Struggling to recruit and retain top talent? The answer isn’t unlimited PTO and hoverboards.
There are many perks you can offer in the name of “company culture,” but they don’t have the power to give your business a competitive edge. And that’s as true in the job market as it is in the marketplace.
If you’re trying to attract top talent—and retain the wunderkinds already on payroll—it can be tempting to toss out flashy benefits like unlimited PTO, snacks and company lunches, game rooms, office toys, team retreats, and more. But it shouldn’t come as a surprise: In the long run, people aren’t motivated by perks. People are motivated by meaningful work.
But if your company isn’t building eco-friendly housing in impoverished communities or curing cancer, how can you foster a motivating sense of meaning for employees and prospective recruits?
A strong company mission and vision are key to attracting top talent, but even the most dedicated employee can’t survive on the strength of vision alone. Beyond that, there has to be meaning in the “daily grind,” a sense of shared purpose, and mutual accountability between employees and management. This is where business intelligence comes in.
BI supports meaningful work in a number of ways: it makes success tangible, it aligns departments and teams around company-wide objectives, and it puts employees and employers on the same side of the table.
Many companies struggle to tie the efforts of individual employees to specific outcomes. Departmental goals may not be in line with organizational goals, and employees may feel powerless to make a difference.
As Ken Blanchard explains, “Vision comes alive when everyone sees where his or her contribution makes a difference.” Whether that vision is charitable or capitalistic, people need to see that what they do has an impact on the bigger picture.
BI makes it possible to visualize each employee’s impact. When you connect the apps and spreadsheets you already use to a BI solution like Grow, you can create charts and dashboards that update in real time with the metrics and KPIs that each person is accountable for. Then their work is promptly reflected in a way that they, their managers, and their co-workers can see—especially if those dashboards are displayed openly on TVs. (But that’s just our style.) A tangible, visible impact makes work more meaningful.
Meaningfulness also comes from feeling that you’re part of something bigger than yourself. In the same way that showing how individual work makes an impact, drawing together departments by connecting their goals to overarching organization-wide goals increases a sense of meaning and ownership.
At Grow HQ, we have our own business command center: a wall of six television displays that show our company’s most important metrics, such as MRR vs. ARR, Web Traffic vs. Inbound Leads, Churn by Cohort, Product Status, and more. We regularly discuss these metrics in our all-hands meetings, and each department knows which KPIs they’re responsible for, and how they impact each other.
When we’re about to hit a key milestone, employees will gather around the command center to watch and cheer as the dashboard refreshes. Each team feels responsible to support each other, and one team’s success is every team’s to celebrate. No person and no team is working solely for themselves—we’re all trying to win for each other.
When our CEO, Rob Nelson, remembers managing his team at his previous company before he had BI, he cringes a bit. “I hated feeling like the bad guy,” he says. “Sitting across the table from someone, telling them that they weren’t cutting it … that’s not fun for anyone. Not for them, and not for me.”
Discussing performance with employees can get dicey. But with BI, performance reviews become much easier because the focus is on the data. Employees can take responsibility for specific metrics, which gives them clarity on expectations, ownership to impact their metrics, and a clear way to measure their own performance.
“With BI, you’re sitting on the same side of the table,” says Rob. “Instead of getting personal or abstract, you can stay focused on outcomes. You’re looking at the data and working to find a solution together.” This approach can help employees feel more connected to leadership and more empowered to create their own success.
So why does motivating employees with meaningful work matter? Because when work is meaningful, people are engaged; and when people are engaged in their work, the floodgates of success open wide. The Harvard Business Review reports that:
“[H]ighly engaged employees are, on average, 50% more likely to exceed expectations than the least-engaged workers. And companies with highly engaged people outperform firms with the most disengaged folks—by 54% in employee retention, by 89% in customer satisfaction, and by fourfold in revenue growth.”
Motivated, engaged employees create success for their companies in many ways. But, as we’ve noted before, company success and employee motivation create a virtuous cycle where each part of the cycle reinforces the other. Not only do more motivated employees help create more company success, company success helps motivate employees. This effect is magnified with BI.
Business intelligence solutions like Grow can help accelerate your company’s growth and success by providing better access to data, saving time, improving communication and alignment, and more. With unique insights into your business, your team will be more empowered to succeed. (Plus, BI can help you raise capital and attract investors.)
No matter how you slice it, it’s hard to stay motivated on a sinking ship. On the other hand, when you’re part of an organization that’s growing and accelerating, it’s hard not to be excited and engaged.
If you want to recruit and retain top talent for your organization, BI is the best investment you can make! As for the toys, trips, and treats—those are optional.
Want to learn more about what Grow can do for your business? Request a demo!