Employee motivation trends: How to keep your team motivated in 2016
Help your team find their mojo after the end-of-year festivities and maintain it through 2016.
Motivating a team is no mean feat, especially when you’re up against dark, cold January mornings, and people are feeling sluggish after an overindulgent season. However, there may be light at the end of the tunnel as a new report – reveals some interesting findings to help us make our team feel driven all year round.
Who was motivated in 2015?
Before we embark on the report findings, it’s important we understand what the motivation landscape looked like in 2015.
The research considered two main areas companies’ made an effort to improve last year: engagement and productivity. The UK rates for these areas are considerably low. In fact, the report shows only a third of employees are highly engaged at work and the Office for National Statistics states workforces are 31% less productive than those of the US.
Engagement and productivity are affected by various building blocks – one of these building blocks is employee motivation.
The employee motivation report reveals that despite a quarter of staff saying ‘yes’ they felt motivated at work last year, nearly half of the UK workforce collectively felt neutral or negative feelings towards their job citing reasons such as ‘my employer expected too much from me last year’ and ‘it was all work and no play’.
When looking at generations in the workplace, it will come as no surprise that 25-34 year olds were the most motivated at work last year; this age group are likely to be working their way up the career ladder, learning every day, and achieving promotions. The least motivated age group was 45-54 year olds. However, 18-24 year olds followed closely behind with just 21% saying ‘yes’ they felt motivated. It’s worrying that only a small percentage of this age group are driven – this is our workforce of the future therefore we obviously need to be doing a lot more to nurture this talent.
What affects employee motivation?
To understand why most UK employees were not motivated last year the report explored elements in the workplace that could affect motivation levels such as hygiene factors and staff recognition. The results show flexibility, freedom, high quality tools and recognition were all key factors that had a positive – and negative – impact on a workforce’s drive.
So what do these all mean?
Flexibility = to enable staff to choose where they work. Nearly half of employees who could choose whether they worked from home or the office last year were highly engaged.
Freedom = to allow staff to perform personal tasks while at work. Half of staff who were allowed to carry out personal shopping online while at work last year were highly engaged – in comparison only a quarter of staff who didn’t have the same freedom had high engagement. Technology has made working 9am to 5pm a thing of the past as we all access emails on our mobile phones and tablets when away from the office. Employers who enable working hours to merge with personal time will benefit from their workforce being more satisfied and driven by their work/life balance.
High quality tools = to provide staff with the right tools to do their job. A staggering third of employees in 2015 said their tools were old fashioned and need updating. We must understand that good equipment can have a bigger impact on motivation levels than we may think; out of the 42% of employees who had high quality tools, over half of them were highly engaged at work.
Recognise = to show appreciation for a job well done. 82% of employees who said ‘yes’ I felt motivated in 2015, were rewarded with some form of reward or recognition for a job well done.
All of these hygiene factors are vitally important when considering what is affecting our teams’ motivation levels. However, the report also reveals there are in fact some bigger elements we need to take into account to ensure our team are engaged all year round. This is what we call – the four motivation experiences.
How to motivate your team in 2016: the four motivation experiences
When asked what motivated employees last year the top 5 answers were:
- I had a good work/life balance (45%)
- I have a motivating boss who is very good at their job (25%)
- I have great peers, we always manage to motivate each other (19%)
- My boss is very good at saying thank you. It keeps me motivated (17%)
- The office environment is very motivating (16%)
Employees were then asked to name an occasion when they felt motivated at work in 2015 – worryingly, a third of people could not name one, single moment.
However, exploring this question further, out of the people who could name a moment their memories fell into one of four categories: achieved, challenged, gained knowledge and recognised. This is what we call the four motivation experiences.
For example, one employee one said they felt motivated when: “my team won a project we worked hard for.”
Another employee said: “The prospect of doing new things and learning new skills motivates me constantly.” Further responses included personal congratulations from their boss, and being challenged over and beyond day-to-day roles.
So if you’re looking for the answer about how to motivate your team in 2016, you need to take into account hygiene factors such as flexibility, freedom and good tools, however you also need to ensure you’re giving your staff opportunities to live the four motivation experiences. Allow them to achieve, challenge them in their roles, make sure they receive training so they continue to gain knowledge, and when they’ve worked hard and done a good job say thank you to show your appreciation. Companies who strive to offer their workforce these four experiences throughout 2016 are sure to benefit from an engaged and driven workforce. Good luck!