We’re experiencing a sea-change in the way we work, and flexible working practices are riding the crest of this wave.
Many organisations are moving away from the belief that incentive schemes and salary are the main motivators for producing results and encouraging productivity. What is it, then, that is now being seen as an effective tool to motivate today’s employees? What does this mean for you and your workplace? And how are employers now recruiting the talent they need and posting the results they desire?
The view from the shore suggests that money is no longer the motivating factor it was once seen to be. It also suggests that its almost mythical motivating powers may have been just that: a myth. Between 1973 and 2011, worker productivity grew by 80.4%, yet, during the same period there was only a 10.7% growth in median hourly wages after inflation. As the tide recedes on our belief in the incentivising magic of money alone, what other forces can help drive this continued growth?
The infographic below looks at the self-determination theory that increasingly forms the cornerstone of HR recruitment and retention practices. This theory has been succinctly summarised by the former Chairman of General Electric, Jack Welch, who argued that “you have to get rewarded in the soul and the wallet.”
Optimal efficiency in today’s companies is being achieved through the creation of a culture that fosters competence, autonomy and relatedness. It is these three attributes that motivate employees.
We look in more detail below about what these mean and how they’re being fostered, but let’s just consider some practical applications here:
- Competence: to master the skills you need to achieve the desired results in a way that suits your learning preferences
- Autonomy: to choose the best method, location and hours of working to match your lifestyle
- Relatedness: to choose whom you work with, and how you work with them, according to both of your working practices
Flexible working practices are part and parcel of larger changes in the workplace. They are also part of a mindset that recognizes how allowing employees to take ownership of tasks, work in ways best-suited to them and create their own working relationships is a fantastic way to motivate and retain talent. And, what’s more, it increases productivity and achieves results.
Infographic and Photo Credit: Accounting Principals.