To some observers, motivation has four commonly measured workplace indicators: engagement, satisfaction, commitment, and intention to quit. These came from a recent issue of Talent Management and all apply to some degree to law departments.
“Engagement represents the energy, effort, and initiative employees bring to their jobs” (See my post of July 13, 2008: Part IV of engagement.)
“Satisfaction reflects the extent to which they feel that the company meets their expectations at work and satisfies its implicit and explicit contracts with them.” A sense of quid pro quo engenders satisfaction.
“Commitment captures the extent to which employees engage in corporate citizenship” (See my post of May 23, 2008: values with 12 references.)
“Intention to quit is the best proxy for employee turnover.” Some companies may ask that question of their employees, but employees would have to trust the confidentiality of the process hugely for them to confide such a sensitive fact.
As these observers view employee motivation, it is not what most of us call happiness (See my post of June 20, 2007: happiness with 10 references.).