Providing your team with the right environment to help keep them motivated is the responsibility of every business. Sure, businesses expect their workforce to do their bit when it comes to their own attitude and enthusiasm, but as the employer there’s a lot that you can do to help nurture this.
Office suppliers Viking have spent the last few years researching exactly what it is that keeps staff motivated, asking almost 14,000 people. From this research they were able to ascertain the biggest problems employees face when it comes to motivation, and how employers can take positive steps to improve it. So how can you motivate your workforce, and what are you doing that’s potentially having adverse effects on your team?
Your Working Day is Set Up Wrong
These days, the traditional nine-to-five is a thing of the past. Employers are frequently leaning towards modern ideas such as flexible working hours and remote working. From the research, it seems clear that most employees would appreciate a change to their working day.
60% of those surveyed said that they’d like to work from home, and those workers said that they’d like to spend as much as a third of their working week outside of the office, working remotely. It’s not always possible to facilitate this, but if your business can allow staff to work from home, it could bring about a boost to your staff’s wellbeing.
In general, there’s an obvious trend for people wanting to work a shorter week with longer days. Often known as compressed hours, half of people asked said they’d prefer to work a four-day week, with the ideal working day being between 8 am and 6 pm.
You’re Not Focused on Mental or Physical Health
Employers have a duty of care to employees to make sure their working environment doesn’t have any negative effects on their health – be it physical or mental. This is only further emphasized in the research, where six in ten employees said they are worried about the effects of constant sitting at work, with a further six in ten saying they have negative thoughts about their job on a weekly basis.
The fact that half of respondents admitted to regularly working over contracted hours could be a big factor when it comes to these negative feelings. Two-thirds saying they work through their lunch break, and 43% said they feel an unpleasant level of pressure to succeed. These negative indicators are all things that employers can influence.
The fact that over two-thirds of managers said they’d received no mental health training, despite 65% of them being approached with concerns, shows the gap between the need for support and the tools given to managers. It’s a similar story for physical health, with 43% of those surveyed saying they don’t feel informed about how to protect their health from the office desk.
Education is the best solution to the problems of mental and physical health in the workplace. Ensuring that all staff, throughout your entire company hierarchy, are trained in how to recognize and deal with problems is vital.
You’re Not Clear on Social Media Use
We all know how easy it can be to lose hour upon hour on social media, mindlessly scrolling and getting little else done. Rather than making sure we give our full attention to our jobs and steering clear of sites like Facebook and Instagram during our working day, over 85% of office workers said that they still access social media and other mobile apps whilst at work.
It’d be quite easy, and understandable, to presume that a company-wide ban on mobile phones or social media sites during work time is the solution. However, your workforce disagrees. 60% of people asked said that social media usage at work is either banned or strictly limited. Compare with the figure above and you can see many workers are side-stepping the rules to get their fix.
Further to this, 29% of people said they would be less productive if social media was banned. Social media can act as a good way to switch off for five minutes throughout the day. Banning it could lead to employees thinking you don’t trust them, a demotivating problem for businesses.
Employees just want their employers to be clearer when it comes to social media policies. Half of people said that they either don’t have a social media policy or are unaware of it. Fixing this and creating the right solution for everyone is incredibly important.
You Need to Create the Right Environment
From office décor to bad colleague habits, ensuring you have the right environment for your team to work in plays a big part in staff motivation. Art could be the answer, with 54% of employees say every workplace should have artwork and half claiming they think it would reduce workplace stress and contribute to making them happier.
The habits of our colleagues can be frustrating, but you might be surprised to hear that one in four people have considered leaving their job due to a testing co-worker. The biggest issues raised were with those who are regularly late and those who complain all the time, with 28% of workers highlighting these as big issues. 24% claimed that their biggest pet hate in the office is the old classic – colleagues eating smelly food.
Having a clear policy on lateness and ensuring that staff have somewhere separate to eat meals could be a quick fix. When it comes to staff complaining all the time, it’s up to you as the employer to create a positive mood from the top, letting this filter down throughout the business.This research serves to highlight the most common problems experienced by employers and employees, showing that there are numerous common themes that occur across numerous workplaces. Taking steps to improve these will not only have a good effect on your employees working lives but also contribute to improving results for your business.