Are you Listening to your Employees?
When reviewing your balance sheet and looking at the financial status of your company, are you taking into account your most precious and valuable asset, your employees? Recently I was reading the Atlanta Business Journal’s afternoon updates and like all the update emails I receive, there was a poll question.
This specific poll asked, “Would you forgo a raise for one year if it meant your college football team would win a national championship?” Now I immediately answered “NO WAY!” (of course I did go to the only state school in the country that doesn’t have a football team but that is beside the pointJ). Yet when I saw the results, 18% of the people who voted actually said yes. I know I shouldn’t be shocked but I was. There are people who have such a love for their college football team that they would give up hard earned money to see their team take top honors. I will preface it by saying they didn’t say how much the raise would be; in fact 14% did say it would depend on the raise.
So What Drives Motivation?
This really got me thinking about what truly motivates people. Are companies and employers really observing each employee to see what is important to them? Everyone is different so this is not something you can lump into one category, especially when today’s organizations have such a very diverse workforce. What might be motivating and help engage a Millennial may not be the same for a Generation X-er or a Baby Boomer and etc.
For example, I once knew a boss who thrived on competition. If someone called him a loser or told him someone was better than him, it would get him geared up and strive to do whatever it took to be the best. Competition helped him to be successful and he believed that was the case with everyone else. Unfortunately, he couldn’t have been farther from the truth.
What he didn’t see was how such competition could be demoralizing and de-motivating to some, which was the total opposite of what he was trying to do. He couldn’t comprehend the idea that people weren’t motivated the same way he was. Ultimately he it ended up hurting his employees verses helping. Motivating, engaging, and inspiring people are difficult because there is no secret formula and it can be as individually unique as the employees themselves. So ask yourself, “Do I know what my employees want and need to keep them engaged and happy?”
Asking questions are important. When was the last time your company gave an employee survey or took a poll? Are you finding out what your employee wants and needs? Asking these questions will help your employees and your company to be successful. We all know that a successful work force increases performance, which in turn increases revenue and ultimately increases your company’s bottom line.
Now That you are Listening are you Taking Action?
However, you can’t stop there. Are you really listening to what they are saying and taking action? As a recruiter, one of the things I hear the most from candidates who are open to exploring other opportunities, say that their boss, company and organization don’t listen. People want to matter, be valued, and be hard. So it’s not enough to ask the questions, you really have to listen and take action. Your employees want to feel needed and appreciated. Dale Carnegie got it right when he said, “Give honest, sincere appreciation”. You’ll be surprised at how far that will go. Ask your employees how you can help.
There might be some who might scuff at this and think that people should just be happy they are employed. What’s happiness and engagement have to do with work? But with such an attitude the good talents won’t last. Don’t you and your employer want to keep the best of the best?
Think about it and I would love to hear what motivates you. If it is your college football team winning a national championship, good luck and I hope it happens!
Author Name – Judy Goldman Title – Senior Account Manager Location – Baltimore, MD Twitter – @judybbgoldman Byline – Judy has been a recruiter for over 9 years placing individuals in both contract and direct hire roles. She has a passion and love for what she does and is always trying to learn new things about the industry.