Motivating and Retaining The Best Employees
This Forbes article on motivating and retaining the best employees contains some very valid points. It’s simple, practical and useful. However, I think its entire premise is wrong. It’s crazy, in this day and age, that we believe or expect managers to believe that not only is it their job to motivate others but that it can be done at all. And by “done” I mean meaningfully, in the long term and able to be maintained without the constant presence of the so-called motivating manager. Carrots and sticks as motivators, be they bonuses or whatever, have their place – in a 1920s cigarette factory with managers carrying clipboards and stopwatches and the workers nicely uneducated cogs in a machine. A modern workplace of choice hoping to compete for real talent needs a different approach. The true test of a leader’s influence on, and motivation of, others is what happens when they’re not around.
Creative, self-motivated talent who can solve problems, show initiative and create value aren’t motivated by a carrot or stick. (Though they may be demotivated by the lack of a fair salary.) I’m really loving Daniel Pink’s book ‘Drive’ in which he says the three drivers for those people are autonomy, mastery and a sense of purpose. And these are the people you want, you know, because they DON’T NEED TO BE MOTIVATED. They’re inherently motivated by the work.
The Forbes article needs to be preceded by another about ATTRACTING EMPLOYEES THAT DON’T NEED TO BE EXTERNALLY MOTIVATED. The Forbes article is good advice and you could do a lot worse than to follow it. I especially like that it’s smart to have a true alignment of the personal goals of employees with the organisation’s goals. That’s genius and is almost another way of implying that they’ll be self-motivated. Shared self-interest is a wonderful thing.
The Forbes article also says that communication is good. Kind of obvious but true. A bit like the lyric in the song by LMFAO ‘Party Rock Anthem’ that goes, “Stop… hating is bad.” Nice. Come up with nine more. Never mind an article, there could be a book in that!
Posted on October 17, 2011, in Behaviour, Employee Engagement, Influence, Leadership, Motivation, Workplace Of Choice and tagged Behaviour, Carrots and Sticks, communication, Influence, Motivating Employees, motivation, supervision. Bookmark the permalink. Leave a comment.