‘At every job, you should either learn or earn. Either is fine. Both is best. But if it’s neither, quit.’
Although ‘Employees do not leave their companies but their leaders’ is a generally accepted view among HR professionals for reasoning employee turnover, the above-mentioned tweet by Garry Tan, founder of Initialized Capital, made me think about job design and wages.
It is obvious that ‘earn’ is all about the money you make with your job. Then, what about ‘learn’? To conceptualize ‘learn’, we need to check out the recent trends.
The result of a recent survey in Turkey, conducted with the participation of IT companies, shows that the median value of voluntary turnover is 6,7%. Another survey which is also conducted with an IT cohort tells us that 60% of respondents see total compensation package as the most critical factor for attracting talent. According to the same survey, almost half of the respondents think that interesting and challenging jobs are of core value for retention. Career / personal growth options and learning&development are the following factors with a slightly lower percentage.
Combining Gary’s tweet with those survey results, we can assert that ‘learn’ is a concept that involves job characteristics, growth options, learning, and development. Additionally, we can also hypothesize a relation between turnover intention, job design, and wages, at least for IT sector employees. In this blog post, let’s try to understand what job design is and how it contributes to motivating people for work.
There are three critical psychological states which lead to internal work motivation. These are experienced meaningfulness of the work, experienced responsibility for outcomes of the work, and knowledge of the actual results of the work activities. According to Hackman and Oldham, the founders of job characteristics theory, 5 core job characteristics should be considered for the design of a job.
Three of those job characteristics, skill variety, task identity, and task significance, contribute to the experienced meaningfulness of the work. Skill variety is about the degree to which a job requires the use of many different competencies of the employee. Task identity is about doing an identifiable piece of work from beginning to end with a visible outcome. Task significance is the degree to which the job has a substantial impact on the lives of others.
On the way to going back to the new normal after the pandemic, most of the companies are discussing novel working models like hybrid schedules. The fourth job characteristic, autonomy, is closely related to those discussions and contributes to experienced responsibility for outcomes of the work. Autonomy, as a job characteristic, is the degree to which the job provides substantial freedom, independence, and discretion to the individual in scheduling the work and in determining the procedures to be used in carrying it out.
Everybody wants to know the results of his or her efforts and also how he or she performed on a certain task. Job feedback, the last characteristic, is how a job provides the individual with direct and clear information about the effectiveness of his or her performance.
To sum up, for motivating people to stay with you, give them challenging tasks which require the employment of different skills, make them feel contributing to a meaningful whole and creating value for others. Finally, provide them with freedom for scheduling and feedback for performance.