Employee retention and motivation – Part 1


For quite some time now, the shortage of specialists and executives in Germany has been a major concern for our economy. HR departments and recruiters are finding it more and more challenging to come up with creative ideas and to find new ways of attracting and recruiting suitable candidates. Teams are understandably groaning under the low staff density and are barely managing to complete the tasks at hand. As a result, there’s an increasing focus on prioritizing, and work is either left undone, or its completion takes significantly longer than what would benefit the company and its customers.

Questions around employee retention also tend to arise in this context. Because while it is becoming increasingly difficult to find new colleagues, there’s also a growing willingness among employees to change jobs. And as they leave a company, something important leaves with them: historical knowledge.

That’s where we touch upon a point that is very close to my heart and one that may also concern you, or at least it should: employee motivation. Although it’s only one building block in the context of employee retention, it is an essential one that offers many opportunities, too.

Perhaps you feel the same about this as I do. I was shocked by the latest Gallup study results (from the Gallup polling institute) that found that more than three-quarters of all respondents have little or no emotional attachment to their jobs. Three quarters. Spelled out in numbers: 75%! In my view, that’s more than alarming – and not just for the companies, but for each individual employee concerned, too. 

One aspect of this that we should pay particular attention to is that of people mentally quitting their jobs. Because that is exactly what the respondents did. This is reflected in ever-decreasing, or even non-existent, motivation, low levels of commitment and negative energy spreading throughout the workplace. All of this affects work performance, the team, customer relationships and ultimately, the economic strength of the respective company. It turns out that rising sick-leave figures and a high degree of willingness to change jobs are frequently indicators for this situation. 

We used to worry when employees said they were just doing what was expected of them. Today, many employees aren’t even doing that anymore.

Should we hold this against the employees? Not really. Ideally, we should look for the reasons behind this kind of development and identify how we can actively put a stop to it.

In subsequent blog articles, I’d like to take you on a journey through employee motivation—its various aspects and how to improve it. The goal is to identify the underlying causes of the question and what exactly we can do to motivate employees, drive up their identification with the company and increase overall employee satisfaction at the same time.

If you have any questions about this topic, feel free to comment on this blog post.

I look forward to hearing from you. Let’s take a good look at, and then deal with, what’s so important to all of us: human satisfaction and resilience.

Go for it,

Your crisis manager

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