Do you know – or really care – what motivates your staff?

Like many people, B2B director Carol-Ann Morgan believes that satisfied employees lead to satisfied customers. So, in this, her second Thursday Night Insight blog post, she assesses whether we should be doing more to understand what really motivates our colleagues.

New figures released in April by the Office of National Statistics reveal that three quarters of the UK population of working age are in work. This amounts to almost 30 million people; a record high. And of these, almost 8 million are over the age of 50.

The modern workplace has changed over time, and with it, the expectations of both employers and employees. The link between satisfied staff and satisfied customers has been around for some time. However, a newer, different, paradigm is now in circulation; one which identifies the need for employees who are engaged with the organisation and want to be aligned to the values of the companies they work for.

Yet as I look around our offices, and talk to my friends, I am reminded that one man’s meat can certainly be another man’s poison. It is apparent that motivations vary from individual to individual and are influenced by the life context of the employee. I can recognise groups of workers who come to work purely for the money, to survive; others who are looking for the social element and the pay is less important; others who are seeking challenging activities and have a strong desire to be involved in the strategic development of the organisation or company they work for.

The requirement to understand the needs of the customer base, and to segment these in order to serve them better is well understood. However, it is not so commonplace to apply the same strategy to our staff. By understanding what employees needs are from the workplace, are we more likely to meet these needs and build a loyal “engaged” staff, at whatever level it is that they are seeking?

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