The Motivation Metric

By Jennifer Eng

With only 30 percent of employees fully engaged at work, companies are investing heavily in keeping their teams motivated and satisfied. In fact, “employee engagement is now one of the top three concerns of most HR professionals.” To address this, John Deere created and implemented a system that measures their employees’ morale every two weeks, in stark contrast to most companies, which usually check in on employee engagement every year or two. What drives John Deere’s decision to use more frequent “pulse checks?” They face strong competition for talent from venture-funded startups and big guns like Google and Amazon, and recognize the connection between engagement and the innovative level of the company. Checking in with their employees on a consistent basis also gives John Deere data that can be used to immediately determine and address motivational issues, rather than letting the issues grow into larger problems. Further, managers can assess team health, particularly when an employee joins or leaves a team, which inevitably changes team dynamics. Regular pulse checks additionally place an emphasis on continuous improvement across the company, and without them, managers may not notice morale issues until performance reviews or when an employee quits. Will we see the motivation metric take off? Time will tell.

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