By Jorge Valentiner, Software Quality Assurance Engineer at Meta4
Today, it is becoming more complicated to find candidates and develop strategies for workforce retention within the company. This is because seeking "profiles" described in an Excel spreadsheet is no longer enough, nowadays other skills are beginning to gain importance, skills that are hard to call "tangible and measurable", such as positive attitude, the level of motivation and work engagement, and empathy.
These skills are not always "required conditions" for certain jobs, or they are not generally given the importance which, in my opinion, they clearly deserve.
We should not overlook the fact that a motivated, proactive employee who is eager to learn and grow, undoubtedly brings more to the team than another, who does the same job under the same conditions but without the qualities mentioned above.
Why is it like this? Because while the motivated worker spreads energy and positiveness to those around him, recent studies reveal that almost 80% of workers claim that they would be more engaged in their work if they felt their achievements were recognized. It is therefore essential that we link work motivation to productivity and results.
For all employees, emotional salary is very important (sometimes more than getting paid). Seemingly utopian, this is the bottom-line reality, because once some financial stability and quality of life is achieved, the level of motivation tends to diminish, running the risk of vegetating in a job. In such instances the implementation of technical and corporate strategies to keep the motivation level up should prevail. These tools ensure that the employee is eager to go to work and is more effective upon becoming more involved; this leads to a visible benefit from their contribution to the company.
How is this achieved? By closely tracking their progress through the performance appraisal process. Performance appraisal is an instrument we should always rely on to check how well employees work and how satisfied they are, as it is a key part in the process for work integration and/or job adaptation.
That is why companies should ensure that promotions are given to the right people, in a way that is fair and based on merit. Likewise, they should also take into account opinions and suggestions from their employees; develop a well-defined career plan and an attractive compensation plan based on rewarding merit and effort. This is vital so the employee feels his work adds value to the business, and to further boost the sense of belonging to the company. If their achievements are recognized, employees will feel comfortable, valued, and ultimately, happy with the company; they will give the best of themselves every day.
Other elements that boost motivation among employees are company work-life balance policies and flexible compensation plans aimed at strengthening talent retention strategies (keeping know-how within the company is vital for attaining the long-term corporate financial targets).
Finally, it is essential that the organization promotes relations based on trust and teamwork through collaborative learning within a friendly, communicative, and participatory environment.
The "perfect employee" as such, does not exist; the perfect employee is forged, nurtured, taken care of and thus developed to the extent that the environment allows. It is therefore crucial to treat employees in a personalized manner and reward individual effort, based on the results obtained, with goals and targets clearly defined to bring about talent capture, reward and retention. Additionally, granting autonomy and freedom to employees goes hand in hand with mutual trust, as they are given the opportunity to prove their worth on the basis of achievements attained, at the same time as encouraged and supported when a mistake is made, or they receive public recognition for achievements and successes from all team members.