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Employee motivation is one of the most difficult aspects of management to master. You may wonder where that highly professional, driven person that you interviewed went after six months or a year. What does it take to keep employees on track? Compensation? Bonuses? Contests? It is difficult to know what will work and easy to waste time and money trying to come up with a solution that works.

Often employers consider it a positive attribute that a candidate is motivated by money, particularly in sales or business development roles. However, that is not always the case. Sales stars consider compensation a method of keeping score. It’s the middle of the road sales reps who tend to be obsessed with commissions to the exclusion of all else.

Unfortunately, with this focus solely on their bottom line, they may be reluctant to spend time on administrative, account management or service tasks that do not directly connect to revenue. Managers know that it’s more cost-effective to keep an existing customer than gain a new one. Make the most of these compensation-driven employees by providing backup to take care of administrative tasks. Alternatively, hire more well-rounded sales representatives who are willing to perform both hunting and farming activities.

Some employers believe that employees are best motivated by fear and interact with employees in a manner that implies that they could be fired any day. This doesn’t truly motivate. Fearful employees do just enough to get by and will likely look for other opportunities.

What do highly motivated employees look for?

  • Interesting work. Projects that allow employees to think and create keep them engaged.
  • The best employees look for opportunities to increase their skills, learn new things and increase their capabilities.
  • Micromanagement and excessive or arbitrary rules can kill employee motivation.

Begin by using the interview process to identify prospects who are likely to remain highly motivated. People who do work they love work harder and are more highly engaged and motivated. When you interview candidates, choose those who are highly interested in their field, your company and the opportunity to improve your hiring and retention results.

When you need to hire highly motivated executives or team members, trust the recruiting experts at BrainWorks. Our executive recruitment professionals have a broad knowledge of effective recruiting strategies and of the industries they serve. Contact BrainWorks today to begin your search.


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