Employers must make motivation their mantra

2004

Employers hold the key to generating enthusiasm among their employees through the work they offer and the management style they use.

Research from Investors in People examining what makes employees give their best while at work has found that more than four out of ten (43 per cent) of employees believe that job content or the challenge a job presents are the main motivator in the workplace.

The research supports growing awareness within Britain's businesses that the route to employee productivity does not come solely through the pay packet. Fewer than one in seven employees (14 per cent) felt that pay was the key motivating influence.

The NOP survey, which interviewed some 2,000 people, also highlights the dangers lurking for employers who don't take motivation seriously.

A third of those surveyed saw lack of recognition from management for the work they do, or poor management communication, as the most demotivating factors at work, and men are more than twice as likely to feel demotivated by a lack of recognition from management as women (22 per cent compared to ten per cent).

But while a manager's actions and behaviour can undermine people's sense of involvement in an organisation, so too can job insecurity and poor work-life balance. Four out of ten people said that job security had a major impact on motivation while almost one in three said the same about work-life balance.

More men than women attached high importance to job security (43 per cent compared to 33 per cent), while good work-life balance was more important to women (32 per cent) than men (24 per cent).

Ruth Spellman, Chief Executive of Investors in People, said that enlightened employers who examine the needs of their employees and create an environment to stimulate them, reap business benefits through a more enthusiastic and productive workforce.

"Maintaining productivity - and addressing the sections of the workforce who remain demotivated - present important challenges for managers; the need to keep the interest high and the challenge fresh are vital to any business, because motivated employees can mean the difference between success and failure," she said.

"Employers should also take heed of the findings on employee demotivation and realise that poor management practices can have a major impact on the workforce. Improving communication and recognising employee contribution can make a real difference to employee motivation and, ultimately, an organisation's bottom-line.

"An organisation that leaves its employees to drift without direction is on the short road to ruin,” she added.