Motivation - particularly in a dismal month like January - is extremely hard to define.
At the end of 2006, HR consultancy Getfeedback conducted detailed telephone interviews with 22 HR directors in leading private sector companies to try to pin down how they measure and manage motivation at work, and the impact of engaged employees on the workplace.
The results came as a surprise. Although HR directors understood the difference between 'extrinsic' motivation (salary and employee benefits, for example), and 'intrinsic' motivation (what inspires us to go to work every day), few had formal procedures in place to measure either.
Only two respondents could quote their average cost-per-hire, and the same number had calculated the cost to the business of employees not performing to their optimum level. Only three respondents used specific tools to assess on-the-job motivation. And only one could cite the amount their company spent on rewards and benefits in a bid to keep their employees motivated.
Last week, Personnel Today and Getfeedback brought together a panel of HR professionals, academics and consultants to give their thoughts on what motivates employees, and how HR can not only identify motivation, but use it to help workers be more productive. Here are the highlights of the discussion.
- Chairman: Chris Bones, principal, Henley Management College
- Andrew Armes,head of career development, AstraZeneca
- Jane Basley, head of global recruitment, explorationand production, BP
- Diana Breeze, director of organisational development, Sainsbury's
- Barbara Duffy, group talent director, Centrica.
- Ali Gill, director andco-founder, Getfeedback
- Paul Peplow, sales training and development manager, O2
- Dilys Robinson, principle researcher, Institute for Employment Studies
Chris Bones (CB): In HR, we have a delicate balance to strike when it comes to motivation. We're ei