People matter.

A marketer’s our raison d’etre is to understand people and influence their behaviour. And for the majority of agencies supporting marketers, people are essentially what they’re selling – their time, their expertise and the experience they create for clients.

So if you’re building a marketing team or running an agency, motivating and retaining the best people is critical.

But what’s the secret?

A recent survey undertaken by Circle Research and Vodafone provides some valuable pointers.

We asked 505 senior managers in UK PLC to rank the most important determinants of employee satisfaction. First by a significant margin is salary. One third name this as the single most important driver of employee satisfaction. There’s also a recognition that financial reward, whilst centre stage, isn’t the entire picture. Ensuring people feel valued (34% of managers place in top three) and their work life balance (30%) are also felt to play an important role.

Ask employees the same question (we did – 861 of them) and it’s a similar picture. One fifth will name remuneration (18%) or their work life balance (17%) as the single most important sources of employment happiness.

But in reality the truth is more complex. You see, people don’t always know what really motivates them. So to uncover the true drivers of happiness we isolated unusually happy employees and using some statistical wizardry explored how else they differed from the average employee.

The results are revealing. Base salary and work life balance actually have only a moderate correlation with job satisfaction. They matter along with a handful of other factors related to working conditions, but are the basics.

Outstanding employers add three secret ingredients. They inspire through their leadership. They invigorate by providing people with enjoyable, stimulating roles. And they make people feel valued individually whilst at the same time creating a sense that they’re part of something bigger – part of a tribe which shares a common identity and has bought into the same vision.

Read the full report on talent management here – Vodafone Perspective Series

How do you motivate your team? Share your tips in the comments area below.