"How do you install a generator in an employee?"
- Frederick Herzberg
Employment relationship is a complex transaction and typically involves a power relationship. On one hand, employers have the power, but they still need to excercise restraint in using that power. Employers need to motivate employees to get them to do what needs to be done. But as Frederick Herzberg found, a KITA (kick-in-the-ass) approach to motivate employees, whether negative or positive in nature and no matter how popular, simply doesn't work except to create short-term movement. Little wonder then a 2013 Gallup survey found that 70% of employees hate their jobs.
As Frederick Herzberg put it: "How do you install a generator in an employee?" Are job satisfaction and dissatisfaction simply opposites of each other? Are factors involved in job satisfaction (and motivation) the same as the factors that lead to job dissatisfaction? As a leader, how do you truly engage employees so that their hearts and souls are into what they are doing?
The set of factors that dissatisfy employees (job environment) are very separate and distinct from factors that create satisfaction (job content). Satisfaction and dissatisfaction are not the two sides of the same coin. Gallup put it the best: “At the end of the day, an intrinsic connection to one’s work and one’s company is what truly drives performance, inspires discretionary effort, and improves wellbeing. If these basic needs are not fulfilled, then even the most extravagant perks will be little more than window dressing.”The bottom line is that disengaged employees make lousy ambassadors for the employer and are highly unlikely to satisfy the customers.
Paul Krugman, Nobel Prize winner in Economics, wrote a New York Times op-ed piece titled The Fear Economy. Krugman says, "Some people would have you believe that employment relations are just like any other market transaction; workers have something to sell, employers want to buy what they offer, and they simply make a deal. But anyone who has ever held a job in the real world — or, for that matter, seen a Dilbert cartoon — knows that it’s not like that." He adds, "If employers value their workers, they won’t make unreasonable demands. But it’s not a simple transaction."
Because two different needs of human beings are involved, a more nuanced approach to engaging employees is often necessary. We don’t take a cookie-cutter approach to employee motivation and engagement. We take into account each organization's unique culture, values, and environment. Our holistic and hands-on approach—rather than a singular focus on extrinsic job-environment factors such as compensation—capitalizes on emotional factors that drive employee engagement, loyalty, and performance.
Our employee-related articles have been published in reputed publications as follows:
Journalists and reporters frequently ask us to share our views on today's sales and marketing challenges.