The Link Between Motivation and Loyalty

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Successful employee retention can be attributed to the time taken to determine whether a candidate will thrive in the organization.

May 01, 2006

Among the many builders we work with around the nation, one is hands-down the leader in employee retention.

For the past 20 years, this builder's ability to develop and retain exceptional talent is significantly higher than any other home builder we've seen. That's not unheard of for a small- to medium-size builder, but this top 10 player brings in hundreds of new hires annually, from entry-level college grads to experienced managers.

What is behind the builder's success? I could point to several factors, but one that stands out is the time it takes to determine whether a candidate will thrive in the organization.

Part of the interview process includes sending candidates to Gary Williamson, Ph.D. Williamson is an industrial psychologist and managing partner of a human resource development firm that specializes in the evaluating employees. What makes this unique from the typical assessment process is how candidates are surveyed for personal motivators.

The survey originated from the two-factor theory of motivation developed by Dr. Frederick Herzberg.

Herzberg's theory states there are two kinds of rewards for people at work: hygiene factors and motivators.

Hygiene factors keep people from becoming unhappy at work, but they do not motivate people to produce higher-level performance. They are necessary and essential to an employee's professional well-being but don't motivate them to go the extra mile. Instead, hygiene factors often turn out to be causes for dissatisfaction.

Motivators encourage people to shift into that higher gear, to reach their potential and to become passionate and thrive. Motivators are usually accompanied by excitement and job satisfaction.

Rewards can fall under either category. Some frequently identified rewards in the home building industry include recognition, authority, compensation, creativity, mental challenge and the opportunity to develop others.

Williamson's survey results are shared with candidates to help them determine compatibility with the new opportunity. If the opportunity provides greater rewards than what they currently have, there is a greater chance for a long term fit.

So, how does this influence our client's success?

Besides screening for strong mental abilities or vocational experience, our client looks for candidates who will thrive in the organization.

And when employees thrives, they usually succeed and stay.

The same formula applies to internal job changes and transfers. Before moving a prized employee into a new role or making a move yourself, compare the rewards profile against the opportunity.

Next month, we'll take a closer look at rewards and how to develop your own profile.


Author Information
Rodney Hall is a senior partner with The Talon Group, a leading executive search firm specializing in the real-estate development and homebuilding industries.


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