So what does motivate employees? Pink says it takes three things: autonomy, mastery, and purpose. Writing at Inc.com this month, author Jeff Haden expands the list to eight things employees need: freedom, targets, a mission, expectations, input, connections, consistency, and a future.
Do those cover all the bases? It’s complicated, say corporate communications experts.
A human view
The Inc. piece is “drastically oversimplified,” says Sean Williams of Communication Ammo.
“Unionized workplaces, for example, often have work rules that govern how a task is performed,” he says. “That said, even in a union shop, there are ways for employers to demonstrate their humanity: works councils and a safety culture that doesn’t seem like a ‘balance’ between speed, quality, and safety.”
Employers have to make sure their connection with employees assure them they’re regarded as human beings rather than human resources, Williams says. Communicator Trent Meidinger says employees need reassurance that they’re not viewed as robots.