An entertaining atmosphere in the workplace results in increasing competitive advantage

Most corporations are not ready for the changes of the new era. They still do not understand why an entertaining atmosphere is crucial for engaging their employees! Over the past six months, HR-leaders have continually reported about the inefficiency of incentive methods which are no longer cost efficient. According to Zsolt Fehér, expert of Assessment Systems International this motivational crisis happens as a result of a generational change which impacts the lower levels of organizations. The latest research of the regional consultancy firm explores the background of this phenomenon. The findings show that the drivers younger workers differ significantly from their elders but at the same time are fairly similar to the drivers of their western peers (especially in the United States). The results serve well as food for thought if we consider the effects at the micro and macro levels: now that young Hungarian graduates can easily be integrated into any organizational culture it is exceptionally important for Hungarian corporations to be able to attract and retain them with the right drivers.

“The so called ‘Generation Y Problem’ (which is becoming more understandable through more precise research findings and was, not long ago, still viewed as an interesting but intangible topic even by HR professionals) has started to transform the everyday life of corporations”, says Zsolt Fehér. “We have entered a transitional period when even the identification of the actual problem causes hardship to corporate leaders and to HR professionals.  In order to stay competitive in the market it is essential to find clear milestones for the retention of talents and future leaders.”

Currently existing incentive programs are aligned with the previous generation’s life – and work style which makes a rigorous order of priorities between personal goals and career. In this safe and stable system the top priority clearly gets all the attention which results in efficient work – and private life and much extra work with overtime in order to climb higher the career ladder. This incentive system requires a tight follow-up from the employer, traditional community building and support to balance work and private life.

“Today’s young workers are seemingly not interested in empowerment, job enrichment and team building since they imagine professional advancement and community building differently. For them the work-life balance is not a goal but the starting point” – notes Zsolt Fehér. “Looking at their above average hedonism values, success orientation and affiliation we can say that this is the work hard, play hard generation that shows amazingly high volition, energy and passion at work only to dedicate the same energy to enjoy themselves and nurse their relationships day by day.”

A typical representative of the Y generation works hard, expects recognition and supports open door policies. For them the main sources of motivation are diversity, peculiarity and loose expectations. They don’t believe in tradition and ritual and consider a tightly regulated office environment to be restrictive – they want to work in offices with entertaining atmosphere all around.

“A deeply rooted change has started to unfold in the CEE region and it is difficult to predict its effects. A breakdown of usual strict limits, greater individual independence at work and in community building, creating more colourful and enjoyable office environment and a development of efficiency with adequate training and tools may seem to be a hazardous investment” – Zsolt Fehér sums up key fears of the companies. “However all these are relative, since without right motivators the corporations will have to face dramatic decrease of personal and organizational performance in upcoming years.

According to Zsolt Fehér, it is also visible that the differences in the motivators of the entrants have been increasingly fading. Wherever they live, their lifestyle and work ethics become closer to each other. The good news is that members of the Y generation can fit in easily abroad as well and they have a good chance to be successful. This brings the conclusion that competition has been growing for the best employees and not just among corporations but also among countries. Hungarian and regional corporations have to start preparing for this competition by recognizing and applying the motivators best suited to their employees.