Letters 06/12/05

Four to focus on to motivate employees

Your five things to focus on for motivating unhappy people was interesting (Careerwise, Personnel Today, 15 November), but in danger of raising more questions than answers, eg, “ensure the work environment is enjoyable”. From our experience, there are just four basic ingredients to successful employee motivation:

  • Communication: is it absolutely clear what is being asked and why? Many managers and team leaders fall into the trap of issuing instructions without setting them in context or conveying how the work to be carried out fits into the overall picture.
  • Education: does the person have the requisite skills and competencies? If not, how can they get the necessary training?
  • Measurement: are there well-defined goals and evidence of progress towards them, in any given project as well as in the individual’s overall career? 
  • Reward: how will success be recognised? This is absolutely vital. Read almost any employee survey and a cry for greater recognition is invariably high on the wish list.

The first three of these underpin the fourth – reward being the icing on the cake. Align these things, employ good managers, and the chances are the work environment will be an enjoyable one.

Rik Burrage
Managing director
Grass Roots

Communication keeps the wheels turning round

Congratulations to Towers Perrin for its global report on employee engagement, a critical differentiator in successful businesses (Personnel Today, 22 November). People at work, like people as consumers, are now too sophisticated to be treated simply as costly commodities to be moved around or out at will; they want to be involved in contributing to the success of their employing organisation. This means constant, two-way, face-to-face and written communication across as well as up and down organisations. Our own research offers this stark statistic: 90% of workers who are kept fully informed are motivated to deliver added value; of those who are kept in the dark, almost 80% are not.

Colette Hill
Chief executive

Unrewarding idea fails to inspire non-drinkers

Well done to Imran Khan for raising the issue of alcohol as a reward for performance (News, Personnel Today, 29 November).
I don’t drink alcohol, and find it offensive and frustrating when alcohol is given for motivation and reward. If I do not drink, how is that a reward? With 24-hour licensing going ahead, what is happening to this nation?

Sarah Hope
Details supplied

Celebrating success is as valid as highlighting gaffs 

Your article ‘Focus on… consultants’ (Personnel Today, 22 November) provided an interesting and balanced view on how recruitment consultants and HR can get the best from each other. Yet why did the article have to end with ‘Tell us your horror stories…’?
Not all recruitment consultants focus on short-term commissions instead of giving long-term value. As your article clearly illustrated, working in partnership with a consultant and enabling them to fully understand a company and its culture means consultants effectively become an extension of a client’s business. This provides real results and can produce lots of success stories.

Jo Davies

Partnership is the key to meeting expectations

Taking a balanced view is important in trying to dissect what the problems are between HR and recruiters (‘Focus on … consultants, Personnel Today, 22 November).
Often, the consultant role may be more about resourcing candidates as quickly as possible to achieve monthly sales figures, and less about the service being delivered to the client.
The key to meeting client expectations is to work in partnership with recruiters, who then become an ‘added value’ business resource, rather than an ‘evil’ to be kept at arms length.

Glenn Delaney
The Ashley Kate Associates Group

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