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Since the 1990s, "personnel management" in France has evolved into "human resources management", with the function now thinking about the employability of human resources, their costs and their planning. Quality of life at work appeared in France in the 2000s, simultaneously with the shortage of talent. While Quality of Work Life (QWL) promotes motivation at work, it is not the only contributor: let's look at how to measure and improve the degree of employee motivation.

Measuring motivation at work

How to define motivation at work?

Motivation at work is defined as the activation of spontaneous behaviors towards the achievement of objectives. This essential notion of company performance is individual: identical working conditions can be perceived differently from one employee to another. The management of a company therefore has its limits, since it cannot adapt in all circumstances. Motivation management is strongly linked to the company's culture, its authenticity and its resonance with the preferred behaviors of employees.

Let's take a simple example: transportation constraints. Someone who can walk to work will be less stressed and more rested than someone who has to leave more than an hour before starting his first hour of work! Other factors also have a more or less significant impact on each other: they can be economic, environmental, social, etc.

The managerial role in employee engagement

While it is true that managers have a key role in motivating teams, they are not the only ones responsible for disengagement. In fact, managers themselves can be confronted with difficulties that prevent them from fulfilling their role in an optimal way. Here are 3 of them identified by our HRD partners:

  • The historical lack of adequate training. Indeed, training programs in engineering schools and business schools are not always sufficiently oriented towards conflict management, effective communication or the management of a multigenerational team. This can make it difficult for managers to identify sources of conflict, give constructive feedback or adapt their management to the profiles and needs of their team.
  • Increasing stress to achieve sometimes unstable goals. This pressure can result in increased workload, tight deadlines and complex project management. This situation can lead to chronic stress, which has negative effects on the motivation and commitment of teams.
  • Facing constant hyperconnection, long hours and chronic lack of recognition. This situation can lead them to question their own values and personal commitment, which in turn can affect their motivation and their ability to motivate their team.
Elise van der schans' testimony on coaching managers
Elise Van Derschans' testimony on her coaching of managers

Faced with these challenges, supporting managers consists of providing them with tools and resources to help them boost their team naturally. This can be done through training programs adapted to the specific needs of managers, individual or group coaching sessions, or measures to promote a work/life balance. In addition, it is important to recognize the work of managers and involve them in the decision-making process to reinforce their sense of belonging and commitment.

How to measure motivation at work?

Similar to a consumer satisfaction survey, the same type of questions can be asked of staff. A few simple questions are enough to get an idea of the state of mind of each person:

  1. Does your work allow you to fulfill yourself professionally?
  2. Is the general atmosphere in your workplace good?
  3. Is your work appreciated?
  4. Are you doing what you wanted to do?
  5. Are you being paid what you're worth?
  6. Does your work force you to act against your own nature?
  7. Do you feel that your employer provides you with enough training opportunities?
  8. Are you respected in your work?
  9. Do you have a sense of belonging to a team?
  10. Is your workload sustainable?
  11. Do you feel that your supervisor has the skills required for the position he or she holds?
  12. Do you consider the decisions of your superiors to be fair and justified?
  13. Does your employer support you in the necessary balance with your family life?
  14. Would you recommend your employer to a friend?

The answers to these questions, when compared to the level of absenteeism or turnover observed in a company, are enough to turn the tide for the collective good.

Improve motivation at work

What are the factors of motivation at work?

The motivating factor that comes to mind is of course the financial benefit. Coluche said: "An employee does not need to work, he needs a salary" ...

This number one variable is a fixed increase in salary, a bonus, the increasing evolution of profit sharing, etc... Although it is important, this factor is not the only determinant of motivation at work. According to an ADP survey on employee drivers, salary level is not even the first concern.

Beyond a certain income, which allows to cover the expenses and charges necessary to live without material anguish, the "remuneration" factor loses its importance.

What matters most is the employee's perception of well-being in his or her work environment.

‍How tocharacterize a motivated employee?

A motivated employee exhibits 5 behaviors:

  1. An employee who is fulfilled in his work, i.e. who takes pleasure in doing it;
  2. An employee who maintains good relations with colleagues and supervisors;
  3. An employee whose quality of work is recognized and expressed as such by the employer;
  4. An employee to whom the employer entrusts a certain degree of responsibility in full autonomy;
  5. An employee who has a strong sense of belonging to the company through a tangible culture.

A more recent factor is to provide employees with the tools for their own development, read our complete page on this subject and discover how it contributes to the learning company.

These considerations must be integrated into an efficient human resources policy and, more generally, into the management policy of any company, especially since they do not involve any particular additional costs. The question that now arises is how to measure the evolution of these motivations.

How to improve motivation at work?

Improving the motivation of a company's employees comes down to acting on the five sub-factors of motivation mentioned above, plus compensation:

  1. Pay attention to the ergonomics of the workstations, provide relaxation areas and allow your employees to take breaks when needed.
  2. Implement horizontal and vertical communication plans that will help maintain a peaceful social climate and identify potential problems as they arise.
  3. Express your recognition for the accomplishment of their tasks, offer them adapted training, study with them the opportunities for career development, map out the skills of each and everyone.
  4. Invest in talent management, value the opinions of your employees, give them responsibility, allow them a certain degree of autonomy.
  5. Organize federative company events outside the walls, celebrate the birthdays of your employees.
  6. Practice a balanced salary policy with no discrimination between women and men and no difference in pay for two similar jobs. Offer benefits in terms of bonuses, vacation vouchers, shopping vouchers, etc.

And, ... When you set up an idea box, be ready to really implement evolutions: telecommuting evolutions, installation of a company crèche, the use of a concierge service,... The list is far from being exhaustive.

To make sure you don't miss anything, opt for an HRIS application that contributes to the well-being of everyone involved:

  • HR team: your HRIS assists you in your various HR management tasks: management of skills, training, customized dashboards. Are you curious about the next developments in HRIS? Read our article on the future of HRIS.
  • Employees: digital applications avoid double entry, facilitate performance and development tracking, and provide advanced personalization to their daily tool. Apprehend opportunities to empower employees on our Page:"Making employees actors of their careers."
  • Managers: digital solutions should be presented as "business" tools to managers, designed for them and not to facilitate the work of the HR function. Neobrain has developed a complete range of tools to help you adopt your HR tool: ask a consultant for advice !