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Tuesday, July 19, 2016

Keeping Employees Motivated

A new report captures surprising insights on the future of work

By Jeff Vijungco, vice president of Global Talent at Adobe

The workplace is changing faster than ever before with four generations working side-by-side, technology advancing at a rapid pace, and the line between work and life blurring more each day. New research from Adobe shines a light on employees’ attitudes about work and the future of technology in the workplace. The report, “Work in Progress” surveyed more than 2,000 office workers who use computers daily as part of their jobs in India, the U.S. and U.K. The findings reveal unexpected insights about today’s workforce. It goes without saying that engagement all starts with great people leadership, but here are some other takeaways from the U.S. results that shed light on what’s motivating employees today.

1. Tech is The New Perk of Choice

With companies today operating across many different systems and time zones, workers say good tech (not ping-pong) is what keeps them happy in the office. Eighty-one percent of U.S. workers single out access to cutting-edge technology as the top contributor to their overall job satisfaction, above perks like food, on-site amenities and slick office design. People want to get stuff done and tech should be an enabler to drive a culture of productivity. Employees who said their company’s technology is “ahead of the curve” feel twice as creative, motivated, and valued as those who say their company is “behind the times.” Yet, just one in four workers believe that his or her company’s technology is ahead of the curve.

It boils down to productivity. Eighty-five percent of workers believe technology makes them more productive, and a majority also think it improves their work-life balance and makes their workday better and easier.

2. People Actually Love to Work 

Employees need to be challenged intellectually and connected emotionally to their job to be happy. Our research shows that people really love to work with seventy percent of U.S. office workers saying they love their jobs. Eight in ten would even keep working if they won the lottery—and of those, half would, surprisingly, stay in their current roles.

Not only do people love to work, but a majority also define themselves by the work they do and spend more than forty percent of waking hours during their days off working or thinking about work.

3. Pay Isn’t Everything

On the contrary, money a warning sign. If you come for money, you’ll also leave for it.  The driver of employee engagement must be centered around making a difference. People want to make an impact on their society or community, in addition to feeling recognized for their successes. Forty-seven percent of respondents said they would move to their “ideal” job for less pay and most people would rather work long hours doing work they love, than shorter hours doing work they don’t enjoy.  

4. Moonlighting Has Become Mainstream

Look around you; it’s likely that someone sitting near you holds more than one job. One-third of respondents across income levels are holding one or more jobs in addition to their primary profession. And those that do, whether for money or to pursue a passion, say they are more likely to feel happy and optimistic than those that don’t have more than one job.

Could this be an indicator of what’s to come? Well, it might be since more than half of U.S. workers predict that most people will have multiple jobs in the future.

People want more than a large paycheck and showy benefits, and companies need to provide better experiences with flexibility, meaning, and opportunities for growth—or they may just lose top talent. In fact, research shows that a majority of workers are likely to leave their job for a new opportunity, and even half who love their job would still make a switch. Employers need to help integrate their employees and be mindful that they have both a professional and personal life.

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