There are many central themes for success in the employment marketplace, from both the company side and the job seeker side. However, one of the themes that both sides share is that of motivation.
That’s because nothing happens without motivation. Nothing happens until somebody wants it to happen and they take action. The question becomes, then, how do you motivate somebody to take action?
A discussion of motivation starts with a discussion of the difference between intrinsic motivation and extrinsic motivation. People fall into either one category or the other, although in some cases, they’re a combination of both.
If a person is intrinsically motivated, that means they’re motivated from within. In other words, they motivate themselves and don’t typically need motivation from outside forces. Being motivated is their “default setting,” so to speak.
On the other hand, if a person is extrinsically motivated, they do not necessarily motivate themselves. They often require motivation from external or outside forces.
Which person is the best to hire? While the answer to that question is subjective, an intrinsically motivated individual is generally believed to be the best hire. The reason is because they are typically self-starters. Their motivation comes from within, which means that the company does not to have to spend much in the way of time, energy, or money to get the person up to peak productivity levels.
So the answer is to hire all intrinsically motivated people and then stand back and let them succeed? Sounds great in theory. However, it’s not quite that simple in practice. That’s because it’s nearly impossible to hire nothing but intrinsically motivated individuals.
Sometimes a company will hire a person who has a tremendous amount of talent, skill, and experience, but they’re extrinsically motivated. Just because a person is primarily motivated from outside forces is no reason not to hire them.
Not only that, but some people are also intrinsically motivated to a certain point, and then they need external circumstances to motivate them further. It’s far from a “black and white” issue of extremes. There are plenty of grey areas involved.
That’s where rewards in the workplace enter the picture.
The good news is that there are a variety of ways that a company can reward employees for good performance and to motivate them to achieve even more. Not all of these ways have to be costly in terms of time or money. The key is to make sure that the employee knows that their efforts are appreciated.
Employees want to feel as though they are appreciated. Feelings of appreciation are powerful outside forces that can “fan the flames” of motivation. Below are a few simple ways to express that appreciation:
A verbal thank-you and/or a kind word of encouragement
Recognition in front of the employee’s peers
A “Recruiter of the Month” award that may or may not involve a plaque
A small bonus in their paycheck
These small gestures of appreciation appeal to both people who are intrinsically motivated and those who are extrinsically motivated. That’s because those who are intrinsically motivated still enjoy feeling appreciated. And when they feel appreciated, they’re motivated to achieve even more.
That’s why a rewards system tied to performance and appreciation can help to motivate an entire workforce to achieve higher levels of productivity.
We discussed soft skills before in this blog, specifically with a post titled "The Importance of Soft Skills in Your Job Search." However, there's a sub-set of soft skills that are even more valuable to you, and that is the subject of this blog post.
But first, let's recap with a definition: soft skills refer to skills that involve the way you interact with other people, specifically your boss and co-workers.
Now that we've recapped with a definition, let's move to another one. Transferrable soft skills are soft skills that can be applied to a number of different areas within a specific industry, and they can even be transferred from one career to another.
How can transferrable soft skills give you an edge in the job market? Let's answer that question with a hypothetical situation. Let's say that you're close to getting a job. It's come down to just you and another person.
You and this other person have about the same level of skills and experience for the position. In fact, you even have a lot of the same soft skills. However, you have a few transferrable soft skills that the other person does not have. Guess who gets the job? That's right, you do!
Transferrable soft skills can serve to "break the tie" in a situation like that one (even if it is hypothetical). Job seekers need every edge they can get in the employment marketplace. That's why you should be constantly adding to your skill set, not just with hard skills related to your trade or profession, but also with soft skills. And that includes transferrable soft skills.
What kind of soft skills are we talking about, specifically? Below are four transferrable soft skills that can give you an edge in the job market:
Okay, this is a skill that everyone can improve. It's probably the most common and most important transferrable soft skill. And when we talk about communication, we're talking primarily about two things: frequency and effectiveness. Basically, it's how often you communicate and how well you communicate. You need both elements to excel with this skill.
Okay, this soft skill is more elusive than communication. Not everybody can be a leader. If everybody was a leader, then there would be no real leaders. However, you can still learn everything there is to know about leadership, and if you have an inkling of leadership DNA within you, perhaps you can use that to put distance between you and other job seekers.
We've discussed this before, specifically with the blog post titled "Gaining the Advantage of Emotional Intelligence." Once again, this is a skill that just about anyone can improve. You don't necessarily have to be a leader in order to improve your emotional intelligence and use that skill to excel in the workplace and the job market.
#4—Time management (efficiency)
Time management does not pertain only to tasks in the workplace. It also pertains to the time spent with co-workers. An organization wants its employees to exercise exceptional time management not only with the tasks they complete, but also in the way they interact with co-workers. Let's face it: people sometimes waste time chatting with colleagues. That's not efficient.
How do YOU stack up in these four areas? What can you do to improve your skill within each one? Your ability to do so might have a tremendous impact on your job search and your career.
Time Staffing can help give you another edge in your job search.
If you want to be a valuable employee (and that's something that everybody should want), then you need to be aware of an important distinction.
That distinction is between being active and being productive. In other words, there's a difference between activity and productivity.
In short, this is what is important to remember about the difference between the two: organizations want employees who are both active and productive.
You've probably heard the phrase, "Look busy" before. Perhaps you've seen the phrase in action. A group of employees are gathered somewhere, perhaps talking about the big game from the previous weekend. One of them sees a member of management approaching, so he (or she) says to their co-workers, "Hey, look busy!"
In such a scenario, the workers are attempting to look active to management. But is that group of workers actually being productive? The answer: probably not. In that scenario, the common goal is to appear productive through activity. However, appearances can be deceiving.
An important aspect to remember about this issue is that there is not much of a correlation between activity and productivity. Sometimes, there is a correlation, but not in every instance. Not by a long shot. Below are a few examples that illustrate this point:
An employee could work an eight-hour shift completing various tasks, but not actually do anything productive.
On the other hand, an employee could have an idea about a better way to complete a task or activity. That idea might result in a change to a process or system that takes only a few minutes to implement, but results in a tremendous increase in productivity.
An employee could find themselves doing the same task over and over again, due to the fact that they're unable to complete the task correctly. This person is being quite active, but they're not producing the desired results. They're not actually being productive.
And that's what companies want: desired results. That's why they hire employees in the first place. They want to achieve results, but they need a group of people to make that happen. And those results are tied to productivity, not simply activity.
As a result, productivity is what you should focus on, both as a prospective employee an as an actual employee. Focus on productivity on your resume. Focus on productivity during the face-to-face interview. And absolutely focus on it if you're hired, no matter if it's a temporary position or a full-time position.
This means finding out the following pieces of information:
What the company expects in terms of productivity
What the company expects in terms of your position specifically when it comes to productivity
How you'll be measured and evaluated in terms of productivity
What resources you have at your disposal to increase your productivity
If you want to increase your value as an employee, then you must focus on productivity. When you focus on increasing your productivity, you increase your employer's profitability. And when you increase your employer's profitability, you increase your value.
Don't just try to "look busy," but be both busy and productive. Organizations want activity and productivity in a prospective employee, and they'll reward those who are able to supply them.
Time Staffing Inc.