Extrinsic motivators like pay raise and non-wage perks and benefits are great but they don’t get to the core of what motivates people. Intrinsic motivation is what really makes your workforce happier and employees more content and productive.
For all the technological evolution in the last few decades, paradoxically The Economist through a series of articles has been highlighting trends of persistently falling global productivity levels across both developed and developing countries. In modern economics, productivity is measured through TPF-Total Factor Productivity. Data given below suggests, before the 2007-08 crisis the global level in TFP was growing at 0.9% a year and since then it has largely remained stagnant across most regions and countries covered here.
While there is a perennial debate on the method of TPF measurement, all of us can corroborate with the technology-productivity paradox at some level. Further, amidst excessive talks of digital and AI disruption in recruitment function, data confirms that demand fulfillment is becoming exceedingly challenging with FF lead time getting increased while candidate’s availability in the market is getting abated.
“Advent of social media and technology advancements has been primarily responsible for multi-channel communication avenues with the candidate. Therefore, finding a candidate is becoming tad easier now though getting them to say ‘Yes’ or bringing them on a table for employment discussion is becoming a herculean task with each passing year.”
Therefore, taking refuge in technology to facilitate solutions for anticipated future problems is not a very prudent approach. It becomes imperative to contemplate and find more functions, domain or process specific non-technology measures for better productivity and results.
“New technologies will augment candidate reach; can help in transmitting the message to the candidates faster and at scale. However, the content of the message determines a candidate’s response and this part still needs human cognitive ability.”
The recruitment industry has been reeling with acute offer rejections and renege issues off late and a general perception with recruiters is that dropouts mostly happen due to ‘compensation’ issues.
If you dive deep into the subject you will find that there is sufficient research and data to suggest that there are many factors considered by candidates for employment decisions.
The science of human engagement and motivation primarily works on two vital aspects-
1). Extrinsic motivators
2). Intrinsic motivators.
Our business operating systems on how employees are motivated, how human resources are applied is entirely built around extrinsic motivators. There is a mismatch between ‘what science knows’ and ‘what business does’.
The research conducted by Massachusetts Institute of Technology shows that jobs which require less mechanical and more cognitive ability like creativity and conceptual thinking, have mystifying rules and non-obvious solutions, reward doesn’t necessarily improve the outcome.
The economists at the London School of Economics recently looked at 51 studies (pay for performance plans) and found that financial incentive can result in a negative impact on the overall performance. Our decisions are largely based on obsolete and unexamined assumptions and not on science or #candidateinsight.
Let’s not over-rely on compensation to entice candidates, as money can only ensure candidates a provisional enthusiasm, but cannot make them loyal employees. It is, therefore, crucial to emphasize on company’s culture, values and career opportunities which employees can possibly avail.
This can be done by sharing the testimonials from the existing employees with the candidates as candidates are more likely to have confidence in the testimonials than official company updates. I am not suggesting that compensation isn’t an issue or factor at all, but undoubtedly companies must pay fairly and competitively to make it a non-issue and get other intrinsic factors on the discussion table.
To conclude, there is a need to focus on intrinsic motivators by deploying new business operating system with novel building blocks such as #Autonomy, #Mastery and #Purpose. Adopting intrinsic instigators over extrinsic motivators and darning the mismatch between ‘what science knows’ and ‘what businesses do’ can potentially bring a solution to the candidate stickiness and better conversions.