The first line of a post titled “Mastering the Art of Motivation” on BNet.com grabbed my attention: “According to the Harvard Business School, 85 percent of companies report that employee motivation drops after the first six months on the job.” Wow!
I suppose that shouldn’t come as a great surprise. We can all remember back to when we started our job for the first time… It was new! Exciting! Challenging! Invigorating! By the time you’re six months in, it’s familiar. Routine. Mindless. Exhausting. That’s just one side of the story, though. Look at what else happens to new hires within the first six months on the job:
- They become more familiar with their boss and co-workers… and they realize they are all helplessly flawed!
- While they love the core responsibilities of their position, they realize there are some necessary activities (TPS reports?) that just aren’t as much fun… and they seem to take more time than the work they love.
- In the midst of the “routine,” they lose sight of the purpose of the organization and even their position which initially connected with their passion.
The list goes on, but these are all very real issues. As the BNet post indicates, it is largely the responsibility of managers to watch over their employees and make sure their motivation does not reach dangerously low levels – and there are plenty of preventatives and remedies at the managers’ disposal. One “tool in the toolbox” should be a connection to personal and professional development authorities who can help business leaders create and maintain a workplace that fosters motivation for all employees. For each of the toxic issues noted above, there are speakers standing by with the exact antidote. For example:
Rick Brinkman, co-author of Dealing With People You Can’t Stand and a very funny, yet relevant, keynote speaker on “Conscious Communication,” is a great help in addressing situation #1 above. It is inevitable that we will cross paths with people we “can’t stand” in the workplace, but Rick’s message hits home with situations that people find themselves in every day and empowers them with practical solutions.
Marcus Buckingham, author of the bestseller, Go Put Your Strengths to Work, and co-author of bestsellers such as Now, Discover Your Strengths, is in high demand by companies seeking to bring the strengths movement into their organizations. Those employees who find themselves bogged down with activities which are not their strengths within six months will only experience further deterioration of their motivation level as time goes on. Within a few years, they’ll only be a shell of the person they were when hired. Marcus can help leaders and managers create a business that plays to the strengths of its greatest assets – its people. The measurable benefits of creating a “strong company” are amazing.
What about employees who lose sight of their – and their company’s – purpose? It is a sense of purpose that drives each of us. Take it away and we are lost. Kevin Freiberg and Jackie Freiberg, co-authors of books such as Boom! 7 Choices for Blowing the Doors Off Business-As-Usual, can be great resources to leaders, managers AND their employees. Reminding their audience members that they are “designed to choose,” they help individuals reclaim their sense of purpose and as a result, boost performance to levels higher than ever before.
And for a universal solution to keep everyone running at optimum levels, consider Harry Paul, co-author of the book, REVVED! An Incredible Way to Rev Up Your Workplace and Achieve Amazing Results (and also co-author of the popular FISH! book series about the Pike Place Fish Market).
These are just a few examples of speakers who can partner with business leaders to prevent the motivation drop-off of new/recent hires, and maintain peak levels of motivation for everyone in the organization. The investment in a speaker can range from a few thousand dollars to tens of thousands of dollars, but what might the benefit be from having a motivated workforce showing up every day? Or, alternately, what might it cost to have an unmotivated workforce showing up every day?