Why employee motivation is the key to business success

Employee Annual Leave | HR Consultant | The People & Culture Office Kalgoorlie

It’s Friday, it’s a long weekend, school holidays start next week, the weather outside is glorious and I can hear the sound of a thousand West Aussies heading to Bali. It seems like a good time to discuss motivation 😂 because it’s not like we are all hanging out for knock off.

23% of the Australian workforce are said to be engaged, meaning Australia has one of the highest engagement rates in the world. A workforce is said to be made up of three types of employees, those that are engaged, not engaged and actively disengaged.

– Engaged Employees
Those employees within an organisation who are committed to the organisation and driven to moving the organisation forward.

– Not Engaged / Disengaged Employees
Those employees, who are present at work and put in the hours, however are not passionate about their job and aren’t utilising their full potential.

– Actively disengaged Employees
Those employees that don’t have an emotional commitment to work and often distract co-workers while they try and complete tasks. This can be due to their job not being suitable or not aligning with their skill set. They are often looking for employment elsewhere.

Employee happiness or satisfaction in the workplace does not necessarily equate to employee engagement. Employees can be happy and satisfied in their role, but not productive. For example: an employee may be happy and satisfied in their role because they spend much of the day chatting & socialising with colleagues, but aren’t necessarily performing their role adequately.

Instead, an engaged employee is one who aligns their behaviours and actions in the workplace, to meet their role requirements, as well as wider team and business goals and strategy. An engaged employee wants the organisation, your organisation, to succeed.

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So what are some clear signs your workforce isn’t engaged & motivated? Organisations can utilise workforce analytics to establish positive or negative engagement by looking at areas such as;

  • employee absenteeism (e.g. low unscheduled or personal leave)
  • retention (e.g. low turnover rates, positive exit interview comments)
  • punctuality (e.g. employees arrive on time, working designated hours)
  • productivity (e.g. quality and quantity of output, staff meeting Key Performance Indicators)
  • safety (e.g. low accident/incident rates)

The difficulty with knowing how to engage and motivate employees is that often the strategies that will work for each employee, are as individual and unique as they are.

When organisations design and implement HR initiatives that acknowledge employee engagement and motivational factors, they are building the base for developing and supporting effective employees and teams. Consistent, clear and well-communicated HR practices can lead to employees trusting management and one-another, better communication, sharing of knowledge and ultimately achieving strategic business objectives.

Employees will be more committed and willing to work to their full potential…and less likely to leave.

HR FUNCTION RELATION TO EMPLOYEE ENGAGEMENT AND MOTIVATION
Compensation and benefits Although not a sole factor, an employee who feels adequately compensated is less likely to leave an organisation.
HR Policy Provides a consistent process to follow – inaccessible or policies that confuse can lead to disengagement and demotivation amongst employees.
Industrial Relations Local/State/Federal legislation outline minimum requires organisations must meet in regards to employment agreements/contracts, health and safety etc.
Job descriptions Provides a clear document that details responsibilities and parameters that both employees and managers can referred to and adjust as required.

Job descriptions which are linked to wider team and organisational goals also show employees how their role contributes to wider strategic business objectives.

Performance Management Offers an ongoing opportunity for employees and managers to plan, monitor and review employee’s work objectives and overall alignment and contribution to wider strategic business goals. Provides for open communication platform between employees and managers about what employee is expected to accomplish, while also enabling conversations around employee learning and development, and career progression.
Learning and Development Offers an opportunity for individual’s personal and professional developmental needs and wants to be met.
Diversity Provides for an environment where individual needs are acknowledged, and employees feel safe and free from harassment.
Work Health and Safety Employees who feel safe in their working environment are more likely to be motivated and engaged – a fear for personal safety will likely breed frustration and resentment, or a lack of caring which will likely lead to further health and safety issues.Organisations which takes a more holistic approach to health and safety (e.g. psychological wellness) will likely benefit – demonstrates an extra level of caring for employees.

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