Recent advantages in telecommunications and in scientific and technological knowledge have led to greater emphasis on the knowledge and experts of staff and the importance of creativity. Tampoe suggests that at the core of the new industrial trend are the "knowledge workers"- those employees who apply their theoretical and practical understanding of a specific area of knowledge to produce outcomes of a commercial ,social or personal value. The performance of knowledge workers should be judged on both the cleverness of ideas and the utility and commercial value of their applied knowledge. Creativity is necessary and needs to be encouraged but should be bounded by commercial realism. This presents management with a new challenge of how to motivate the knowledge workers.
Tampoe suggests that the personal motivation of knowledge workers is based on the value they place on the rewards they expect to earn at work.In addition, to the individuals own motivation, the performance of knowledge workers is dependent upon four key characteristics
- Task competence
- Peer and management support
- Task and role clarity; and
- Corporate awareness
A report from the Chartered Institute of Personal and Development draws attention to management of knowledge workers, highlighting the importance of autonomy, challenging work and sharing in the criterion of organizational values.With the development of new technology it is important to motivate employees to capture, share and transfer knowledge.
Padilla suggests that in order to create a climate for creativity among employees, recognition must be given to the importance of two human needs that rise above all others and exists independent of race, creed and culture- the need for self belief and the development of emotional intelligence; and the ever-present need that every human being has for a sense of meaning and purpose in their lives.
Self belief and meaningful work are the fundamental bedrocks that underlie business performance. Of course, pay and conditions are important too, but we know that. It is these two others that are barely recognized... but business leaders ignore them at their peril.