Put motivation top of your list this year

Written by Armin Hopp on 28 January 2015

For most of us a new year is a chance to get rid of some unwanted habits and set fresh goals. While employees may be looking to finally get that promotion or switch to a new company, managers are concerned with meeting targets, keeping an eye on their budget and successfully managing their teams. But let’s face it; resolutions are notoriously hard to keep and many of us end up falling back into our old habits because they are what we’re most familiar with and what somehow always worked until now.

However, there are indications that we need to make some serious changes this year. One of them is the fact that 2015 is being called the hottest – and toughest – year for hiring. A recent study found that more than half of recruiters cited a lack of quality candidates as the biggest factors hampering growth this year. The war for talent is upon us, and companies are gearing up to secure the best people out there in innovative ways which will outsmart the competition. This includes working with aggressive hiring agencies, dipping into the digitalised world of social recruiting and even reaching out to Generation Z, who are now at an age to undertake their first internship. If companies don’t keep up with technological changes and get an understanding of what the modern employee really wants, they will miss the boat and fall far behind.

Recruiting the right person is only the first step. How will we make sure our new hires are trained to suit the company’s needs and more importantly, what guarantee do we have that they will stay? The truth is we don’t. Let’s remind ourselves that nowadays the average staff member does not expect to stay in a position for more than three to five years. Nonetheless, there are a few steps we can take to enhance our employee retention and help them have a positive impact on our organisation, even if they don’t stick around forever.

More than perks and pay rises

Most of all, our people need motivation. What motivates one person might not work so well for another, but in general terms it is safe to say that we all want to feel valued and respected within a company, work on a variety of tasks and continue to develop our skills over time. No pay rise will outweigh having to complete menial tasks or working under a dismissive boss. That’s why regular pulse checks with our workforce are crucial. It doesn’t have to be a complex and formalised process, but a simple chat to understand their needs and desires can make all the difference. The most successful companies out there are using 360° feedback sessions to let their staff make suggestions for improvement and have a say in their responsibilities.

Ongoing learning and talent development

According to a recent survey[1], many millennials feel that their employer is not making full use of all the skills they have to offer. This kind of gap can be easily detected in a feedback session as mentioned above. What additional skills does he or she have and how can they be implemented and aligned with business goals? Finding some untapped talent in your workforce could mean a huge advantage and save a lot of recruitment or outsourcing costs. But there are plenty of times when it’s necessary to upskill staff through formal training. In these cases, employees need to feel motivated and engaged by the content understand why they need to learn it from the organisation’s perspective.

This is where technology-based learning comes in. E-learning solutions offer employees the chance to learn on multiple devices while at home, at work or during travel. They can be adapted to individual needs and offer HR and L&D Managers real-time progress reports, which can be discussed during a feedback session. An experienced third-party provider will be able to create a solution that fits both employees and managers and adapts to different industries or job functions. Furthermore, the rise of big data plays a significant role in finding out what our learners really want. Big data measures, collects and analyses data on individual learning styles; it tells us what motivates learners and what doesn’t and can even predict behavioural patterns in training programmes. The trick is to make it work in our favour.

A popular saying goes, ‘What if you invest in your employees, and they leave?’ ‘Well what if you don’t, and they stay?’ Whatever happens, those of us who think ahead, adopt the latest technologies and understand our people will be the ones who continue to attract and retain a healthy and motivated workforce. So what’s top of your list this year?

Armin Hopp is the Founder and President of Speexx.

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