How to motivate employees when priorities change (2023)


Three years into the pandemic, we have seen how our collective trauma is affecting work psychology. Our humanity has been revealed, as have working paradigms previously thought unbelievable — and no one can see both. Having passion for our work life - loving what we do and how we do it - is as important as ever, but the factors that generate that passion have broadened and deepened. Executives need to catch up or they'll end up running frustratingly empty hybrid offices full of quiet quitters and day laborers. The authors offer four ways for managers to broaden their view of employee motivation.

read in spanish
read in portuguese

If you talk to business leaders these days, chances are you'll hear a version of "nobody wants to work harder anymore." Companies hiring new employees are still looking for hungry, ambitious and determined employees who will do whatever it takes to succeed. But new hires negotiate like experienced executives and confuse managers. Despite recent rounds of layoffs, employee expectations remain high, according to job advertisements that highlight flexibility and other benefits. There's another truism that goes beyond economics: companies want to hire and retain the best people, and that gives the best people leverage. I see my C-level clients struggling for more control to get back to "normal" by extending office hours, tightening metrics and hoping that economic headwinds will bounce them back.

I tell them not to rely on it.

Human nature has not fundamentally changed. People want to get involved at work and give their all for something great. But like a camera zooming out, we now see more of the story. Having passion for our work life - loving what we do and how we do it - is as important as ever, but the factors that generate that passion have broadened and deepened. We no longer believe that simply pursuing corporate goals in a busy office is the only path to a purposeful career. Executives need to catch up, otherwise they will face frustratingly empty hybrid officesquiet ex-smokerand short time.

Three years into the pandemic, we have seen how our collective trauma is affecting work psychology. Our humanity has been revealed, as have working paradigms previously thought unbelievable — and no one can see both. as a gardenerResearchWorkers want a “more human value proposition,” with 65% of survey respondents agreeing the pandemic has made them reconsider the role work should play in their lives, the report reveals. We've been talking about work-life balance for decades, but people are finally feeling deep in their bones what that means. The big question has shifted from "How does life fit with work?" to "How does life fit with work?" to "How does work fit with life?" (One could reasonably argue that on the basis of the latter question, whether it's law firm partners taking long vacations to recharge their batteries, or startup founders giving up five years to retire at 40. The question is now democratized.)

I see this trend every day. I recently spoke to a 22-year-old new hire at a well-known consulting firm whose work environment is notorious for its hectic work schedule. She and her colleagues are already setting limits on what makes the work sustainable, and planning when to back out if the company doesn't meet them. At a recent leadership development conference, I asked a group of leaders what's on their hearts this year. I've heard some anticipatory comments about the project's forthcoming outcomes, but also many references to personal involvement or a focus on well-being. Mature professionals speak herebeforeSomeone who controls promotions and salaries.

For a generation of workers, the employment contract has changed fundamentally. McKinsey & Company's US opportunity for 2022Opinion pollIt found that 87% of employees want to make their own decisions about where and when they work. In other words, they want the surrogate to dictate how they work and what constitutes success. If leaders want to attract and retain the best talent—those who are passionate and pass that passion on in the workplace—they should broaden their perspective on how to motivate them. Here are four strategies.

Accept the entire definition of passion.

Employees don't want to go hungry, they want to be fed. Inspired people can turn inspired employees into inspired companies. Encourage your employees to define passion the way they want and adapt your workplace to each situation.

This means broadening your own view of ambitions. Is it better to have a productive employee who leaves early to train for a marathon or an exhausted employee who is tied to a desk? How do you judge someone who turns down a promotion because they love their job?

Let's not punish those who have an updated formula for success that works for them. (Executives can even play a part in thisentice people to discover their purpose.)

Lose the "but I have to" mentality.

For most of us, professional work has a predictable rhythm. You tire of it early, give up large chunks of your life, and end up gaining some control over your time.

It's easy to fall for the sunk cost fallacy: I made it, and now everyone should pay their dues the same way. However, keep in mind that this happened before new technologies and norms emerged that made alternatives possible. Yes you have to, but is it really the best way to get the best job? I know that I am not a source of creativity if I work 7 days a week until 11pm.

Any new shift in labor requires an end to existing norms. Instead of getting people to accept your experience, think about how you can offer a new experience for everyone.

Separate performance from time.

Many of my clients express their ongoing frustration at not knowing the workloads of their hybrid or remote teams. My answer is: You never did. People waste a lot of time in offices right under your nose, and they waste their time anywhere if they want to.

It's far better to measure performance and lose focus over time. As the McKinsey survey shows, people want to be in control of how they work. In return, they must bring results. This is the employment contract. Imagine if this had only been publicly agreed upon.

Some of us have an ingrained "at our desk" mentality and limit ourselves when we're flexible, even when it produces better results. We act like we have a boss who watches what we do all the time. The more leeway managers allow in creating the right work environment for individuals, the less guilt individuals feel and the more they can focus on doing a good job.

Do not tighten the screws, but loosen them.

When we feel like we're losing control, we tend to over-manage people and processes down to the last detail. The recessionary pressure has amplified this effect. But installing tracking software on employees' computers will not make people work better, nor will it make people like Elon Musk and others work betterMark ZuckerbergTried it recently. fear is neverlong-term motivators, reinforced by negative emotions. Concern about keeping a job causes people to hold back instead of risking excellence.

productivityIn fact, for reasons that are difficult for people to explain. However, this cannot be due to employee autonomy, but to productivityall the way upIn 2020 and 2021 many offices will be completely closed.

. . .

Fifteen years of coaching have taught me this: people are most productive when they are motivated in how they work and live their lives. We need both to thrive. Even as markets continue to cool, stay the course and give people more autonomy, not less. Employees expect companies to go backwards, but you can chart a sustainable path forward. You get more work from people, foster loyalty, and increase motivation. When leaders show they value what matters to everyone, the entire organization benefits from a more passionate and focused team. Passion creates results that outlast hunger every day.

Top Articles
Latest Posts
Article information

Author: Trent Wehner

Last Updated: 04/03/2023

Views: 5810

Rating: 4.6 / 5 (76 voted)

Reviews: 91% of readers found this page helpful

Author information

Name: Trent Wehner

Birthday: 1993-03-14

Address: 872 Kevin Squares, New Codyville, AK 01785-0416

Phone: +18698800304764

Job: Senior Farming Developer

Hobby: Paintball, Calligraphy, Hunting, Flying disc, Lapidary, Rafting, Inline skating

Introduction: My name is Trent Wehner, I am a talented, brainy, zealous, light, funny, gleaming, attractive person who loves writing and wants to share my knowledge and understanding with you.