British workers have highlighted the importance of a simple thank you in the workplace, revealing that ‘feeling valued’ by their boss is the top motivational factor in helping them achieve more during their nine to five.
Delving into employee motivation levels, a nationwide survey conducted by Argos for Business, the leading provider for corporate motivation solutions, also revealed that 40% of employees stay in their current job because they have good relationships with their colleagues.
To inspire passion and appreciation across the country’s workforce, Argos for Business has launched the UK’s first ever Employee Motivation Day on Wednesday 21st January 2015, encouraging bosses to instil best practice for the year by recognising and motivating employees.
As one in three employees are predicted to weigh up their career options this January, the cost to individual businesses could be too high a price to pay.
Accounting for all elements of the recruitment process, including advertising costs and recruiter fees, through to loss of productivity and training for new recruits, each employee lost could cost up to £30,614 to replace. Businesses choosing not to implement a motivational strategy should consider this substantial sum and whether they can afford to lose some of their most valued assets - experienced employees.
As the research shows, motivational strategies need not cost the Earth, or indeed anything at all. Simply feeling valued, or thanked for a job well done resonates with British workers, leaving a positive and affirming effect on employees and the businesses they work for.
Commenting on the findings, Danny Clenaghan, Managing Director at Argos for Business, said: “January always appears an opportune time for workers to weigh up their employment options. However, motivating staff and showing appreciation for their hard work year-round needn’t cost the Earth. As the research shows, simple and cost-effective everyday actions, such as saying thank you with low cost gift vouchers, a duvet day or allowing your team to leave 30 minutes early on a Friday, can go a long way in ensuring bosses hold onto valuable team members.
“Motivated employees should be at the heart of every business, as a continuously engaged and driven workforce is more efficient, which in turn impacts positively on a business’ bottom line.
“To help we are therefore dedicating a whole day to giving and receiving recognition and motivational compliments, and we hope that employees, managers and business owners get involved and become part of our Employee Motivation Day campaign.”
As well as their colleagues, Brits also placed emphasis on positive relationships with their boss (30%) and enjoying the job (40%) as other leading factors in sticking to a role.
Taking on responsibility (26%) and making a difference (28%) were also identified as top motivators in the workplace.
When asked when people feel most enthusiastic about work, nearly a third (28%) of employees advised that they feel at their most motivated at 10am (on a typical day shift), and the majority of the UK’s workforce feel at their best on a Wednesday.
Clenaghan, continues: “To help maintain motivation we are dedicating a whole day to giving and receiving recognition and work related compliments, and we hope that everyone gets involved and becomes part of our Employee Motivation Day campaign, on Wednesday 21st January.”
So, what can SMEs do to optimise motivation among their staff?
Argos for Business is working alongside motivational speaker Adrian Webster, as part of the campaign to improve motivation levels. Commenting on the findings, he said: “Argos for Business’ research proves that the country’s hard-working workforce all appreciate recognition as a fantastic motivator.
“Following these easy to implement ideas will go a long way in helping bosses keep their workforce motivated and leaving them with a positive lasting impression.”
1. Ensure employees feel valued
Argos for Businesses’ research revealed that feeling valued is the most important aspect of a job for 43% of workers. Thanking employees for a job well done is always welcome, but in a smaller team, more personal touches can go a long way. Acknowledging those who go the extra mile by implementing regular reward systems, such as ‘employee of the month’ is simple, but hugely effective.
2. Focus on solutions, not problems
If a problem arises, focusing on the solutions available can prove highly productive, rather than dwelling on whatever it is that went wrong. Evaluate any issues and put a clear strategy in place to prevent a recurrence. This gives staff the confidence they need to tackle the issue assertively.
3. Be honest and open
In a small team, being honest about any upcoming business challenges or decisions creates a real sense of inclusion, while valuing the opinion of the whole team builds trust. HR consultant Thomas Giles calls this ‘sharing the dream’, and he rightly points out that staff members are bound to put in more effort and feel more job satisfaction when they can share in the company’s success.
4. Be actively involved
Staff members appreciate a ‘visible boss’, who has a daily presence in working life. Being approachable and available to discuss any issues that may arise will give staff a real sense of belonging to a team.
5. Lead by example
Staff, particularly junior members, will be looking to learn from the way those in managerial roles conduct themselves in the workplace. This provides an opportunity to teach subtle lessons by ensuring best practice is visible in the office on a day-to-day basis.
6. Start the week with a team meeting
Holding a team meeting at the start of each week is a great way to organise priorities and delegate tasks, and also gives staff members the opportunity to raise any concerns they may have. The team will leave feeling organised and prepared for the week ahead.
7. Get social
Encouraging everyone to get social outside of working hours is a perfect way to help the team bond in an alternative setting. Without the distraction of office life, staff members can get to know each other on a personal level, which in turn creates a positive dynamic within the team.
8. Create a workspace with a great atmosphere
If the work setting is a pleasant one, staff members will look forward to coming into work. Simple touches like comfortable desk chairs and a brightly decorated office can make all the difference.
Employees and employers can get involved in National Employee Motivation Day by downloading the motivation resource pack from www.employeemotivationday.co.uk, or by visiting the dedicated Facebook and Twitter pages, using the hashtags #EmployeeMotivationDay #EMD and #NatMotivateDay.