Employee Motivation

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Insights Into Employee Motivation, Commitment and Retention

Barbara J. Kreisman Ph.D. Research/White Paper Insights Denver February, 2002

The Leadership Journey is a supervisory, management, and leadership training system consisting of 24 courses delivered on DVD, CD-ROM, VHS, and Online. Call 1-800-541-7872 or visit www.btedemo.com to preview courses. Page

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Table of Contents
Executive Summary…….3 W hy Employee Retention and Motivation Is Important…….5 Turbulence In The Work Environment…….5 At The Root Of The Problem—Demographics…….6 Retention As A Strategic Business Issue…….6 Calculating The Cost Of Attrition…….8 Why Employees Become Disengaged and Leave…….9 The Phenomena Of Intrinsic Motivation…….13 Turnover Is Not A Binary Event……. 14 How Insights Can Help Attract, Motivate and Retain Valuable Employees…….16 Manager/Employee Relationship and Insights…….16 Job Descriptions and Insights…….16 Selection (Interviewing) and Insights…….16 New Employee Orientation and Insights…….18 Career Development and Insights…….19 Performance Management, Feedback and Insights…….20 Team Linkage and Insights…….20 Retention Is Not For Everyone…….20 References…….22 Biography of Barbara J. Kreisman…….24

The Leadership Journey is a supervisory, management, and leadership training system consisting of 24 courses delivered on DVD, CD-ROM, VHS, and Online. Call 1-800-541-7872 or visit www.btedemo.com to preview courses.

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Executive Summary
Employee commitment, productivity and retention issues are emerging as the most critical workforce management challenges of the immediate future, driven by employee loyalty concerns, corporate restructuring efforts and tight competition for key talent. For many firms, “surprise” employee departures can have a significant effect on the execution of business plans and may eventually cause a parallel decline in productivity. This phenomenon is especially true in light of current economic uncertainty and following corporate downsizings when the impact of losing critical employees increases exponentially (Caplan and Teese, 1997; Ambrose, 1996; Noer, 1993). Research shows that the working population can be divided into several categories: people who are engaged (loyal and productive), those who are not engaged (just putting in time), and those who are actively disengaged (unhappy and spreading their discontent). Thus, as noted by Marcus Buckingham, SVP Gallup and author of “First Break All the Rules”, even in the “best of times”, (i.e. the late 1990’s), only 26 per cent of the working population is fully engaged in their work. The rest of the population is either “not engaged” (55 per cent) or “actively disengaged” (26 per cent. (Buckingham and Coffman, 1999). Productivity and retention rates generally fall further as employees become distracted, confused and preoccupied with potential outcomes immediately following an organizational transition such as a major restructuring, corporate downsizing, merger, acquisition, or even rapid growth spurt (Cartwright and Cooper, 1999; Bridges, 1991).

Recent studies have shown that the manager, whether a front-line supervisor, a project leader, team ‘captain’, or senior manager, actually has more power than anyone else to reduce unwanted turnover. Why? Because the factors that drive employee satisfaction and commitment are largely within the direct manager’s control (Buckingham and Coffman, 1999; Kaye and Jordan-Evans, 1999). These include providing recognition

The Leadership Journey is a supervisory, management, and leadership training system consisting of 24 courses delivered on DVD, CD-ROM, VHS, and Online. Call 1-800-541-7872 or visit www.btedemo.com to preview courses. Page

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and feedback, the opportunity to learn and grow, fair compensation reflecting an employee’s contributions and value to the organization, a good work environment, and above all, recognition and respect for the uniqueness of each person’s competencies, needs,...
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