Is A Cool Office A Defining Factor In Employee Motivation?

A quick search for the coolest companies to work for and it doesn’t take a genius to work out the one thing that they all have in common. Brands like Google, Twitter and Skype have gone above and beyond to create spectacular workspaces that provide employees with more contemporary gadgets than a Bond Villain’s lair. From climbing walls to slides, there is no shortage of creative ideas. But is quirky architecture and novelty seating really the key to employee motivation? 
HR teams could be at risk of missing the fundamentals of employee motivation as there are many benefits of going back to basics with motivational tools, rather than getting distracted by the headlines created by these companies. Perhaps you’re considering revamping your employee benefits offering? If so, perhaps trying to emulate Silicon Valley giants simply isn’t the right approach for your organisation. Here are four key questions to ask…

1. Does your work environment complement employees?

Not all employees are motivated by the same factors so it makes sense to consult your workforce before you rush off to install a slide in your lobby. While it is easy to follow the crowd and become distracted with the latest fad, it is wise to create your own employee value proposition that complements the company vision, brand personality and profile of employees. What works for a creative company with a youthful workforce may not have the same motivational benefits to your specific industry, so keep this in mind when shaping a benefits package. Remember that employee benefits are just that, benefits for your employees and for this reason it is important to gain their input before you put together a strategy.

2. Do employees have a good work life balance?

Google’s climbing wall may seem like a dream come true to many employees who spend day in day out staring at the same four walls but after the novelty has worn off, what value does this fad add to an employee’s life? A key motivator in today’s business orientated world is being able to find a balance between work and time spent with friends and family. So before considering an office overhaul, it could be more beneficial to your employees and your company to introduce a flexible working environment that suits every member of staff. Working nine to five may be traditional working hours but letting employees have more control over the hours they work can affect employee productivity in a positive way.

3. Do they have a say in rewards?

Most companies over a certain size have a benefit strategy which includes a consultative process, but how many employees have a say in the motivational rewards they receive? If productivity is low in the workplace, you could benefit from revamping your reward offering to incorporate the views of employees. After all, the scheme is about motivating your workforce so it makes sense that every team member should have some involvement in the process. This way, you not only get an idea of the factors that drive your employees but you also benefit from a more productive team in the long run.

4. Do employees know how to progress?

Do you make employee progression a priority? If employees can’t see a clear route to progress in their role, they will not strive to go above and beyond their duties. Putting together a clear progression plan for each team member will encourage employees to take their career to the next level and strive for something more. Every employee will have career goals but without the correct guidance may never reach their true potential. One on one guidance can be extremely rewarding for both the company and the employee and taking the time to discuss their thoughts and opinions on their current role will be more beneficial than a few contemporary touches around the office.

Before following in the footsteps of creative brands like Google, it is essential that your organisation address the fundamental requirements of employee motivation as defined years ago by Maslow in his Hierarchy of Needs. Only then should you look introduce more innovative motivational techniques, and only if they are appropriate to your workforce demographic.

Take a look at some of our motivational rewards.