Staff motivation now more concerning than retention to employers

Concentrate On Staff MotivationThe top concern for employers in 2012 is that employees do not appreciate the value of the rewards on offer to them as part of their employment package. That’s according to research undertaken by the Chartered Institute of Personnel and Development (CIPD).

Ensuring benefits offerings improve staff motivation and engage the workforce is now a bigger concern for employers than the need to attract and retain great staff. In fact, for the first time employee attraction and retention has fallen off the list of the top ten employer concerns. Now in 12th place, it had previously featured in first place in 2010.

“It’s encouraging to see reward professionals thinking more strategically about rewarding the behaviours and performance that contribute to business success, but attracting and retaining key talent is always crucial, in the good times and the bad.

“Even in a stagnant labour market, key talent can find opportunities to move onward, so reward professionals shouldn’t be too complacent while they wait for the economy to eventually pick up.”

Charles Cotton, rewards adviser at the CIPD.

Got Motivation?While this may come as a surprise for some, there seems to be a widespread belief that during a recession employees will remain in place at their current employer, effectively ‘riding out the storm’. This may well be reflected in the staff turnover figures of many organisations, leaving HR teams to worry about the knock on effect a stagnant market will be having on those employees that have chosen to stay put.

With presenteeism on the rise, companies need to ensure that although they may not be able to give bonuses or pay increases, they continually try to find new, more cost-effective benefits for employees. Many such schemes can deliver large savings to employees, but only if they are made aware of the benefits on offer.

Internal communication essential to staff motivation

A well-structured programme of internal communications is essential to keep staff engaged with an organisation and the total reward package on offer. Without it, staff motivation, enthusiasm and engagement will falter, and without an injection of ‘fresh blood’ (in the form of new employees replacing those who have left), companies will see productivity levels drop, just as they need to ensure their workforce is as efficient as possible.

report by the Office for National Statistics ranked the UK second bottom in the Group of Seven industrialised nations in terms of economic output per worker. The report also showed that Britain lagged 15 percentage points behind the rest of the G7 in terms of GDP per hour worked. A worrying statistic at a time when productive staff can make the difference between a company’s survival or its inevitable failure.

Of course, staff motivation comes not only from a healthy understanding of benefits, but also recognition, empowerment, great line managers, the tools to do the job and employee engagement. But how much more productive do you think your staff could be if they truly understood and appreciated the total value of the benefits package you have to offer?


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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