I was pushed for time when I published my last blog post so I didn't even try to address the all-important 'so what?' question. That's why I was delighted to see fellow blogger Andrew Miller pick up the baton on his InsideWork blog.
Employee motivation is a fascinating and complex subject and one that internal communicators should find inherently interesting.
I agree with Andrew's point that what motivates us changes as we mature and as our own circumstances (social, economic,
phychological..) change. And I agree with David Ferrabee that the classic rewards (money and stuff) aren't usually the answer. The popular theories of motivation provide evidence for both.
There's a big generational aspect to motivation.
But the twenty-somethings who started entering the workplace a few years ago - known as Generation Y (born after 1982) - are something else. Their world view is different. They appear to be more interested in work-life balance than in a long-term career. They've never known a world without computers. They're not particularly worried about job security. They love to travel. They're impatient. And they're more skeptical than us (they grew up in a low-trust world). All this makes motivating them much more challenging. Money is, it seems, less important than flexibility, time off, scope for self expression and learning opportunities.
One thing is certain - when it comes to motivating employees, one size definitely doesn't fit all.
For a quick guide to the main motivational theories, have a look at the following links: