What motivates employees?

There is a saying that at least every second worker is demotivated and has half his foot out of the door, looking for another job or with his mind on “automatic” in doing only those tasks that need to be done.

Employees often cite the reasons as having to deal with an annoying boss, a low salary, an uncomfortable work space, or stupid rules. Frederick Herzberg, Distinguished Professor of Management at the University of Utah in Salt Lake City, is quoted as saying that even if managed brilliantly, most employees are still not motivated to work much harder or smarter.

“People are motivated, instead, by interesting work, challenge, and increasing responsibility. These intrinsic factors answer people’s deep-seated need for growth and achievement,” Herzberg is quoted as saying.

In our globalized market place there are fewer and fewer jobs out there that really fulfill basic human needs. There is no room for individual needs and growth potential. Even in formerly creative media jobs, employees are expected to conform to standardized “handbook procedures”. The result: People are becoming emotionally drained and burned out because they feel they are not being appreciated for who they are as human beings with soul needs.

Ygeneration

The “Y” generation of employees, those born between 1988-1994, are regarded as sophisticated, tech-savvy and immune to many of the “loyalty” values of their parents. They not only grew up with it all, they’ve seen it all and been exposed to it all since early childhood. Which means they are no longer willing to give full loyalty to a company, knowing they could be out on the street with the next recession or the next restructuring wave. They’ve seen mothers or fathers having sacrificed a lot of private happiness for a job, that has in the end left them “burned out”, cynical and bitter.

Of primary importance to the talented Y generation scouting the job market are values such as:

– Does the company go in sync with my own value system?

– Does it offer me room for personal growth, responsibility and honing of my talents?

– Do I feel comfortable and happy with the people around me at the workplace?

– Does it leave me enough time and energy to spend with my loved ones?

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