Time to think creatively about worker engagement

Posted Friday, January 27th, 2012. Filed Under Corporate - Tips/Tools Blog

It is amazing how this is finally coming to the forefront.

I found this article in the National Post. It discusses the fact that your employees are not driven solely by the dollar and compensation. We are in a very competitive global market and to remain at the forefront you need a highly motivated and productive workforce.

Senior leaders can no longer rely on employees to work longer hours and accept compensation cuts without risking labour unrest, high turnover and reduced performance. Senior leaders need to begin to think creatively about ways to foster higher levels of employee engagement and commitment.

The ultra competitive market that has existed for decades was externally driven – as an employee you were pitted against your fellow employee and it was survival of the fittest. This has not brought the level of productivity that senior leaders thought it would – what it led to was burnout, manipulation and greed. It is known that socially people tend to compare themselves on their own accord. People compare themselves with their peers and this incites employees to work harder in order to be recognized or to maintain prestige.

What I do not like about this article is the message that it is giving to human resources and those in a position to hire. It concludes by encouraging companies to be more cognizant of peer comparison especially when designing compensation and measurement plans. “In order to motivate employees, firms may want to consider more uniform and standardized salary scales, combined with ancillary incentive programs and contests that exploit the positive effects of social comparison”.

Any company considering “exploiting” their staff, to me, is not worth working for. Engaging people to be their best and to pay for what value they bring back to the company is a much more valuable way to encourage people. This alone will entice people to do more and better work without the need to bring down their fellow workers.

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