Just Another Motivated Monday?
Monday. Perhaps the most disdained day of the week. Following, as it does, the much admired weekend. Even worse when that weekend is combined with annual leave, which it would have been last week for many during half term holidays. Monday. A day held in such low esteem that there was even a song dedicated to its negative connotations in the eighties. At the heart of the problem, it would appear, is work.
So how do employers counter this negativity and deliver the much desired #mondaymotivation? At the heart of motivation is engagement. Engaged, satisfied people will be motivated to deliver – more, often. And there are some key elements to building engagement.
It is important to have a strong culture with clearly defined strategic aims and values which connect people together in shared goals and principles. Similarly, leaders who set the standards, who role model behaviours, and who personally engage – for example, through managing by walking around – will have a profound and positive impact on employees.
Managers are key too. Indeed, we are often told that employees leave a manager rather than the organisation. Managers need to empower and motivate in their behaviours and approach but to do this, they need to have clarity about the expectations of them, clear procedures, and access to development and training to help them to manage effectively. After all, management is a unique skill set in itself.
Employees need to feel that they matter, not least through a genuine commitment to wellbeing. Through a dynamic and targeted wellbeing programme, through access to practical solutions, through role modelling leaders and supportive managers, employees will feel empowered to protect and maintain their wellbeing.
At the heart of engagement is communication. And one size doesn’t fit all when it comes to keeping staff informed; employers need to take a targeted approach to communicating with their people, and make it easy for staff to access information. Crucially, communication must be accessible in both language and design.
Staff too need to be given choice and influence through opportunities to feedback. And these opportunities should be meaningful, with positive action – where possible - taken on the basis of employee ideas and suggestions. There should be a continuous feedback loop across the organisation.
And recognition is vital. Not just through reward schemes and access to benefits but through leadership and management behaviours. Recognition and celebration of success should be culturally ingrained, as well as a positive and supportive approach to continuous improvement.
The work itself should be meaningful. It should have purpose and scope. Care should be taken when it comes to job design to ensure that roles offer opportunity, clarity, and fulfilment. And by aligning each role with the overall organisational purpose and aims, every employee – whatever role they do – will see that they make a tangible difference.
Development is important. People need to feel that they are able to grow and so employers need to give access to learning in its many forms. There is opportunity too to give employees the ability to identify their own development needs and access the training to meet these needs. People with ownership in this way will feel more motivated.
Of course, this isn’t just about motivating people on Monday. And after all, Monday may not be the desired start of the week for everyone. With a changing workforce and increased desire for flexibility, employees are looking for different working patterns. For employers, this means thinking about what they can provide to make it easier for people to work for them – for example, agile working, condensed hours, part-time hours, or homeworking. Employers need to think about the desired work outcomes and how these can be practically and flexibly achieved; it certainly seems that 9-5, Monday – Friday is not work that works for everyone.
Because employers who empower engaged, inspired, productive and motivated people will see business success.