Blogs

What's your motivation? (Part 2)

Both Google and Atlassian have taken the old approach to human resource management and given it a real shake up

Last week we looked at motivation and some pretty lame suggestions being offered as ‘rewards' for productivity or good service. These ranged from the absurd (buying fundraising cookies) to the ridiculous (bestowing a new, but meaningless, title).

So now I'm wondering who's doing it well? Are any employers doing it differently?

Progressive and creative companies are turning old models of employee management on their head. After all, ‘management' is something we humans have created, and for a long time we've gone about our business being ‘managed'. But now that management is often shacked up cosily with its new best friend compliance, maybe a new model is needed. After all, we're no longer doing business the same way we were when management was founded.

So back to our progressive companies. For the second consecutive year, Google is #1 on Fortune's 100 Best Companies to Work For list. It famously has its 20% time, where employees can spend 20% of their time at work, exploring projects of their own choosing (even using the resources of Google!).

Aussie software innovators Atlassian have also come up with ShipIt days. Once per quarter employees have 24 hours to scratch their creative itch. And being Aussie, at the end of the time period they showcase their work over pizza and beer. Both Google and Atlassian have taken the old approach to human resource management and given it a real shake up.

Why? Because they know what motivates their staff. Autonomy and permission to be creative… what a combination! And what's more, both companies are reaping the financial rewards as a result. Innovation is up, productivity is up, employee satisfaction is up, staff turnover is down. Both companies have gone on to develop products for release that were the result of this creative time. Genius!