A tough economy has caused a large number of employees to feel that they have limited job options; and as a result, they are not actively pursuing other job opportunities. However, as the economy improves—and there is evidence of improvement—retaining and engaging valuable employees will soon need to be among the top priorities of leaders in both government and private industry. What can leaders do to retain and engage employees in a complex and turbulent economy?

Leaders who understand and address what motivates their employees are more likely to hold on to their best people and maximize performance by all employees.1 Compensation and benefits alone neither retain good employees nor motivate them to contribute their very best. In many cases, an employee’s motivation comes down to his or her relationship with an individual leader. The quality of that relationship depends in large part on how well the leader understands the employee and his or her motivation.

The Center for Creative Leadership and Booz Allen Hamilton conducted research to identify the relationship between why people are in their current positions and how motivated and committed they are to their organization. The results shed new light on what drives employees in public and private institutions, and how leaders can motivate and retain employees through continuing complexity and change.

A Report Co-Authored by the Center for Creative Leadership and Booz Allen Hamilton

Additional Contributing Authors: Jeffrey L. Herman, Stephanie Shively, Ph.D & Lori Zukin, Ph.D.

Published: July 2011
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