leaders throughout the country look for ways to increase employee engagement and motivation, they are frustrated when they hear reports that the only answer
is increasing their employee’s compensation.
While compensation is certainly important, I believe if we focus
strictly on compensation we will miss some of the most important drivers of engagement
is certainly a short term motivator, but ultimately, employees look for a firm and a position where their values are
met, core skills are utilized and work tasks align with personal
interests. Compensation does help
attract and retain employees but "sustainable engagement” requires much more
than money. Sustainable engagement is a combination of:
engagement—employees’ willingness to expend discretionary effort.
tools, resources and support employees need to do their jobs effectively.
work environment that supports employee well-being.
discovered in a recent survey of top talent by the PCPS, the top retention
factors for 2011 were:
- Salary - 95%
- Career Growth Opportunities - 93%
Personal/Vacation Time - 90%
management - 89%
challenging client projects - 88%
salary is the first item on the list, the next 4 are strong contenders for
retaining your top talent and certainly should not be ignored. Often firms spend enormous amounts of time,
energy and resources working on the compensation increases and bonuses and no
time on other retention factors. If you
want to make engagement truly sustainable, a substantial amount of time and
energy should also be spent on the remaining 4 addition factors.
Making Engagement Sustainable
engagement is an important evolution in the science of workforce behavior. It recognizes that employees need support
from their employer to continue to give discretionary effort on the job. Unfortunately, employees are not getting the
level of support they need. Enablement
and energy are critical factors in this equation. Engagement will only hold over time with
these elements in place. Think about
your firm. How much time are you
spending as a leadership group working on the full list above? If you think you have the answer, you might
be surprised if you ask you team what they think.
Understanding Engagement Gaps
important for leadership to understand the gap between what they are thinking
and what the team is thinking in regards to engagement. There are several ways to accomplish an
effective engagement evaluation in your firm, including focus groups and
surveys. The more anonymous the group or
survey is the better results you will receive.
Identifying the gaps that exist between what leadership is thinking and
what the staff is thinking and then building goals that will narrow the gap
will increase the trust in your firm.
And when trust increases, so does engagement!
everyone’s role in the firm to help close the gaps in employee’s feelings of
enablement and energy – from partners to managers, to administration – they
should all be included.
Money is Important, But So Are Other Factors
of the PCPS Study, there are many other studies and experts who agree that
money matters, but they are not the end of the story. In March 2012, PsychTests.com, an online
personality, career and IQ assessment company, released research on the top
motivators for employees. The data collected between August 2011 and February
2012 revealed that out of a list of 23 work motivators, "financial reward” was
ranked 12th. For men, financial reward was eighth on the list; for women, 15th.
Seventy percent of the 1,194 employees surveyed were from North America.
Sixty-four percent of respondents were under the age of 30.
top five motivators reported were:
orientation—the desire to make customers happy.
desire to work in a goal-oriented and challenging work environment.
desire to inspire others through one's work.
- Identity and
Purpose—the desire to work in a company/field that is in line with one's
values and ethics.
- Fun &
Enjoyment—the desire to work in a position/corporate culture that is
about how this survey intersects with the PCPS findings. PCPS said career growth opportunities, paid
personal/vacation time, open door accessible management and interesting
challenging client projects are highly important to our top talent. They are very similar to the study that you
see above. It proves that what we are
hearing has merit, and the great firms seeking their vision for future leaders
don’t have much further to look than right here.