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What Motivates Your Employees, and How Should You Manage Them?

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What Motivates Your Employees, and How Should You Manage Them?

In a fast paced business, there is an expectation that employees should want to progress their careers. Managers invest significant resource in people development, attempting to nurture their employees and reward high performers. It is, however, incorrect to assume that everybody and wants to move up the career ladder as fast as possible. Very often, competent, skilled employees simply have no desire to change their job role.

Employees are often very happy doing what they're doing with no financial need or desire to change. A recent parent or student, for example, may have other priorities that prevent them from being focused on a career but that doesn't mean that they don't want to progress at all. For managers, these team members represent a specific challenge: employees who often aren’t demonstrating a desire to progress can be overlooked, so how should managers manage employees effectively?

Understanding What Really Drives People
Empathising with and understanding this group is a critical part of managing their development. Very effective development plans can be devised for employees that have other ambitions that account for work/life pressures, and you can work with them rather than against them. Assuming that 'one size fits all' is a big mistake when it comes to personal and professional development.

Matching the Reward to the Need
These employees may not be motivated by the same things as other people. They may, for example, not be dependent on their income. They may simply lack self-confidence. Managers must understand these motivational factors and adapt their style accordingly. Students, for example, can be motivated by development opportunities that are aligned with their chosen study path. A development plan can equip them with skills and experience that complement their studies and, in some cases, their studies can complement their existing roles.

Open and Honest Communication
Communication is vital when managing any employee, but employees who are seemingly unmotivated to progress their career, need a very open and honest channel of communication open at all times. These employees can quite often feel isolated and ostracized from the rest of the team. Reassure employees that this is not the case and demonstrate how they can still thrive within your team. Ensure that they are still excited to work for you, and that you are excited to work with them.

Adapting Management Style
The same management style will not work with all employees. Consciously or unconsciously, managers may adopt a same stance with all of their employees, however, it is important to step away from this. One of the big challenges of people management is learning to work with different people in different ways and employees with non-career orientated motivations often require a very specific coaching and management style.

Management is often a challenging task but can also be extremely rewarding. Managers shouldn't assume that they can manage everybody in the same way and working with employees of different levels and types of ambition is a great way to grow a more adaptive style in the workplace.

If you are interested in talking to one of our experienced recruitment consultants about how we can help you find the best talent in communications, digital or marketing for your team, or are looking for your next career move, please contact us today.