Editors Pick

Why you need to have a happy workforce

11th September 2023

The Power of Motivation in the Workplace

Stuart Thomson

Motivation in the workplace plays a valuable role for the individual as well as the organisation, but it needs to be recognised and nurtured. If anyone feels that their motivation is lacking then it is time to ask questions.

On a recent episode of the ‘Eat Sleep Work Repeat podcast (29 June 2023), Bruce Daisley spoke with Gallup’s Anna Sawyer about their ‘State of the Global Workplace Report’. The report makes for interesting reading but in particular Question 12 focuses on measuring employee engagement.

Gallup categorises an organisation’s employees as engaged, not engaged or actively disengaged.

“Engaged employees are thriving at work. They are highly involved in and enthusiastic about their work and workplace. They are psychological “owners,” drive performance and innovation, and move the organization forward.

Not engaged employees are quietly quitting. They are psychologically unattached to their work and company. Because their engagement needs are not being fully met, they’re putting time but not energy or passion into their work.

Actively disengaged employees are loudly quitting. They aren’t just unhappy at work. They are resentful that their needs aren’t being met and are acting out their unhappiness. Every day, these workers potentially undermine what their engaged co-workers accomplish”.

Looking at the UK, the results show that it does quite badly for engaged employees. That makes the chances of any of us, having direct experience of feeling low levels of motivation quite high. At the very least, you may well witness low levels of motivation, amongst colleagues. That means that the individual, teams and the business suffer.

Poor levels of motivation tend to be contagious.  That means we can all play a role in preventing the contagion or contributing to its spread. But the organisation needs to provide the incentives to progress along the more positive path.

The organisations should see the benefits across productivity: lowers costs because they do not have to constantly recruit and train; a supportive workplace culture and the innovation that that can drive; employee engagement; not needing to constantly firefight to cover absenteeism; and, the delivery of higher quality work that can even come with an extra sparkle or flourish

For the individual, higher levels of motivation result in feelings of job satisfaction. This, in turn, contributes to the development of the business that can help a person’s career and may even have direct financial rewards as well which should not be ignored. There can be the development of a culture of learning across a team, all of whom can see a future there rather than being distracted by other opportunities.

Motivation drives us forward pro-actively. It is about wanting to do make a positive contribution rather than simply being compelled to do so. It is the spark in the step that helps us to enjoy work rather than enduring it.

Assuming that you are attracted by working in such an organisation, what are some of the tell-tail signs that you might be about to enter a workplace that takes motivation seriously? What should you be looking out for?

It is important to consider the system of recognition and rewards both formal and informal but with that should come some initial goal setting so that you know what is expected of you and the team you are part of. How is feedback provided, and how regularly?

You also want to see evidence of development and training, and whether opportunities for mentoring exist.

Also, challenge an employer on their communications and how they talk to and engage with their teams. Think about whether it is possible for you to be part of decision-making processes now or in the future, and how you can contribute to the success of the organisation.

You need to have a clear idea of career progression but how you will be supported at every stage through wellness, especially if life gets tough which it will for many people at different stages. Is there an expectation that you will support yourselves and power on through any troubles or will support be available?

A few social and team building events would be useful as well.

Motivation in the workplace is crucial for creating a positive, productive, and successful work environment. It drives employees to perform at their best, fosters a positive company culture, and delivers it success and growth.

Do you recognise that scenario where you work or are thinking of working?


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