Employers are struggling to keep staff around, amidst the “Great Resignation”. Many organizations believe that raises and promotions are key to employee satisfaction. But this may not be what actually motivates people to stick around and take ownership of their role.
In his book Drive: The Surprising Truth About What Motivates Us, Dan Pink identifies three important factors for motivating employees that could be missing at many organizations.
They include purpose, mastery and autonomy.
Now don’t get me wrong. Raises and promotion are important. They signal to employees that they are valued and that their work is appreciated.
But staff also desire to understand and be in agreement with why the work is being done (purpose). They want the opportunity to develop important competencies (mastery). And, they want to be perceived as being competent and trust-worthy enough for self-governance (autonomy).
These are deeply human needs, as Pink explains.
Ironically, a raise and promotion provided in isolation may prompt an exit. – Since the accolades build the confidence needed to pursue opportunities that are more aligned with their goals.
Getting in sync with staff and what drives them requires doing regular checkins about company culture and fixing gaps through incremental adjustments. It’s best to make these shifts in partnership with the team to allow for ownership of the process (and accountability).
The results may improve productivity and organizational culture overall.