Create a higher meaning for employees
When employees buy into higher meaning, they will work harder and be happier.
We’ve previously written about how to manage various employee types, and how to retain employees through workplace gamification. We’ve even created successful employee motivation designs for existing companies.
But once you understand the Player Types in your organization, you still need to do something about it to get the most out of people, craft a winning culture, and get business results.
Many leaders understand that creating meaningful vision and mission gives employees added motivation. For some employees, it is the reason they join a company. Companies like Tesla, Google and Apple have proven this point beyond any doubt.
But having a great epic meaning or being a place where an employee can find her calling is not enough. One crucial part of work is the sacrifice it takes to do it.
By understanding sacrifice, we can use it to make Core Drive 1: Epic Meaning & Calling even stronger.
Sacrifice augments Epic Meaning & Calling
From a behavioral economics standpoint, sacrifice simply stems from opportunity costs. When an employee is working for you, they aren’t working for someone else. She is doing the most important projects in her department in lieu of others. She is, by definition, not doing many things she could have done elsewhere.
As a leader, it is your role to help your employees understand these tradeoffs at the business level.
At the emotional level, Epic Meaning becomes strongest when the Anti Core Drive 8: Loss & Avoidance is not pulling one away from being motivated by Core Drive 1: Epic Meaning & Calling.
Every second, every minute, every day that an employee is wondering if this work is the right work for her to be doing is time taken away from your core objectives and business metrics.
Instead, the employee should understand that she is making sacrifices (not doing many things) and feel good about that decision. Then, the sacrifice becomes apiece with the calling of the work.
It is not just about compensating your staff with money and status. These are extrinsic rewards and will lead to short term motivation. Bring in Epic Meaning and Calling and you will be rewarded with people that have a long term goal, vision and passion.
Designs that ignore sacrifice are doomed to fail
As a leader, Head of HR, experience designer, or team manager, you absolutely need to understand the sacrifices your team members are making. Don’t be tone deaf to their individual lives or needs.
If you don’t pay attention to employee signals about Core Drive 8: Loss & Avoidance, then the sacrifice an employee is making to work for your company may slowly deteriorate their other motivations. They could burn out, or change companies.
But there is more to a great design than Epic Meaning
Epic Meaning and Calling is only 1 of 8 motivational Core Drives in Octalysis. To best design long-lasting and engaging employee experiences, you need to understand and apply the extrinsic and intrinsic motivation at the right time. You need to know when to remind your employees about the sacrifices they are making. This trigger shows your empathy as a leader and reinforces their core activity loop of work within your company. It validates the employee and shows her you care.
Even better, you could use Octalysis to design an experience that carries employees through Discovery, Onboarding, Scaffolding, and an Endgame (long-lasting, veteran employee) with your company.
Octalysis is one way to get started.
Let us audit your employee experience today.
Joris@OctalysisGroup.com and tell him this article sent you to him.