What Do People Work for?
Fatima Chapkhaeva, Quality Director, Performia CIS
"For money!" – you would say and maybe you would be right to some extent. However if you ask your best employees why do they work exactly with you it is unlikely that they will answer you "because we are paid well here". Certainly, a deserved reward for the work done is an important part of cooperation but when it becomes the most important… Production, focus on achieving goals, team spirit – all these recede to the background, and a person gets fixed only on his pocketbook.
What do people work for, then? Why one employee is deeply engrossed in doing his job, interested in everything that happens in his company and tries to do everything to improve while another one comes to work feeling drowsy and clockwatching all the time – when is the lunch-hour, after all, when is the working day to end...
How to change that? How to build a team? How to attract people who ask: "What else can I do to be paid more?" And how, as early as at the stage of interview, to "screen" people, who having got trained and spent a lot of your time and your best employees, say: "If you do not pay me more I will quit"? An ability to achieve results, personality and motivation – these are the main factors that need to be realistically evaluated when hiring.
Let us dwell on motivation.
Motivation is "an accumulator of a person", deep down, that is he derives his energy from. That is what he does exactly this job for and why he came exactly to your company. That is his main motive. When you know what motivates a person to do his job, you know where he gains strength to cope with all most complex tasks you assign him to accomplish.
L. Ron Hubbard, the great American philosopher and humanist, has found out and described a scale of four levels of motivation of people:
· duty (highest level of motivation)
· personal conviction
· personal gain
Let us discuss each level in detail starting from the lowest.
Money. For a person at this level, a primary motivation is reward. Largely, it is not so important for such person what to do. It could even be a job he is not very much interested in. The main thing is that it brings him good income. It is surely fine that a person wants to earn more money and knows he is able to do this. But when all his attention is focused on how much he would get for his job…
Let us see how it looks like in real life. For instance, we get a CV for a vacancy of commercial director where we see that an applicant seeks high salary. He simply does not consider any lower rewards. We look at diplomas he mentions, we hear famous names of companies he worked for and decide: "Yes, he has high self-esteem. He knows he is worth that money!" Whether it is true to reality, we, unfortunately, find out sometimes too late: when even though that high salary was paid for many months, sales have never increased and we need to replace him urgently. How much does this mistake cost? His salary paid for several months – you would say. Yes, partly it is right. However the most significant losses are not taken into account: that is short-received income of the company, lost time of you and your best employees... and now you have to get busy with recruiting an appropriate person. Plus you have upset staff members if that person also failed to work as a team member.
In the meantime, one could understand what kind of person he is, will he bring a real benefit to the company and what are the chances of successful cooperation with him, already during the first interview. If one can see.
Personal gain. At this level a person’s attention is still focused on an inflow, gains for oneself. This stands a bit higher than "money". A person wants to know whether he would get work experience, privileges, status, etc. In his plans for the future he looks at your company from a "what can you give me" viewpoint. Let us say he has just recently graduated from university and has no experience. He comes to your company and is quiet as a mouse. You think: "Good guy!" You spare him a lot of attention, time and efforts. He is clever and picks up everything in a jiffy. You think: "It is just a little more and I will be able to delegate this area fully to him so that at long last I can deal with something else". But exactly at that moment when you are prepared to entrust him he tells you: "I got a good offer. I am leaving". This looks like blackmail, as you have to either "outbid" the other company or resign yourself to an idea that the whole work on recruiting, hiring and training of an appropriate employee will need to be done once again. This is not an easy choice, thus, grudgingly you agree to pay him more... And then you live all the time with a threat that tomorrow he would twist your arms again. Most likely he would do so.
In fact this could have been avoided…
Personal conviction. The most successful people can sure be exactly at this level. These people do the jobs they are infinitely interested in. They get plunged into work sometimes forgetting about meal and sleep. These people need to be reminded that they have vacation and there are other interests apart from work. These people keep to the principle "Good job is a highly paid hobby". There is only one option why such people can quit: they need new prospects, new goals and new interesting game. Definitely, you can easily reach an agreement with such people. As a rule these people are honest: they win themselves and want others win too. "There is only a few of such people" or "such people have already created their own businesses" – you would say. You are partly right, and partly, not. There are quite a number of people for whom getting job satisfaction is one of the main priorities. They also look for interesting jobs. You can find them and not to lose hold of them, certainly, if you will be able to recognize them in the flow of applicants and also if you know how to get along with him based on their personal qualities.
Duty. We will not cover this level of motivation in big detail because it is definite that not so many people work at this level. These are doctors who leave their practices and "comfortable perches" to go to the hot spots. These are teachers that move from cities to teach at rural schools… Therefore, for organizations created for profit making it is hardly possible to hire such people. However if a person is ready to do any job for he needs to set his sisters or brothers on their feet, he is also guided by his sense of personal duty.
This is a real life example: a company looks for a rare technical specialist. Only one institute trains such specialists and only a few graduates go to do jobs they were trained for. Those who decided to remain true totheir professional choice are rarely prepared to do their jobs on their own from the first day. For the most part, a new employee needs to be additionally educated already at his workplace. The situation becomes more intense because at that moment other employees are in no hurry to share their experience. They have an idea that by doing this they grow competitors for themselves; theydo everything "slowly" to remain irreplaceable. And we see newcomers coming in and quitting having not handled this barrier. As a result, the company having an opportunity to sell its services is not able to deliver as it is dreadfully short of employees. And what "irreplaceable" specialists do at that time: they start to wander competing firms. The situation seems to have no way out. At that moment there comes "a man in the street" having no education that is usually required by the company. The company employs him; employs in defiance of all rules because they needed to fill the vacancy "by yesterday". He managed to break through and come to agreement with old employees. They trained him to master all secrets of their profession. He became the best specialist in his area in six months.
Conclusion: an ability of a person to get agreement, to do complete work, to endure pressure and his desire to do the preferred job were crucial.
We do not mean that when hiring new employees you should not take into account their education or to look for specialists at institutes. We only want to tell that it is not the most important thing. Any ability is based on a person’s desire to cope with a task and get results. For the most part, your best people do not wait for you to tell what and where they need to learn. They always look for new knowledge themselves. They find it interesting to improve and they never get tired of so doing. They do not treat failure as a reason to be upset they take it as lesson or opportunity to learn something. Such employees take minimum attention of us and bring maximum benefit.
There is no need to make your company a proving ground. There is no need to wait six or twelve months in order to understand that a person does not bring any benefit to the company. Having defined the four most important factors when hiring, already at the first interview one can evaluate: what benefit will a person bring to the company; will he be able to work as a team member; will he stay with your company for long and whether his personality, motivation and competence fit his post.
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