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What Drives Employees Today?

What Drives Employees Today?

The Things That Drive Employees Today

The idea of « employee engagement » is not a recent concept. Yet the way we perceive engagement in 2020 has evolved significantly from its initial definition. The focus is not only on ensuring that the majority of the staff is satisfied with their jobs, but as well on the manager to make sure that each employee feels content, accomplished and motivated towards their job, and being aware of how their contribution is aligned with the overall progress of the company.

One of the most important developments is the rigid supervisor-junior dynamic, where employees feel a lack of control in the overall decision-making of the company of which they are a part. Since most major decisions are dictated mostly by senior members without the opinions of the staff being considered, they can feel a level of disconnect with the company, causing future issues in employee retention, absences, and disputes. Therefore, it is important to keep employees in the loop on company occurrences and obtain a general consensus before implementing changes that can affect the employees.

The trend of recognition and praise is another factor that is significantly more important than before and is steadily on the rise. In fact, studies show that  over 70% of employees reported their most critical recognition “had no dollar value” – a considerable increase from 57% in the last 5 years.

However, an element that comes into play with recognition and appraisals is the “perception gap.” According to research, over 67% of managers believe that they are exceptional at delivering praise and recognition, but only 23% of their employees agree. This calls for an increase in employee recognition. Therefore, we see how it is integral for leaders of today to commit to employee acknowledgement so employees feel appreciated for their work and that they are part of an empowering workplace culture.

In addition, this can be tied to helping employees grow professionally and improve their network. It can be done through sharing this praise with other members of the company or community whether in-person, through LinkedIn recommendations, or posting recognition comments on a company intranet or internet.

What drives employees today is significantly more multi-dimensional than it was in the previous decades, where only getting a pay-check at the end of the month was all that employees wanted. All of these above-mentioned factors are necessary to create a sense of meaning and purpose for employees for their hard work. If companies want their staff to go the extra mile, businesses must be prepared to give back to employees to motivate and drive them. It is necessary to commit to creating a positive work culture which embraces a work-life balance, mutual respect and personal and professional development. Consequently, this will contribute to improving company culture, reputation and brand alignment.


  1. What Best Motivates You at Work? When 200,000 Employees Were Asked, This was Their No. 1 Response, March 2018, Inc.
  2. What Truly Motivates Employees, August, 2015, TalentCulture.