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Top Motivators for Employees in the 21st Century Business Environment

The world of work is changing. Not only are employees more connected and informed now more than at any time in history, internet technology has made the world a smaller place. This dynamic offers employees a number of advantages and benefits, including cost reduction, lessened risk of disruption to operations, and access to talent. However, engagement and retention of employees has become a growing concern in forward looking organizations.

According to a 2010 study by Georgetown University Law Center, key motivators for employees include flexible work options, which nearly 80% of workers desire. Working from home has been proven to increase productivity and offers the employee an immediate improvement in work/life balance. Surprisingly, the same study found almost 40% of employees believe that their careers would suffer because they used flexible work options.

The challenge of distributed teams

While businesses receive a number of benefits from geographically distributed work teams, and working together is made possible by cost effective conference calls and internet capability, there are also a number of challenges that businesses need to overcome:

  • Building effective teams is more difficult
  • Employee development needs a new, modern approach
  • Cultural differences need to be addressed and overcome

By plugging into key motivators for employees, the business can face these challenges head on and provide an engaging, if remote, work environment that improves staff retention.

What are today’s key motivators for employees?

A 2015 study by Morgan McKinley found five key motivators for employees. These are:

  • Meaningful and challenging work
  • Improvement of life
  • Recognition
  • Compensation and benefits
  • Culture

An organization’s leaders have a key role to play in providing these key motivators.

Collaborative technologies and well-designed work practices will unlock more potential in employees.  However, the greatest influence is in the arena of human capital management through periods of change. There are a number of things that leaders must do to make effective change:

  • Establish expectations and goals, revisiting regularly. Design compensation and recognition strategies in line with these goals
  • Know their people. Take an open and honest approach to communication in the extended workplace. Trust people and earn respect
  • Design individual training and development programs in collaboration with individuals. Energize employees by enabling them to take responsibility for their own advancement and providing enjoyable and challenging work
  • Redefine corporate culture by exampling the new working practices. Ensure these are aligned with values and vision

The world of work is changing rapidly, and it is natural that employees should be concerned about their future. It is the leader’s ultimate responsibility to guide people through this period of change.

Contact Forward Focus today and discover how a Change Agent Bootcamp, and coaching in Consulting and Facilitating, will help your organization take advantage of the modern, geographically challenged, collaborative workplace.

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