Why Is Employee Motivation Important?

BUSINESS icon Giles Cadman January 7, 2020

I’ve always found employee motivation to be an interesting topic. You see, as business owners, our workplace motivation varies drastically to that of our employees. Working within our own companies, chasing our lifelong dreams and goals means motivation is practically a given, but it’s often an entirely different story for those we employ.

In fact, research over the last few years has revealed that the percentage of UK workers that feel motivated within their role has been dropping consistently year on year, indicating that something needs to change.

Of course, improving motivation in the workplace is easier said than done, but whilst there’s much speculation about what the highest employee motivator is, recent research conducted by Guidant Global, an international talent management provider, has shed some light on the topic.

The 2020 paper, titled The human connection: why meaning is so important to work’ has revealed meaning and purpose’ to be the most influential motivator among workers, overtaking pay as the primary driver. From a personal perspective, I can say that this is something I’ve noticed primarily amongst my millennial staff, who are often driven by being a part of something bigger, which was also evidenced in the research.

It goes without saying that having a motivated workforce improves productivity, but it shocked me by quite how much. The study identified that, on average, those who feel their work has meaning spend an additional hour each week working, equating to a 2.5% increase in productivity. In addition, employees with purpose are more likely to take to less annual leave, boosting productivity by a further 1%.

Whilst I personally feel that annual leave plays an important role within the working world (and I regularly encourage my team to take their holidays to recuperate), it’s evident that a boost in motivation is highly correlated to a boost in productivity, and increased productivity is something which each and every business can benefit from.

So, how can we help motivate our employees?

Ensuring our employees feel their work is valued and meaningful needn’t be too difficult a task. In my opinion, it all comes down to one thing culture. Creating a company culture that ensures all employees, no matter their level, are included in understanding the company’s overall mission, vision and purpose is a sure-fire way to guarantee the entire team feels like an important part of the business’ overall goals.

No matter how small and insignificant they may perceive their role to be, it is the duty of yourself and your senior teams to show them just how important their role really is. Seriously, I’d challenge you to think about any role within your business and not come up with at least three reasons why that role plays a key part in making your company a success!

Creating a sense of inclusion and fulfilment within each and every team member’s role should be at the top of our agenda for 2020. I, for one, promise to make a conscious effort to ensure it’s at the top of mine!