Nhi Nguyen - January 3, 2018 - 3 Min Read

Is your company culture increasing employee motivation?

Today’s business leaders understand that every organization has its own culture. Yet, many may view culture as an indefinable force that is difficult to control. This causes some companies to miss out on the benefits that fostering a positive culture can offer.

The truth is, your company can take tangible steps to build a strong corporate culture that increases employee motivation. If you do, you are likely to see a clear, positive impact on employee productivity and business profitability.

Culture Influences Employee Motivation

According to a recent article in the Harvard Business Review, an organization’s cultural climate has a direct influence on employee motivation. Simply put, “why we work determines how we work.”

In fact, researchers first unearthed the six primary reasons why people work decades ago. Those reasons are: play, purpose, potential, emotional pressure, economic pressure, and inertia.

It’s no surprise that the first three reasons heighten performance, while the latter three diminish performance. Companies known for having positive corporate cultures—such as Trader Joe’s and Southwest Airlines—cultivate the good motivators and minimize the negative factors.

Low Employee Motivation Harms Businesses

How can companies assess employee motivation? They can use internal surveys to analyze the influence each of the six reasons on employees’ work and calculate a Total Motivation (or “ToMo”) score.

Organizations with higher ToMo scores enjoy stronger employee engagement—which can lead to increased customer satisfaction and revenues. In fact, one study found that organizations with high ToMo scores earned 38% more in revenues than those with low ToMo scores

Fortifying employee motivation seems like an obvious must for every business–but is it?

Unfortunately, low motivation is widespread—and poor management is often the culprit. According to Gallup’s recent State of the American Workplace report, a mere 30% of U.S. workers feel engaged at work, while 20% feel actively disengaged. The remaining 50% are not engaged.

Gallup has also determined the detrimental effects of low motivation on today’s businesses:

Gallup research has found that the top 25% of teams — the best managed — versus the bottom 25% in any workplace — the worst managed — have nearly 50% fewer accidents and have 41% fewer quality defects. What’s more, teams in the top 25% versus the bottom 25% incur far less in healthcare costs. So having too few engaged employees means our workplaces are less safe, employees have more quality defects, and disengagement — which results from terrible managers — is driving up the country’s healthcare costs.

Clearly, low employee motivation can severely limit business profitability.

Motivated Employees “Go the Extra Mile”

As an article in Forbes explains, employees feel more engaged when they have a stronger emotional commitment to their organization and it’s objectives. Ultimately, this inspires them to put forth extra effort in their work.

Motivation to “go the extra mile” can drive positive outcomes throughout the business. As the Temkin Group noted in its sixth annual Employee Engagement Benchmark Study:

Compared to disengaged employees, highly engaged employees are almost five times more likely to recommend the company’s products and services, they are over four times more likely to do something that is good, yet unexpected, for the company, they are three times more likely to stay late at work if something needs to be done, and they are over five times more likely to recommend an improvement at the company.

Without question, fostering employee motivation and engagement is critical to the success of any business.

Leadership Makes the Difference

What can your company do to cultivate a positive culture and increase employee motivation? Empowering your managers and building strong teams is essential.

Frequent check-ins via efficient messaging-based surveys can identify minor employee concerns before they evolve into damaging disengagement. Managers can use Polly to create surveys in Slack to track employee satisfaction and/or Total Motivation in real-time. Then, they can apply these insights to implement changes and strengthen engagement.

In addition, your team leaders can hold regular huddles to talk about how employees foster play, purpose, and potential in their work. Leaders can also discuss the business rationale behind key decisions—and involve employees in defining roles and processes to create a high-performing team. Using Polly to give your employees a voice in scheduling and creating agendas for team meetings can help instill a sense of ownership in the team and company mission.

Building a Culture of Employee Motivation

Culture seems intangible, but research has proven that it is more science than magic. Studies consistently validate the benefits of creating a positive culture—including increased employee motivation, heightened innovation, reduced costs, and higher profits.

With more Millennials in the workforce than ever before, and those Millennials valuing workplace atmosphere and benefits over compensation, it is absolutely a no-brainer that your organization place emphasis on your company culture for your current employees and your future ones. 

Your organization can’t ignore the importance of a positive organizational culture. You need immediate insight into fluctuations in employee engagement that can signal a need for fresh ideas and new approaches. 

Building a culture of employee motivation is a necessity—and survey tools empower you to achieve this vital objective. Check out Polly.ai today and find out how we can help you maximize employee participation and motivation and improve your company culture! 

Written by Nhi Nguyen

Professional Netflix binge-watcher. Wants to see all of the world.