Winning the Talent War: A Strategic Approach to Attracting, Developing and Retaining the Best People

By Charles Woodruffe | Go to book overview

14
Whatever turns you on:
transactions that motivate

Kinsman (1998) comments that 'Bill Gates may be far from the ideal boss but when Microsoft people can say [all our best workers are volunteers] (i.e. they've made so much they don't have to work, but they do because they love it), he must be getting something right' (p. 144). The level of motivation described by Kinsman is one that all organizations would like to achieve. It is, indeed, a level they need to achieve if they are to win the talent war. However, it is not necessarily a level that should be seen as remarkable. Talented, high potential people come to the world of work already motivated. The task of their leaders is to ensure that their enthusiasm is maintained. People come to work to have their needs met. If they are frustrated, good people can always move elsewhere. However committed the organization might be, people cannot be expected to work philanthropically. They need the transaction as well as the relationship.

Making generalizations about what motivates people has tended to give way to a more individualized approach. Indeed, one of the hallmarks of the transformational leader is giving individualized concern to people. The list of motivators considered below should therefore be seen as a starting point to gaining an insight on what motivates a particular person and not as applying equally to everyone.


A NEED FOR BALANCE BETWEEN THEIR WORK AND
THEIR PRIVATE LIFE

The list might start with what is said to be a priority for Generation X, alongside the need for the workplace to be a community that was dealt with in Chapter 13. Summers (1998) reports the suggestion that Generation X people are motivated by a need for balance between their work and their private life. This sense of balance also featured quite strongly in Holbeche's (1998) survey of high-flyers. A quarter of them described balance as what success means for them. It is also borne out by research by

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Winning the Talent War: A Strategic Approach to Attracting, Developing and Retaining the Best People
Table of contents

Table of contents

  • Title Page iii
  • Contents v
  • Acknowledgements vii
  • Introduction: Focusing through a Fog ix
  • Part One - Creating a Strategy for Winning Talented People 1
  • 1: Our Changing World 3
  • 2: Dancing Giants 13
  • 3: What About the Knowledge Workers? 25
  • 4: Squaring the Circle 35
  • 5: If the Core is Contingent 47
  • 6: Shreds of Evidence 57
  • 7: Finding a Third Way 65
  • 8: Siren Voices to Short-Termism 83
  • Part Two - Implementing the Strategy of Gaining Commitment by Showing Commitment 93
  • 9: Who Are You Calling Core? 95
  • 10: Roll Up for the Mystery Tour 101
  • 11: Selecting for the Future 111
  • 12: Development 127
  • 13: Showing You Care 141
  • 14: Whatever Turns You On 151
  • 15: Managing Careers for Commitment 161
  • Bibliography 171
  • Index of First Named Authors 185
  • Subject Index 189
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