As the economy and organisations emerge from survival to growth what about staff morale and engagement? Just as leaders can get caught in post recession paralysis, so can employees. After all the uncertainty and insecurity and with companies maybe asking that bit extra of staff to make it through the recession, what’s next in moving forward?
Well the most superficial response will be bonus’s and pay rises. Yes of course rewarding your staff is key. But as Frederick Herzberg said donkey’s years ago, pay is a hygiene factor and not a motivator. Without it you’ve got serious problems, but there is a point beyond which it doesn’t motivate or engage staff.
In fact Lord Richard Layard wrote a book Happiness – Lessons from a new science. Research shows that there is a fiscal point above which earning anymore doesn’t make you happier. If memory serves me right it’s £25K.
So what does increase employee engagement? Achievement, Recognition, Responsibility, Promotion / Career Progression, Learning and Development, Relationships / Team work, Flexible Working. These softer, more intrinsic aspects are what we should ensure are present. Typically when they aren’t that’s when people start demanding more money. It’s a sign that they don’t feel valued but are at a loss to put in place the intrinsic factors, so the tangible cash solution is a sticking plaster that patches things up for a while.
As the profits increase staff will, quite rightly, expect a share of that somehow. Yet in this emergent state your company may not be in a position to offer cash bonus’s. However if you use the extra cash you have to invest in ensuring the more intangible, intrinsic motivators are present then the payoff’s could be far higher than a pure cash solution.