While the 2015 best seller Primed to Perform focuses on employee motivation and creating a motivating culture in organizations, employees and job seekers can also use the principles learned to determine whether a job will indeed satisfy them.
The underlying premise of the book is that why we work affects how we work and ultimately how we feel about our work.
The closer your motives are to simply wanting to do the work itself, the more motivated and therefore satisfied you’ll be. If on the other hand, your motives are linked to external factors, such as emotional or economic pressures, the less satisfied you’ll be. Another external factor to consider…inertia, or what I call hamstering. Doing something simply because you’ve been doing it forever and you’ve become like a hamster on a wheel and just can’t stop.
When faced with an opportunity or evaluating your current situation, ask yourself these three questions:
1. How much of your interest in the role is tied to the doing of the actual work itself?
2. Does the work fulfill a sense of purpose? Is it aligned with your core values and beliefs?
3. Do you see this current role creating potential for growth in your career?
A positive answer to all of these questions will help ensure you’re making the right career choice. So, the only thing left to decide is where you choose to do this work. In other words, it’s important to pick a company with a workplace culture that will also motivate you. Surprisingly, it’s got nothing to do with ping pong tables, unlimited vacations or a generally unhealthy, endless supply of snacks. Nope, compensation didn’t even top the list of the nine factors that determine employee motivation. In fact, it was number seven!
The top three influencers on employee motivation are:
1. How well your role was designed
2. The identity of the company you work for
3. Career ladders or how the company helps employees achieve their goals
Do you understand how your role impacts the organization? Are you able to see results created by the work you do? Do you feel good, not just about what the organization does, but how they do it? Think of it this way…would you rather work for a company that starts their state of the union address with how much money they earned or what they achieved for their customers?
Take Nest for example. The CEO of Nest could start a meeting by stating how much the company earned, or by sharing how much they saved their customers in energy costs; which is a huge selling point of their product. Imagine what you’d feel like as a Nest employee in both those scenarios. Which would you find more motivating?
By clearly evaluating these factors and marrying your internal motivating factors with how a company motivates its employees, you’ll hopefully get off your hamster wheel and on a career path that will actually get you somewhere and keep you happy along the way!