THERE’S A GROWING TREND FOR EMPLOYEES MOTIVATED BY MORE THAN MONEY WHEN CHOOSING THEIR JOB, SEEKING RICHES IN THE FORM OF SATISFACTION AND PROFESSIONAL GROWTH OPPORTUNITIES.
Ged Welsh, from HAYS Recruitment Australia, agrees there’s a growing trend in employees who want a workplace that offers a good work-life balance, career growth opportunities and ongoing learning and development, “Some other factors include modern offices, the latest technology, the workplace culture and companies who take care of the environment or have a meaningful impact on society – this is especially the case with millennials, who want to make a difference.
Before employers and managers roll their eyes and bemoan what feels to be an ever-growing list of demands, it’s important to consider that employees spend more hours at work than ever before. Technological advances often mean they are also connected to their workplace 24/7, so it makes sense that their need for job satisfaction has grown.
Cultivating a highly engaged workforce also has the potential to offer tangible benefits for your business, and can prove to be rewarding for employers. “It’s a symbiotic relationship where both the employer and employee support each other,” explains Ged. “If one side fails to back the other, engagement levels deteriorate rapidly. With skills in short supply, employers need to maximise their existing human capital investment.”
Ged lists the four most important reasons for staff engagement as retention, increased productivity, bottom line boost, and a proactive workforce. “A highly engaged workforce is willing to go the extra mile and put in discretionary effort,” he said. “According to the Workplace Research Foundation, highly engaged employees are 38% more likely to have above average productivity. By nurturing your best and brightest and giving them the skills they require to further their careers, companies will maintain a happy and engaged workforce, therefore increasing productivity and driving staff retention.”
So, if you feel your organisation could do with a boost of productivity and fresh ideas to stimulate business growth, it might be worth considering these suggestions to engage and motivate your employees.
Maddy Voinea – Blue Kino
For Maddy Voinea, Director of BlueKIno, the success of his video production company is intrinsically linked with the team he has built, and the learning and development opportunities he provides to his staff. As a start-up in 2016 with a minimal budget, he focused on employing motivated staff to mentor and continues to create opportunities for their professional development.
Maddy explains, “For me, it was really important to choose staff who wanted to grow and develop professionally. A job might come through that would be quite easy for me to just go out and film and edit, but it’s important for me to see junior team members learning and growing by having the opportunity to work on these jobs.”
Maddy challenges his staff to put their skills to the test, then offers constructive feedback and advice as they piece the final product together. As their skills progressed, assistance became minimal and the expectation for time allocation was adjusted accordingly. By providing a safe place for staff to test their skills, learn from mistakes and contribute to the creative process, they quickly became invaluable to the success of this rapidly growing business.
BlueKino now has a team of seven, with the capacity to have three crews shooting simultaneously. This provides continual service, even at short notice, for hundreds of clients each year. With highly engaged staff who are encouraged to share their ideas throughout the creative process and work collaboratively within the team, the clients reap the benefit.
“When you allow creatives to bring their own experience to a project, you end up with a very fresh product that people can relate to and connect with, and that’s the best way to tell a story,” Maddy explains.
Maddy continues to keep the team engaged by allowing staff the freedom to develop in areas they are interested in. “As a business owner, it is important to be able to identify when someone has a particular area in which they shine. When you nurture that, that’s when they can outperform you, and even their own expectations to provide something which is impactful,” he said. “The challenge for me is to bring in that breadth of work to provide the experience and opportunity for growth and mentorship, so I’ll take on jobs knowing that this will be a fantastic learning experience for certain members of the team.”
Not only is this strategy rewarding for his employees and clients, Maddy also enjoys a sense of accomplishment. “When a team member gets a response from a client for a job well done, or they’ve achieved something which they wouldn’t have been able to do six months ago, that means a lot to me. It means I’m doing something right and providing the right environment for creatives to flourish and develop their craft to the next level.”
What Motivates Employees?
Five key things motivate employees other than money.
1. Learning and Development
By up-skilling your employees you’re showing them that they matter to the business and that there is room for progression within their role. 61% of 1,516 people surveyed by HAYS said the number one reason they look for another job is for more challenging or exciting work. This was followed closely by a lack of career development (60%). This clearly shows the value of training and career development. Employees want to be engaged with their work which means the work needs to be challenging and make them feel like they’re progressing.
2. Clear Career Path
Even if the work is challenging and engaging, without a clearly outlined career path, employees might look elsewhere to obtain recognition for their work. It’s important to regularly conduct meetings during which you discuss the employee’s ambitions and their promotion prospects within the business. This sense of effort being rewarded with wider opportunities, whether it’s a promotion within the same department, another area of the business, or working in a new role in another country altogether, will fuel the motivational drive.
3. Reward & Recognition
The HAYS ‘Staff Engagement – Ideas for Action’ report, found that 95% of employees say recognition for a good job is an important engagement factor for them. Formal certificates, praise, a team lunch or social activity and vouchers are all ways that you can show your employees your appreciation for their hard work. Everyone feels a sense of achievement when their hard work has been acknowledged.
4. Trust & Responsibility
It’s important that your employees know where they stand within your business and feel like a vital cog. You can help improve their sense of this by giving them more meaningful tasks and responsibilities. The more impact an employee has in your business, the more likely they are to feel connected to the business, and to aggregate the business’ success with their own.
Employees should also feel as though they have room and license to voice their opinions and ideas where necessary, without fear of being ignored or pulled rank on. Welcome feedback from your team wherever possible, and instill in them the feeling that their views matter to you and the business.
It’s also important that your team is allowed to express themselves within their work, and that they aren’t constrained to doing things in a restrictive, recycled way that you or the business has imposed upon them.
5. Work Environment
Work-life balance is important and can be achieved by granting extra autonomy or flexibility, however, it’s not just by increasing the life side of the balance that you improve wellbeing. There are many ways you can help improve employees’ work environment which will greatly benefit their work-life balance, and thus their overall satisfaction, productivity and motivation. Creating a workplace that people enjoy being in and feel inspired by is another way of maintaining the motivational buzz. A sense of friendship and belongingness is also a sub-category of ‘work environment’ which serves as the most powerful antidote to absenteeism and conflict within the workplace. Team building activities can help strengthen trust, respect, comradery and, ultimately, motivation.