Rain rain go away – what effect does the damp atmosphere have on staff attitudes and behaviour?

Rain and our behaviourNone of us have been able to escape the rain over the past few weeks, whether we’ve been subject to drizzle, gale force winds or record high floods.  But even though we live in a nation of unpredictable weather, do we let it affect our attitudes and behaviour at work? Or do we brush it off as what comes with living in England and soldier on?

Jaap Denissen from Humoboldt University undertook a study on over 1000 people, asking them to complete daily questionnaires on their positive and negative emotions on that particular day. The results given where then compared with weather data e.g. daily temperature, hours of sunshine and wind power.  From these results, it seems that the weather didn’t have an effect on people’s positive moods. On the other hand, the results did show the weather affected people’s negative moods. It seems that low temperatures, wind and rain may bring us down a little, but not as much as we tend to believe.

The weather may be something we cannot control, but how your employees feel at work is something we can have a direct impact on.  So how can we counteract the damp, disappointing summer?

Analysis by advisers Bersin & Associates has found that in organizations where staff recognition occurs, employee engagement, productivity and customer service are about 14% better than in firms where it doesn’t occur.  Yet only 17% of employees said that their organizations’ cultures strongly support recognition, a figure that employers ignore at their peril… there’s a storm brewing!

Bersin’s research shows that companies with staff recognition programs that engage employees effectively have a 31% lower voluntary turnover rate vs. their peers with poor programs.

The chief gripe among those queried was that recognition programs at their companies aren’t in line with current worker needs. Bersin said one sign of this weakness is that 87% of organisations reported that their recognition programs are focused on recognising service or tenure, and not other criteria, making them ineffective for younger of new staff members.

So, whether it’s the wettest day of the year, or the hottest day on record, if staff are motivated and recognised by their employer regularly, the weather shouldn’t make a big impact on their attitude and behaviour at work.

 

John Sylvester

John is responsible for the motivation division of p&mm ltd and a Director on the board of the IPM. Specialising in developing, implementing and directing many large scale staff motivation, recognition and employee communications programmes.

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