Modern Motivational Methods for Attracting and Retaining Employees

[We’re pleased to welcome authors Anaïs Thibault Landry of ESG UQAM,
Allan Schweyer of the Incentive Research Foundation, and Ashley Whillans of Harvard Business School. They recently published an article in Compensation & Benefits Review entitled “Winning the War for Talent: Modern Motivational Methods for Attracting and Retaining Employees,” which is currently free to read for a limited time. Below, they reflect on the motivation and impact of this research:]

Many companies remain structured – both in their organization and mindset – to address last century’s challenges. But nothing has changed more dramatically in recent decades than work and peoples’ attitudes toward it. The complexity of business combined with an inexorable need to innovate, require increasingly more sophisticated and nuanced approaches to attracting, engaging, and retaining talent. This research builds on past work of ours and many others, exploring the various ways non-financial benefits and rewards nurture stronger employer-employee relationships and better outcomes – both for the individual and the organization.

Like many today, we’re motivated to help solve the enormous challenges organizations face in an economy with almost zero unemployment among skilled workers, combined with stubbornly low employee engagement levels. We’ve been consistently surprised at the effects of certain “softer” rewards of work, especially those that convey a sense of caring. For example, when employers describe their generous leave policies in job descriptions, they attract many more candidates than firms that pay significantly more. Based only on the job description, candidates report they believe the employer cares more about their employees – and that’s worth more to them than extra money.

We think these findings are the most important and innovative of our research. For employers it means they now operate in a world where top talent is looking for more out of work than just a handsome paycheck. It means they should re-visit their approach to benefits and rewards by emphasizing flexible work, inclusion, purpose, autonomy and non-financial gifts that convey appreciation.

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This entry was posted in Compensation and Benefits and tagged , , , , , by Cynthia Nalevanko, Senior Editor, SAGE Publishing. Bookmark the permalink.

About Cynthia Nalevanko, Senior Editor, SAGE Publishing

Founded in 1965, SAGE is the world’s leading independent academic and professional publisher. Known for our commitment to quality and innovation, SAGE has helped inform and educate a global community of scholars, practitioners, researchers, and students across a broad range of subject areas. With over 1500 employees globally from principal offices in Los Angeles, London, New Delhi, Singapore, Washington DC, and Melburne, our publishing program includes more than 1000 journals and over 900 books, reference works and databases a year in business, humanities, social sciences, science, technology and medicine. Believing passionately that engaged scholarship lies at the heart of any healthy society and that education is intrinsically valuable, SAGE aims to be the world’s leading independent academic and professional publisher. This means playing a creative role in society by disseminating teaching and research on a global scale, the cornerstones of which are good, long-term relationships, a focus on our markets, and an ability to combine quality and innovation. Leading authors, editors and societies should feel that SAGE is their natural home: we believe in meeting the range of their needs, and in publishing the best of their work. We are a growing company, and our financial success comes from thinking creatively about our markets and actively responding to the needs of our customers.

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