Research on Effective Motivators and Retention Drivers
Keeping up on all the new information on engagement, motivation, retention, and behavioral economics isn’t easy. There is so much information out there! That’s my excuse for just discovering the McKinsey research on effective workplace motivators that was published June 2009 (and I am a subscriber – oh, the embarrasment).
The study didn’t reveal any surprises, but instead reinforced what we already know:
Pay, bonuses, and stock options do not motivate as well as
praise from the immediate manager, attention from leaders, or opportunities to lead projects or task forces.
It is nice to have additional confirmation, but honestly I wouldn’t have posted anything regarding this research except… I perused the reader comments at the end of the article. There were plenty of people talking about the theory behind why the non-financial rewards are more powerful. What caught my eye was the person who took a different approach and offered a great idea for motivating people. I loved what I read so I found her on LinkedIn and asked if I could share her idea with my readers.
Here is what Prathima Acharya wrote:
The basic need for all of us is to feel that we are growing and learning. At every year-end review, I would have my direct reports (Scientists at all levels – PhD, MS, and BS) bring an updated resume. After the review, I would help them add one or two new bullet points that would make them more marketable than the previous year. As managers, we can recognize the contributions of our colleagues and articulate how that fits into the bigger picture. Try this and see how even an ordinary assignment turns into an opportunity for learning and you can get the team to take on both challenging and routine work equally.
At each performance review she helps the direct report add a bullet point or two to their resume.
Brilliant! Readers of Make Their Day! know that a manager who shows concern for growth and development has happy and engaged workers. These resume bullet points clearly demonstrate that the individual is growing and developing. Although ultimately they may leave the organization for another position while they are there they will be highly motivated. They will also stay longer. Why? Opportunities increase retention.
Prathima was a director at the time of her comment and is now a senior leader in biopharma. When she responded, she noted that not everyone thought that building resumes was a good idea. Some worried that people would up and leave. In truth, she didn’t loose anyone on her team!
Develop people and your team will be engaged while they are there, you will retain them longer, and they become enthusiastic ambassadors when they leave.
Take a tip from Prathima. Develop your people. Help the build their resumes. You won’t regret it.
Looking for more on how to engage and retain employees? Check out the employee recognition workshop How to Create a Workplace Where People Love to Work.