By Dan Middlebrook, Recruitment Manager, B2B Marketing
Why do we get out of bed and come to work each day?
It’s a very basic question, but the answers can be practical, economic, moral, social and even philosophical or religious in essence. We all have our own motivators and these can change as we make our way through life, or even on a daily basis according to mood, circumstance and other external factors, giving myriad different points of view.
We may angrily ask “why the hell do I bother?” when we’re stuck in a ten-mile tailback or more reflectively “what’s my purpose here?” as we hit a plateau in our work or home lives.
I posed the question, (in a quick straw poll) to my colleagues today and as you may expect in a sales environment, money, reward and recognition were commonly cited motivators. However, others included: competition, both with peers and rival businesses, the sense of being part of a wider success story, plus the satisfaction of delivering a good and valued service.
Some of the best (anonymous) quotes were: “facing a day totally different to the previous”,“feeling the energy levels, the buzz in the office and being surrounded by ambitious people”, “finding someone a job that they’re going to love.”, “working where I feel free and trusted, because I am trustworthy.” and even “getting out of the house”(!) All very different and yet all of central importance to the individuals concerned.
We’re clearly all very different animals but what seems to be a common thread is that we value a sense of achievement and of delivering value and gaining recognition for our efforts. Often the process and even the very effort itself can be enjoyable – in our job we’re lucky enough to meet some great candidates and clients and often make relationships that last years and evolve beyond the purely professional.
As a recruiter, I’ve been trained to try and identify and understand what motivates our candidates so we can best ensure we meet these motivations and direct people to opportunities that will fulfil them and in which they’ll thrive. Financially, for them and us, this makes perfect sense.
Often I’ve found myself asking the very open question “why do you want to leave your current role?” While not a bad question per se, it’s unlikely to immediately unlock all the motivations for someone wanting a move; a bad day at the office or a dressing down by a manager may prompt a search but the underlying reasons are likely to remain deeper until we probe more skilfully.
Personally, I need a reason and a purpose for getting out of bed at 5.30am (ouch!) every day and that is to strive to do my best to find the right candidates for my clients and have the satisfaction of helping start or develop someone’s career. On the flip side, it’s also rewarding to help small businesses and global players bring in individuals who’ll impact positively within their workspace and provide a tangible return on investment.
Of equal importance is working for an organisation that broadly shares the same values, morals and goals so I can feel part of a greater collective effort. Finally, it’s important for me to feel valued and valuable to my colleagues and managers, and for me to have a voice within my organisation. I’ll come back to this in my next blog addressing the difficult task of keeping employees engaged and motivated.
In the meantime, I’d be interested to hear your reasons and motivations to get up and out of bed when that alarm goes off on a damp, dark February morning…..