Remember Mr Motivator, the Lycra-clad fitness guru of nineties TV? He’s a prime example that motivation is personal; what inspires some annoys others. Which is why you need a range of approaches to engage and motivate your team. In this blog post, we set out some of the theoretical models of five motivation techniques you can implement to get the best from your people.
Search online for theories about motivation and you’ll find plenty of different approaches to the topic. The best-known is Maslow’s hierarchy of needs that suggests people’s basic requirements must be taken care of before they are motivated to achieve higher level needs such as learning new skills.
Expectancy Theory postulates that individuals behave in a certain way because they expect a particular outcome. Both positive and negative outcomes, or the carrot and the stick, can be used to motivate behaviour.
Then there’s Herzberg’s Two-Factor Theory of motivation. He believed that individuals are influenced by motivational factors that lead to satisfaction and motivate employees to work harder. Examples include enjoying your work and feeling that your efforts are recognised. Then there are hygiene factors that can lead to dissatisfaction and a lack of motivation such as low pay or poor relationships with managers or colleagues.
These are just a few of the theories surrounding motivation techniques. The wide variety of models tells us that individual drivers differ from person to person and from situation to situation. Which means, as a manager, knowing your team is key. The following five motivation techniques give you a range of approaches to inspire your team.
1. Tell Your Team You Notice
Recognition is a powerful motivator because it shows people that their efforts are noticed and appreciated.
From a simple thank you for a job well done to giving someone something of value to them. That could be a gift related to one of their hobbies, access to knowledge or training or something of cash value. If budgets are limited, here’s a great list of low-cost recognition options.
Knowing your team will help you align the right gift to their personal preferences making them valuable, not necessarily in cash terms, but in meaning. Don’t forget the tax implications of providing recognition in all its forms.
2. Establish Your Team’s Purpose
You’ve probably heard the noise about purpose being a key motivator for millennials. But the truth is, purpose is important for everyone because we all want to feel we contribute something of value.
Although the word ‘purpose’ has been translated to mean ‘doing good in the world’, your organisation’s ‘why’ doesn’t need to be altruistic. In reality, purpose means different things to different people; providing for family, making enough money to retire early or buy a house or being recognised as an expert in your field.
Help you team understand your organisation’s purpose then help them find their own. Once you know their work-life purpose you can find ways to help them achieve it.
3. Treat Your Team as Well as You Want Your Boss to Treat You
Employees expect their boss to do more than telling them what to do and when. While you don’t need to be friends with your team to be a good manager, you do need to treat your team well. This will reduce some of the main push factors that make people more likely to leave.
By taking a genuine interest in people’s problems, like work-life balance, listening to your team when they need to talk pays dividends in terms of improved loyalty and retention.
4. Take a Genuine Interest in Your Employees’ Futures
In business, many things can be unpredictable. However, career paths are something over which you can exercise a good deal of control. Giving people a reason to look forward and stay is a great motivator. By letting people know where they can take their careers and how to do it you’ll make them feel focussed and more certain. Plus, they’ll also be inspired to step up in their current role to demonstrate their capability for their next career move.
5. Show Your Team the Bigger Picture and Let Them Lead
It’s important for teams to understand how what they’re doing contributes to a bigger whole. Assigning individuals tasks and projects and explaining how they contribute to the overall business strategy is highly motivating. Asking your team to lead projects (or elements of projects) and team meetings to make them feel valued and show them that they make a difference. This allows them to share their opinions and be heard as well as motivating them to take ownership.
There are lots of different ways to inspire your team without donning Lycra. Now, go forth and motivate! If you need further help in this area, please contact us.
Can you afford all your employees to be absent from work for 6.3 days each year? According to the CIPD, that’s the average number of days UK workers are missing from their jobs. Absenteeism is problematic for employers because it means paying wages for people who aren’t contributing. But there are other expenses that impact your business in less obvious ways. This article uncovers the true cost of absent employees, explains how prevention is better than cure and ways to manage absence.
The True Cost of Absenteeism
Absence costs UK businesses over £18bn per year. The average annual cost of absence per employee is £522 in the private sector and £835 in the public sector which has more comprehensive sick pay and higher rates of absence.
But absence also results in some or all of the following additional burdens:
• Wages to cover temporary workers or overtime to cover additional hours worked by existing employees
• Reduced productivity as the replacement worker gets up to speed
• HR and occupational health service costs in terms of time and/or money
• Additional claims on private medical insurance which can impact your renewal price
• Decreased motivation as other staff experience disruption and additional pressure
• Potential loss of new business depending on the role
• Project deadlines and client satisfaction may suffer as a result
Employees suffering long-term absence can experience decreased skill levels, social isolation, loss in confidence and depression. This often makes returning to work more challenging resulting in additional support.
It’s clear that, depending on the various factors listed above, the true cost of absenteeism can be significantly higher than the compensation costs mentioned above.
