There’s nothing like the excitement of a new chapter in life to motivate an early-career employee. As we discussed earlier, knowing what resonates with young professionals can kick-start a rewarding relationship. Likewise, long-term employees offer tremendous worth in their historical knowledge, familiarity with clients and process, and in the golden years of employment are more likely to feel validated by their past accomplishments.
But how do you keep the mid-career employee, who might not have the same level of past success as a long-term employee, and may be feeling even a bit bored with their work, from losing the motivation they need? Here are six tips to help re-energize your mid-career employees:
- Now is a good time to ask your mid-career employee to reevaluate their goals. What they may have been striving for early in their career might no longer be relevant or hold the same appeal. It’s not uncommon for a more seasoned professional to revise their interests once they’ve had more time in the workforce. Help your mid-career employees take a fresh look at what work they really enjoy and feel challenged by. Then find ways to inspire them.
- As they refine their definition of inspiring work, your mid-career employee may find exploring a new path seems the best option. Help them to define a clear plan with new, fresh opportunity. If that entails a lateral move, or even a step back, within the organization, encourage it, and help them recognize the shift as a road to future accomplishments.
- With new opportunity comes learning, so be supportive by providing the training your mid-career employee needs. It’s a win-win when they see the value you put on involving them in new ways within the team, while you reap the benefit of their renewed engagement and resulting contributions.
- Perhaps a new direction isn’t required, but expanded responsibilities would be beneficial. Are there positions within the organization that fall outside of the traditional function, but that could capitalize on a well-honed skill set? Think about roles—in emerging leadership, on a task force, or as a company representative—that empower your mid-career employees to contribute in new ways while taking advantage of their expertise and deep knowledge.
- Is this mid-career employee demotivated? If they’re feeling burned out or seeking validation and recognition, find ways to show how their work contributes to the overall success of the team. Give them the opportunity to share their knowledge and make an impact outside of their usual area of work by creating a shared climate rich in rewards for collaboration and explicit knowledge transfer. Provide networking opportunities to strengthen their connections across the organization and with external partners, and encourage peer-to-peer cross-functional exchanges. These new relationships can have a powerful effect on building morale and purpose and meaning.
- Many mid-career employees are at a point when they crave greater work/life balance. If they are busy raising families and contributing to their communities, they’re likely to appreciate an offer of greater flexibility or an alternate work arrangement. A valuable mid-career employee should be able to work more autonomously, so a virtual work environment might be the perk that renews their commitment.
There is no doubting the value a mid-career employee offers in experience and expertise. Helping them find meaning in their work, keeping them challenged, and rejuvenating their enthusiasm can result in many more productive, rewarding years. Let a Marketing Innovators associate help you find new ways to engage these employees.
Nature Biotechnology: “Staying Happy and Productive as a Mid-career Professional,” Claire T. Driscoll, June 10, 2013.
www.inc.com: “The Tricks to Hiring and Managing a Virtual Workforce,” Ed Zitron, July 19, 2016.