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Keep Your Employees Satisfied To Keep Them

Considering Employee Motivators in the Great Reassessment

Erica Campion
Erica Campion
retaining satisfied employees

The Great Resignation has been featured in the news for months, and in attempting to identify the drivers behind this massive workforce shift, other terms have surfaced as well … “The Great Rehire,” “The Great Renegotiation,” and “The Great Reassessment.”

It’s this last term, perhaps, that best describes the cause of the current phenomenon. Since the onset of the pandemic, people across the globe have been prompted to pause and reassess their life, career included. As they take stock, many have found that their current roles are somehow lacking, and consequently we have seen record numbers of resignations across industries.

The trend continues, suggesting that many are still reassessing their situations and concluding that they can find more happiness or satisfaction elsewhere. Truly, it is worthwhile for everyone to consider if they are happy in their current role, or if they need something more. For employees that think it may be time for a change, it is important to first consider what motivates them. A full understanding of how they are motivated in the workplace can assist in making sure the next steps taken are in the right direction. Even for those who are not looking for a role change, an understanding of what personally motivates them can help employees increase their job satisfaction.

What are Employee Motivators?

Employee motivators are simply that — whatever encourages people to do their job, do it well, and enjoy it all the while. Common motivators include career growth opportunities, connection or a sense of community, compensation and benefits, a culture focused on diversity, equity, and inclusion, exposure to leadership, flexibility, individual meaning, intellectual stimulation, job security, a manageable workload, recognition, and professional development opportunities. Everyone will have different motivators, the specific things they need to feel good about their job and the work they do. Without these drivers of engagement, employees begin to feel unmotivated, un-engaged, and unproductive. Job satisfaction declines, and recognizing that some kind of change is required, they begin to consider other options.

However, depending on what a person’s motivators are, more subtle changes may address an employee’s concerns in lieu of beginning a job hunt. Sometimes, a person’s motivational needs cannot be met by a role. But other times, simple actions taken by the employee, or their manager can make a world of difference in their job satisfaction and engagement.

Motivators in the Mortgage Industry

With all this in mind, take time to think about what matters to you as an employee. It will be slightly different for everyone.

For many loan officers and others in the business, job security is a big motivator. The industry is always changing, and any time volumes go down, employees want to feel they are secure in their role and at their company.

According to data from the Mortgage Bankers’ Association (MBA), turnover for loan officers was low in 2021 because of how busy everyone was, but looking at historical data, anytime volume goes down, turnover picks up. On the other hand, in times of high volume, a manageable workload can be a big motivator as employees strive to avoid burnout.

Taking Control of Your Motivators

If you know what motivates you, you can take action to meet those needs. Are you motivated by intellectual stimulation? Find challenges to tackle that will fulfill that need and once solved, make your process or workplace better. Are you motivated by individual meaning? When assigned new tasks, ask questions about how they fit into bigger business priorities.

While there are steps you can take to help motivate yourself, you also should communicate with your manager about what your motivators are. Knowing what motivates their employees can enable managers to support their employees in ways that keep them engaged and motivated.

If you’re motivated by recognition, your manager can make a conscious effort to acknowledge work that is well-performed. If you’re motivated by training and development, your manager can help you create a development plan or identify learning opportunities.

This should not be a single conversation with your manager, either. You should feel empowered to communicate whenever your motivators change. So many factors can contribute to changes in your motivators: family needs, role changes, or any other new life stages can cause you to reevaluate what is most important to you. It is important to make the conversation about your motivators a continuous one so that your manager is aware of new or different needs you may have.

The Great Resignation started as employees took the pandemic as an opportunity to look within and find out what truly mattered to them. While some motivators may not be achievable in your current role or at your current company, some may require a simple change or a conversation with your manager. Some employees may think they are not satisfied with their job when there are only one or two missing pieces that could turn it into a more fulfilling one.

However, even if you don’t want to stay in your current role or at your current company, knowing what motivates you will help you find the right fit during your job search. Each company offers unique opportunities and prioritizes different workplace benefits and opportunities. Knowing exactly what you’re looking for helps you match with your ideal employer.

A clear understanding of your motivators is key. You can’t get the most out of your employer if you are not clear about your expectations. Simply put, you can’t get what you need if you don’t know what you need. Understanding your motivators is key to finding the best role for you — whether it’s within your current role, a new one, or even with a new company.

This article was originally published in the Mortgage Women Magazine July 2022 issue.
Erica Campion
Erica Campion,
Erica Campion

Erica Campion is director of talent and culture at Enact (formerly Genworth Mortgage Insurance), where she leads her team in training & development, talent management, recruitment, employee engagement, community relations and volunteerism.

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