The Main Reasons for Absence
Coughs, colds and other minor illnesses are the main reason for short-term absence followed by stress. Long-term absence also tends to be caused by stress as well as acute medical conditions and mental ill health. 25% of organisations report that non-genuine absence is within their top five causes of absenteeism. And, in line with changing demographics – including an ageing workforce and more women in the workplace – home, family and carer responsibilities also cause non-attendance.
Prevention is Better Than Cure
The CIPD’s Absence Management Report states that, over the past year, 50% of organisations have increased their focus on employee well-being with just 8% doing nothing at all. A third of organisations have a well-being strategy with smaller organisations tending to act on an ad hoc or individual basis.
To develop an appropriate approach for your business, you need to understand the challenges your workforce face. For example, if you employ women in their 60s, in nine to five desk jobs with a high emotional load, your wellbeing plan will be very different to a business employing men under the age of 50 doing manual shift-work.
Dealing with Absenteeism
A written absence/attendance management policy is a must for businesses so employees and managers knows what is expected. Other useful tools to manage short-term absence include:
• A requirement for absent employees to speak to their line manager so workload can be planned
• Trigger mechanisms to prompt attendance reviews and identify when absence becomes problematic
• The provision of information and support to line managers to help them identify absence problems and deal with them effectively
• Return-to-work interviews that set time aside for managers and employees to discuss any problems that are causing absences and provide solutions where possible
For support with sickness absence, our free download will give you a helping hand.
Common approaches to managing long-term absence include:
• Return-to-work interviews including assessments to aid a return to work; this may mean that adaptations to the workplace or a phased return to work are required
• Health promotion is a great way to ensure employees have good work-life balance, understand how to minimise stress and identify and deal with other common health issues
• Providing employees with support such as counselling and physiotherapy can speed up employees’ return to work either paid for on an ad-hoc basis or via an Employee Assistance Programme
• Providing employees with planned leave to take care of family or reduced hours can alleviate the problem of unplanned absences
The legal position of absenteeism
One aspect to be aware of in relation to absenteeism is disability discrimination. Even short-term absences can be caused by an underlying disability and this area of employment law that requires careful treatment.
As the CIPD notes, when smaller organisations “need external advice or guidance on absence management … [they] turn to an HR consultant.” Dealing with a potential disability case is the perfect time to seek support.
Disciplinary actions and dismissals.
Sometimes, an individual may have high levels of absence that are not sustainable for the business to bear. This can be grounds for disciplinary action or for a capability procedure to be followed. Dismissal may be an option but only once you have followed the right protocols. Our blog post, How to Safely Terminate Employment gives you more detail about how to do this fairly.
If you need support managing any element of your absence management or employee wellbeing strategy, get in touch on 0330 555 1139 or at firstname.lastname@example.org.
There has been significant change in the Human Resources landscape in recent years. Inexplicably high levels of employment during a period of economic instability, a spike in zero hours contracts and higher levels of gig working and self-employment. Alongside ongoing issues with national productivity, the government felt it was time to appraise the situation. So they commissioned a report into modern UK working practices called the Taylor Review. What does the report mean for you as an employer? And is there anything you need to do right now?
The Standout Recommendation – Good Work
Following public hearings, round table and small group discussions with entrepreneurs and businesses, the Taylor Review produced a 116-page report. Its main recommendation is that the UK needs to sign up to the ambition of “all work being good work.”
According to the report, what ‘good work’ means varies from individual to individual at different life-stages and is also impacted by personal circumstance. It means changes in legislation and HR practices to ensure: sufficient pay and pay progression; fair treatment of all employment types; and holding fulfilling jobs with realistic scope for personal development. Issues such as good work-life balance, employee well-being and the potential to influence the direction of their job are also considered to comprise quality work.
The Recommendations and What They Mean for You
Here are the Taylor Review’s seven recommendations and what they could mean for your business.
1. A Sense of British Fairness
Fair work means ensuring all forms of employment are entitled to a reasonable balance of rights and responsibilities with a baseline of protection and routes to enable career progression.
What this means for you
Employment contracts may need to be provided on day one of employment for all employees and workers with more detail concerning rights than is currently required. This should give workers additional protections.
2. Employment Status
The report recommends retaining the flexibility of gig working arrangements but recommends making clearer distinctions between employees, workers (to be re-named as ‘Dependent Contractors’) and the self-employed.
The aim is to better protect dependent contractors with improved employment rights like holiday pay and the minimum wage. And continuity of employment may become easier to demonstrate making it easier for workers to accrue more employment rights. Its recommended that after 12 months on a zero hours contracts, an individual would be entitled to a contractual number of fixed hours. For more information on the current position, see our blog.
What this means for you
The good news is that the complexities of employment status should be reduced. The bad news; your employment costs are likely to increase if you employ dependent contractors.
Complex Employment Law – No More
Employment law is currently a complex mix of case law and legislation which makes it difficult for employees to know their rights and for employers to make the right choices. Again, the report’s focus is on ‘dependent contractors’ with a recommendation for additional protections for this group who are most likely to suffer from unfair treatment.
