What Matters Most to Employees? It’s Meaningful Work

Sometimes, you can over analyze a problem and miss the solution that’s right in front of you.

Well-known HR and talent industry analyst Josh Bersin made this point at the recent FuelX New York conference when he showed research that answered the question, “What is the #1 thing that inspires you to be happy and work harder?

The most frequently given response was both amazingly simple and incredibly insightful. It’s this: What matters most to people is meaningful work.

Josh Bersin Meaningful Work

A not so surprising answer

To give a little more perspective, here are all the responses to “What is the #1 thing that inspires you to be happy and work harder?”

  1. The nature of the work itself — 26 percent;
  2. The opportunity to learn and grow — 19 percent;
  3. Company culture and work environment — 14 percent;
  4. The people you work with — 14 percent;
  5. Making goals or hitting targets — 12 percent;
  6. Getting a raise — 4 percent;
  7. Getting promoted — 3 percent;
  8. My boss — 2 percent;
  9. Opportunity to travel or relocate — 1 percent;
  10. Other — 5 percent

You always hear that money isn’t a big motivator for employees, and although some find that surprising, this research shows that to be the case.  What does jump out, however, is how low “getting a raise” and “getting a promotion” fall on the list.

It’s about growing employees and building careers

Josh drove this point home when he noted that, “The right job is twice as important as culture and four times more important than money.” And he added, “Careers and growth are one of the most important things (for organizations) to address. (It’s about) finding the right role for everyone in the company.”

Although everyone wants the right role, great career growth, and a clearly defined path to get there, all of this is even more important for the youngest workers — Millennials and Gen X — as they become the largest and most dominant groups in the 21-century workplace.

It’s more important than ever before, as Josh Bersin notes, that organizations work to help employees grow and build their careers. Not only is it a key to retaining your top talent, but it’s critical to both your culture and your ability to hire good people moving ahead.

And as Josh Bersin also pointed out, “Fuel50 career management … is the kind of stuff that pays off that you MUST have.”

Yes, meaningful work and a clear career path are critical as you develop your own talent, and Fuel50 is here to help you with that.

Coaching Employees for High Performance

Interested in learning more? Read the Research Paper “Coaching Employees for High Performance” and find out how to enable your people to develop and grow.

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