What am I doing working on a farm with cows 20 miles south of Manchester in a wealthy little town that has a McLaren showroom as part of their local shops? (Incidentally, Bruce McLaren is one of New Zealand’s finest yet unknown athletes, founder of the team who tragically died young doing what he loved. A real Flying Kiwi.)
Well, ticking the first thing off my “Moving to Manchester” list of course.
I set myself the goal of getting a role in marketing, so I’ve done it. I had to. When I moved here, I wanted to find a role where there was a vision, a concept, creating something from nothing, getting people on board and growing something. Creating experiences and connecting people to things they didn’t know they wanted and to other like minded people. I wanted to get into a good environment, work hard, stay open-minded, always have an opportunity to learn, and know then the money will look after itself.
I want to share with you what I was looking for in a job. Again, a theme of my blogs, is the “why”. This intrinsic drive is so important and not enough people know. It has been shown many times in psychology to be more powerful form of motivation than extrinsic, eg doing something for money, fame, acknowledgment or some external reward.
As an example, I asked someone recently my favourite question when I am getting to know someone “Why do you do what you do?”. The answer was “The pay is good and its close to home”. (You can’t just ask straight out, but while showing a genuine interest in their job, ie they can tell if you care but it can come across as judgmental sometimes).
Can you imagine that ruling your life choices? I don’t want to live my life like that. In an ironically selfish way. I want to do meaningful work, that gives me satisfaction at the end of the day. I want to contribute, to make a difference and get lost in a creative process. I did this in a big way in developing futsal in Wellington, and teaching English achieved in a different way too. More on the psychological concept of “Flow” in a later post.
So, why am I working for Brookfield Rose then? I want to be part of a team that is creative, solutions based, customer centred, but also has a social conscience. Brookfield Rose is all of these things. A family of 13 companies with solutions for the temp recruitment and logistics sectors focused on people based solutions. De Poel Community also work in the community space, bridging gaps to employment through recruitment agencies and training organisations. Zoek is a new job search app and Suits Me is a banking solution that makes it easier for employees to hire people with no banking facilities, cutting out admin for both parties. A set percentage of profit from each company is pledged to charities.
I had an interview at another company, but they couldn’t tell me what they were about, why it was a great place to work, why as a company they do what they do or what they do differently. But here, the CEO Matthew Sanders has a clear vision and philosophy which still filters down through 235 people, shown in the five employees I spoke with during my interview process. Reading his blog had an effect on my perception and decision to join. The offices on the farm do remind me of Hobbiton too, so I feel at home really!
I’m in the self-esteem generation that was taught we could do anything and I think it is the biggest single factor for recruiters in attracting talent in this age group. Sure, you might be able to offer good pay (extrinsic reward) and you might be a big company with plenty of status. But will that keep people long term? Are you employing robots or people? To get an engaged workforce we need to appeal to the intrinsic, of why people do things. To give them perceived autonomy, relatedness and competence feedback, rather than more money. [Additional reading: Self Determination Theory].
So as a recruiter, why does your company do what you do? Is it enough to attract and engage the best talent? I’ve talked about it at the personal level with personal branding. But what are you going to say when a cheeky young buck like me asks in an interview ‘why your company’, and ‘what do you do differently’?
Intrinsic motivation, we do this for the love.
What’s your why?