Stronger incentives (read penalties) are also suggested to ensure firms treat this group fairly. People suffering from ill health could also benefit from a right to return to their previous job and the report also recommends extending Statutory Sick Pay from day one of a contract.
What this means for you
Again, costs could increase and you would be required to backfill vacant roles due to long term sickness absence on a temporary contract basis. Employees will become increasingly HR-savvy meaning you need to be on your toes when it comes to employment law. Work with an HR consultant to ensure your processes are fit for purpose.
3. More Responsibility for Employers
How is all this going to be achieved? Through improvements to corporate governance, good management, and strong employee relations. Employers are expected to be seen to take the concept of good work seriously, be open about their HR practices and ensure all workers are engaged with and can voice opinions. The Taylor Review recommends requiring just 2% of the workforce (not the current 10%) to request an employee representative body.
What this means for you
If you already have high levels of engagement, clear people policies that you consistently follow and you regularly consult with your employees about working life (and act on their feedback), keep going. If not, start making these changes now before your competitors do or risk losing employees.
4. Career Development in the Spotlight
The report recommends all individuals should be able to continuously enhance their capabilities through formal and informal learning and on and off the job activities.
What this means for you
Consider developing formal career paths within your business. This will help attract and retain employees who can see a future with your organisation. Alternatively, expose your employees to project work or rotate people into related roles to keep work fresh and enhance business knowledge.
5. Good Job Design for Good Wellbeing
As the Taylor Review says, “the shape and content of work and individual health and well-being are strongly related.” Work intensity, hours, work-life balance and workplace health are all critical in ensuring firms, workers and the public benefit from good work.
What this means for you
Research shows that poor employee wellbeing impacts negatively on your business so if you think you could be doing more to enhance workplace wellbeing, seize the moment. If you’re not sure where to being, contact an HR specialist to light the way.
6. Enabling Pay Progression
While the National Living Wage has improved the finances of low-paid workers, the Taylor Review suggests an accompanying strategy to ensure everyone, but particularly those on low wages, can progress their careers and their earnings.
What this means for you
Pay progression goes hand in hand with career progression. So, if you plan to implement career paths or give people additional responsibilities to further their capabilities, you should also consider how to commensurately increase their pay. A well-designed pay structure can also control costs, attract and retain employees.
These are just some of the changes that could be afoot over the coming parliament. Keep your eyes peeled to know when you need to act or work with an HR Consultant to ensure you remain a law-abiding employer.
If you need support managing any element of employment law or your wider people practises, get in touch on 0330 555 1139 or at email@example.com.
When you employ a small number of people it can be tempting to think you don’t need any HR management. But consider this; the smaller your workforce the bigger the impact each employee has on your business. Which makes effective human resource management more important for smaller companies than large ones. If that hasn’t convinced you, here are five more reasons why HR should be at the top of your to-do list.
HR For Small Companies Isn’t an Option
You might not have the resources, money or time of a larger organisation, but you still hire, fire, train, manage, pay and reward the people in your business. Whether you are doing these things for five, 50, a few hundred or several thousand people, having quality HR policies and practices in place make everything work more efficiently. When your background isn’t HR, it’s worth bringing in an expert to quickly develop what you need.
Maximising ROI and Driving Growth
All businesses rely on their people to deliver on promises and drive growth. Strategic HR for small companies determines the best way to meet your corporate objectives through your people. It will also align your employees in the direction of the business and get everyone pulling in the right direction.
Regardless of size, all businesses can use HR to identify where and how to save on people-related costs and enhance the bottom line. In fact, it can be easier for smaller business to do this because they are more agile and responsive and tend to have greater visibility of the entire organisation.
Gaining and Retaining Talent
Ambitious graduates or those with grand career plans don’t always consider working for smaller employers. But boutique businesses offer a range of benefits that job-seekers are less likely to get with the bigger employers. Enhance your recruitment messaging to show how broader roles and additional responsibility will build a bigger experience base and take top talent away from larger competitors.
Treading the Employment Law
If someone goes off sick, makes a claim for unfair dismissal or discrimination you will need to know your employment law so you can deal with the situation fairly and legally. To make matters worse, employment law is an ever-changing beast and it’s a full-time job to keep up with developments. This make a well-informed HR specialist, whose job it is to be in the know, worth their weight in gold. Plus, the fees to outsource your HR are insignificant in comparison to the potential cost of getting employment law wrong.
Changing Workforce Demographics
With millennial’s soon predicted to account for 75% of the global workforce and with more people working in later life, it’s really important to meet the wide variation in employee needs. HR helps you do this by taking a lead role in developing and maintaining a strong, inclusive working culture that’s effective for both your business and employees.
People are probably the most difficult resource you have to manage and they’re critical in keeping the wheels of your business turning. As a smaller employer, it may not be worth employing a full-time HR role. But there is significant value in managing your human resources effectively. Get the best of both worlds by working with an HR consultant. You’ll benefit from their in-depth HR knowledge while controlling costs and maintaining your existing headcount.
For help with all your HR needs, get in touch on 0330 555 1139 or at firstname.lastname@example.org.