One of the main reasons why people report to work is because of the social element. It is not enough to think of financial compensation as the ultimate motivator – it is a short-term motivator at best. One objective of a people strategy initiative is for management to learn what motivates their employees, which requires developing and showing genuine concern for each employee. People are motivated by many different things – private compliments on their work, formal recognition, special assignments –whatever the form, people get results when the work is personally meaningful to them.
A case study of 15,000 people by Jordan Evans Group, found all people to name at least one of the first three of these six motivators:
Exciting work and challenge
Learning and Development
Working with Great People
Supportive Management/Good Boss
All of the above motivators observe an inherently people-centric focus, which does not appear to be coincidental. Ultimately the workplace organization or corporation is made up of a group of people who think like people, and want to be treated like people. This may sound trite, but it must be said, as not too many years ago, machines were thought to be more valuable than the operators. Today, our blind spot may be our over emphasis on processes or more likely, not placing a proper value on the role of people. Most people report leaving a job because no one recognized their accomplishments, not because of poor processes! If we are to trigger good performance, as well as motivate, it must be understood that the most powerful trigger by far is recognition.
This implies that people need to feel that they can talk with management about the aspects of their job that they enjoy most or least, and what they want to do next. This kind of approach focuses on the ‘relational’ aspect of business. The relational factor is a term used by researchers Timothy Butler and James Waldrop, career psychologists at Harvard Business School.
Four Dimensions of Relational Work Model
Acknowledging the role of motivation as a guiding principle is key to a people strategies initiative.