Engaging your Employees - S8 Expert Recruitment Solutions

Engaging your Employees


Engaging your Employees

No matter which industry you’re in, it seems we’re constantly trying to figure out how to keep our employees motivated and how to get the best engagement. Once upon a time there was a focus on financial reward however, as our lives have changed from a live to work attitude to the more modern, work to live perspective, showing them the money is simply not enough.

In 1943 Abraham Maslow, an American psychologist, created his Hierarchy of Needs. A theory on psychological health, which positioned human needs in a pyramid from the most basic and fundamental, like food, air, water and shelter, all the way up to the most advanced, like self-actualisation: a need for self-fulfillment essentially, being the most you can be. His belief was that you progressed through each stage by fulfilling the need of the previous and to achieve the final stage, you needed to live a meaningful life, a life with purpose.

Fast-forward to modern times and it seems that, even though his theory does have its flaws, Abraham Maslow was onto something. Recent research is exploring, and supporting the theory that, as humans, we search for meaning in our lives, and this search filters through to all aspects of our lives, including in the workplace.

In 2015 Deloitte undertook a survey amongst Millennials to understand what they think of leadership today, how businesses operate and impact wider society and which individual characteristics they believe, define effective leaders. Among the Millennials who are considered high-users of Social Media, 77% report their company’s purpose is part of the reason they choose to work for them. So, if our future leaders see this as something so important, wouldn’t you think it’s time we prioritised it also?

The Power of Purpose: How Organisations are Making Work More Meaningful is Alison Alexander’s investigation into the power of purpose in business. As a result of her research she made the following suggestions for ways you can ensure purpose is a significant part of your organisation:

Develop purpose with intent and inclusion – this is a process which has to be planned, strategic and deliberate. It’s not a conversation to be had at Friday night work drinks, rather something discussed over hours, or even days and with a diverse representation of employees within your business.

Make it part of your company’s culture – once you’ve determined your purpose, it’s important it becomes your culture. It’s no good to claim to be working towards something when none of your business decisions reflect this direction.

Communicate your purpose – don’t create a slogan or a tagline, communicate it with clarity and significance. This should be easy to do if you’ve successfully embedded your purpose in your culture.

Create meaningful jobs – once you understand what is important to your employees, use this knowledge to create jobs that are meaningful to the individuals and ensure this meaning is clearly part of the job description.

Seek out employees who share your purpose – now that you have a clear understanding of your company’s purpose, it’s a great idea to phrase your interview questions in way which will capture whether potential employees share this perspective. You can be sure that the ones that do are going to be an awesome fit!

If you, like many people, have been using incentives and other methods to motivate your staff and they’re coming up short, perhaps it’s time to take it back to basics. Use these steps to uncover the purpose of your business, and make your staff a significant part of the process to ensure higher motivation and commitment from your team.

Shannon Wood, Managing Director S8 Expert Recruitment Solutions. I have over 14 years recruitment experience specialising in the animal health industry across the ANZ region. Areas of expertise include sales and marketing, technical roles (Quality Assurance, Quality Control & Regulatory Affairs) and operational & financial positions. I work extensively in the veterinary, ruminant, monogastric, aquaculture and the pet specialty industries and I look forward to the next 14 years.


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