed graphs for those of you who love colors, numbers and the nitty gritty on the stats: http://www.shrm.org/hrdisciplines/benefits/Articles/Pages/MotivationKey.aspx
READERS WRITE: In response to last week’s message, Well! Well! Well!, Pause reader DW shares a couple of her own goofy habits, behaviours and beliefs: that the calories she consumes in cashews don’t count because nuts are a ‘healthy’ snack, and that somehow caffeine is a substitute for sleep. By the way, she says she sent this message as she sipped her lunchtime Coke!