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Employee Motivation 2
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Employee Motivation 2
Expert Opinion
Survey and Research
Example Cases
Measure and Evaluate
Summary of Best Practices

Survey and Research Data

Employee Motivation – Feeling Burned Out

According to a 2009 CareerBuilder survey of 4,400 workers, stress and workload strains presented very real challenges (see Figure 1, below). Workers reported that they were:

  • taking on greater responsibility due to layoffs within their organisation (47%)
  • handling the work of two people (37%)
  • spending more time at the office (34%)
  • feeling burned out (30%)
  • putting in at least ten hours per day (22%)
  • working more weekends (22%).

CareerBuilder commented that it was important for managers and employees to agree upon realistic expectations, and that work demands should not to be overwhelming. [11]



















Meaningful Work a Critical Component of Engagement

Canadian consultant and CEO Paul Fairlie states that the availability of meaningful work is a critical component of employee engagement. Farlie’s research, which involved 800 Canadians, identified these five key factors as being necessary components of meaningful work:

  1. Variety, being able to learn and to use a wide range of skills in a job.
  2. Control, being able to have an input into how work is carried out.
  3. Constructive feedback, receiving clear feedback about performance.
  4. Recognition, receiving encouragement for work that is well done.
  5. Significant impact, doing meaningful work that has impact upon the greater scheme of things.

Significantly these factors were found to be the drivers behind every employee outcome measured, including depression, burnout, overall satisfaction, commitment, and the desire to find another job. [12]

Outsourcing Research Work Offshore

In 2008, eleven British and American organisations, including global financial institutions, large consulting firms, and global accounting firms, were surveyed about their use of offshore researchers. When outsourcing research work offshore, it was found to be necessary to:

  • thoroughly investigate the levels of research that can/cannot be outsourced
  • establish effective workflow management tools
  • understand the difficulties associated with measuring the quality of work done
  • provide more American and British management time than anticipated
  • provide initial and ongoing training, which was found to be critical to success
  • handle staff attrition – this was a major ongoing problem
  • judiciously negotiate separate agreements with all information suppliers
  • carry out cost/benefit and return on investment analysis on what was realistically achievable. [11]

Engaged Employees Improve Bottom-Line Performance

Several leading research firms have concluded that engaged employees dramatically improve an organisation’s bottom-line performance. Conversely, the same studies revealed that disengaged employees caused significant damage to an organisation’s performance. These findings are depicted in Figure 2.

















Employee Engagement Best Practices

Research undertaken by the Hay Group in 2009 revealed that high employee engagement alone did not necessarily guarantee organisational effectiveness; employee enablement was also required. Organisations in the top quartile for employee engagement demonstrated revenue growth 2.5 times greater than those in the bottom quartile; however, for organisations in the top quartile for both engagement and enablement, revenue growth was some 4.5 times greater. The Hay Group analysis revealed the following steps for motivating employees:

  1. Clearly communicate the links between performance and rewards.
  2. Ensure that staff performance ratings reflect true performance levels.
  3. Eliminate all unnecessary work/duplication that can adversely affect employee enablement.
  4. Strive for the right fi t between people and jobs by focusing on job sizing and role definitions.
  5. Monitor and improve the workplace climate by ensuring that leaders have appropriate competencies/management styles for motivating employees.
  6. Focus on non-monetary rewards such as career-growth opportunities, development, and recognition programmes. [14]

Engagement and Motivation Key Objectives for Reward Policies

In 2008, the British research company Business Intelligence undertook a survey on employee morale, rewards, and recognition. 771 respondents (mainly from small and medium-sized enterprises) reported the following objectives for their reward policies:

  • staff motivation and engagement (86%)
  • promotion of staff loyalty (78%)
  • achievement of specific business goals (68%)
  • teamwork and collaboration (64%)
  • positive workplace behaviours (64%)
  • support for market and business strategy (59%)
  • marketplace competitiveness in reward packages (50%)
  • employer of choice (34%).

The impact of rewards policies were measured by respondents as follows:

  • performance/productivity (65%)
  • corporate profitability (59%)
  • staff engagement (47%)
  • customer service (30%). [15]

Employee Motivation Focuses on Reward Systems

A 2009 survey of 763 organisations in 66 countries examined how organisations intended to motivate and engage employees during a global downturn. The study found that the erosion of financial capital had led to a renewed focus on the value of human capital. Of the respondents:

  • 71% used financial performance measurements and 40% used employee engagement measures. Other performance standards such as customer satisfaction, innovation, and talent management were used by fewer than 40% of the organisations.
  • In the next two years, respondents reported their intention to give greater focus to leveraging nonfinancial rewards such as career and development opportunities, improving work climate (53%) and non-financial recognition (52%).
  • 57% planned to focus on regularly measuring the return on their total reward investment (currently only 20% were doing so).
  • 44% planned to increase their future focus on using rewards to reinforce a culture of creativity and innovation (currently 25% were doing so).
  • 67% would focus more on improving the ability of their line managers to effectively manage overall pay-for-performance relationships with employees.
  • 57% would increase their focus on managing pay holistically at a total remuneration level. [16]



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