It is not so long ago that the media was full of stories in which the work ethic of immigrant workers was being contrasted with that of British workers.
There was a steady stream of sound-bite style criticism of how British workers wanted a tea break as soon as they arrived at work and wondered who was going to make that cup of tea for them.
Now that Brexit is fast approaching, and the same media are starting to report that fewer migrant workers are coming to the United Kingdom and many of the migrant workers from Eastern Europe are returning home as their home country economies start to boom.
It is likely to be some time before we can understand the full impact that both the free movement of labour and leaving the European Union had on the economy of the United Kingdom
But the reality is that this time next year the UK will not be a member of the European Union and it will be more difficult to recruit employees from overseas. We have got to start rethinking the way in which we recruit people. We are likely to have to start looking for candidates in groups that we may previously not touched with the preverbal barge-pole
With a potential shortage of any type of candidates, and as Alice Lacey explained millennials increasing their pay packets by switching jobs frequently rather than progressing with the same employer, we are going to have to up our game when it comes to motivating the employees we do have.
That is where a lot of managers fall at the first hurdle. They see motivation as something that they do to people rather than something that they tap into within the individual.
There is nothing that any of us can do to motivate someone else, we have to understand what motivates them and put in place initiatives that enable them to see the link between work and them achieving their ambitions and lifestyle aspirations.
Unfortunately, when a manager is faced with an unmotivated or a demotivated employee their first response is all too often to switch the balance between carrot and stick very much towards the stick. This says Tim Irwin the author of How Great Leaders Bring Out the Best in Others, on which this week’s free how to guide is based, is a strategy that is unlikely to turn the employee around. There is a danger in adopting a stick focused approach that a manager is likely to upset and demotivate people instead of building their confidence and making them want to do more.
The stick approach may have worked very well when workers feared unemployment, but when there are increasingly more vacancies than there are candidates, a manager needs to think much more about engagement and relationships.
People want more from work than just a way of paying their bills, work has to fit within a work/life mix. What your job and where you do that job says an awful lot about you as an individual. So, managers have to work out how they can help their team members to be not just better at their jobs but also better people. The berating and threats that are a part of a stick approach are unlikely to achieve this.
Whilst the difference between criticism and constructive criticism may be down to individual interpretation it is a subtle dividing line that managers need to make sure they are familiar with, if they are to motivate their employees.
The successful manager of the twenty-first century will be expert in acknowledging even the smallest achievement and in encouraging the team members when the chips are down instead of criticizing them.
It may be an uncomfortable proposition for many managers but as Tim says managers are going to have to develop their empathy skills and learn how to be compassionate. The key is going to be identifying the positive direction that employees want to be led in.
In this week’s free guide you will learn how
- Affirmation can galvanize a person’s core and sense of self; and
- To use “extraordinary influence” and positivity to affect others for the better.