When you first entered the employment market what was your key motivation? Maybe you were working towards bulking out your wardrobe or looking to purchase your very first set of wheels. Five years down the track you may have found yourself saving madly for a gap year spent overseas. Five more years on and you’re economising as you prepare to marry your Spanish beau you met while travelling. It’s no surprise that our lifestyle influences impact our motivations for getting out of bed and heading to our daily job, but if your employer is not aware of how life outside of work affects your motivations for going to work, they may not understand how to retain your services and get the best out of you.

Obviously some of us have to work. We have accumulated a debt because our lifestyle demanded it. Perhaps your family has outgrown the house and even the car! An upgrade on both is required, but now you need to work two jobs to make ends meet, or your spouse who has been raising the children has to return to work. Whatever the reason, you cannot afford to not be working and the job that offers the most income is the most appealing. The savvy employer will know that they are not going to lose you in a hurry providing they pay you fairly.

Some of us take a long term view and focus on our future. We take on an investment property so that we can comfortably retire sooner. As we do not want to work forever we seek to diversify our income stream. This type of person works to live. It is likely too that they show high levels of motivation within the working environment. Their employer will need to continuously feed their drive so that feel they are achieving successful outcomes. But it is likely it will need to be linked to a financial reward. After all, they are constantly trying to get ahead in life so that in their twilight years they have no financial woes. Commonly this type of worker falls somewhere between the ages of 30 and 45.

Those of us nearing the traditional retirement age are looking to financial and superannuation experts to explain to us what our best resignation strategy is. We have grandchildren now and want to spend time watching them grow. We also want to join the grey nomads and take our caravan around the countryside. We are now working to pass on our wisdom to a younger generation of workers before we head off to a liberated lifestyle.

Evidently as we grow older our priorities in life change. And while I have heard hundreds of reasons why a candidate wants the job I am interviewing them for, much of the time it is the lifestyle change that is influencing their application. The nature of the lifestyle influence can be a factor in determining if the candidate is the best choice. Now don’t automatically think that this is a negative, many people are looking to find more personal time so seek out a job closer to home or work less hours. Whatever the case may be, work and life outside of work is inherently linked and we all need to find the balance that suits our needs and our desires. So if you are an employer who thinks that our motivations for working are simply driven by workplace initiatives to keep us working at an optimal rate, you probably have a higher than enviable staff turnover rate. If you are an employer wanting to understand more about your staffs’ motivations, ask yourself why you go to work each day?


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