What motivates you? Ask a hundred employees and you’ll receive a hundred different answers: money, loyalty, recognition, challenge, creative expression, security, collaboration, social mix, esteem, rewards, etc.
In 1943, psychologist Abraham Maslow provided the most accurate answer to the question… “all of the above”. His famous Hierarchy of Needs pyramid visualized the theory that most people are motivated by an ascending tier of needs: from basic food, water, and shelter, right up to self-actualization - the achievement of your full potential.
Now, while a 76-year-old psychological theory may seem a little old school to today’s millennial talent pool, it is as relevant as ever. As emotional beings, our reasons for choosing an employer are as diverse as any deeply personal human decision. While our laundry list of motivators will change from person to person (and even month to month) they can be summarized with one word: engagement.
Your company’s superpower.
Engagement describes an emotional state of commitment, enthusiasm and desire to create success. As an employer, it’s simply the most valuable superpower you can foster in your employees, and is the X-factor that determines which companies will soar and which will sink. Innovation, growth, productivity, and brand are all vitally linked to employee engagement. Employees that are engaged show the following characteristics:
- They’re proactive self-starters: they don’t need to be micromanaged, and don’t need constant supervision or re-direction
- They are resilient to minor failures and missteps: with their eye on the bigger prize, they can effectively deal with errors and setbacks along the way
- They are creative, solutions-focused thinkers: obstacles and challenges actually reinforce their engagement, as it prompts them to invest even more into their role
- They are team players: they respect and understand that it is the collective talent of the team that will help them achieve success
Do you find, or create, engagement?
Building a dream team of engaged colleagues is the goal of every committed leader. You may be fortunate to find and hire rockstar employees, but without an engaged leader and environment, you won’t be able to keep them. Here are 5 ways you can create and sustain an engagement environment in your organization:
1. Make success visible.
Celebrate even the smallest victories, and identify the people and their actions that created the success.
2. Know your team, deeply.
Before you can create a winning team environment, you need to understand what motivates your players. It will be a long, diverse list, but choosing the right employee engagement program can fulfill them all.
3. Communicate daily.
Daily informal connections, whether face to face or electronically, help build trust, comfort and truly genuine relationships.
4. Put square pegs in square holes.
Setting your employees up for success means placing them in roles that make the best use of their particular skills, rather than the discomfort of mismatching their talents to unrelated positions.
5. Realize that work is a family too
. Maslow’s middle tier was all about belonging, so encourage your team to interact in positive, respectful and supportive ways, and help everyone feel part of the family.
Engagement is contagious
Engaged employees deliver. They create success. They prove that their emotional commitment translates into real-world results. And the more their colleagues see this, the more engaged they will themselves become. The viral effectiveness of engagement is demonstrated most dramatically in a winning sports team, where star players inspire and spread their enthusiasm through the ranks, elevating the entire team to higher levels of performance.
“What a person can be, they must be"
Maslow realized that true fulfillment comes when you become the best possible version of yourself. Helping your employees, customers or partners achieve this top tier of self-actualization, or engagement, creates an unbreakable loyalty.
The most effective way to begin is with an Employee Recognition and Rewards Program. With Power2Motivate, you can build a program that’s tailored to match your company size and culture and directly link positive behaviour and achievement to tangible, attractive rewards. Our global rewards gallery offers employees thousands of high-value, brand name products to choose from, with an easy to browse and redeem interface.
To find out how we can help grow your team engagement, contact us today. We can set up a demo of our highly configurable engagement platform, so you can see for yourself just how impactful it can be.