Over half of UK workers lack motivation

A new survey conducted by Scottish-based Eden Springs, adds further evidence to a growing case that men and women working in the UK lack energy and motivation at work.

The survey asked 500 UK office workers between the ages of 18 and 65 to rate on a scale of 1-10 how motivated and energised they felt during the working week, one being the least and 10 the most. The survey showed that nearly half of respondents rated their energy and motivation below five.

bored worker

Interestingly, men felt more motivated at work than their female counterparts, with an average score of 5.7 versus 4.8. The most productive region in the UK is Northern Ireland with respondents answering an average of 6.2, while the least motivated region is North West England with an average score of 4.3.

Younger workers – between 18 and 24 years old – were the least motivated age group, while people aged between 35 and 44 were the most motivated, with an average score of 5.9.

Peter Sullivan-Stark, head of marketing at Eden Kafevend, comments, “Our survey paints a worrying picture and it is concerning to think the impact low motivation could be having on productivity levels. We have all heard about the impact that sickness absence has on business – according to the Office for National Statistics, 131 million days were lost in the UK in 2013 due to illness. One can only wonder what low energy is costing businesses today.”

Eden’s research is one of a number of reports into productivity and motivation in the workplace. Back in 2013, Bupa ran a similar report which surveyed 5,000 UK workers. With combined economic analysis from the Centre for Economics and Business Research (Cebr), the survey showed that employer’s failure to unlock employees’ ‘discretionary effort’ is costing UK businesses billions. In fact, a lack of motivation and sub-optimal health cut a potential £6 billion from the economy in 2012, which is equivalent to 0.4% of GDP.

Bupa’s survey pointed out that almost half of UK employees have admitted to not going above and beyond at work because they think that they won’t be acknowledged (46%) or rewarded (47%). Just as alarmingly for businesses, less than one in ten (7%) employees say they are working to their full potential, and more than a quarter of workers (27%) rate their current level of productivity as five or below (on a scale of 1-10). One in four staff admit they don’t want to win new business as it will only mean more work for them and over a third of teams are experiencing extra stress and pressure due to staff ill health and absences.

Demotivated and disengaged staff can have a massive impact on a business’ performance and employee productivity levels. If businesses want to grow and be successful then they need to find ways to tap into and harness their employees’ discretionary effort.

Luckily there is plenty of support and resources for businesses looking to improve workplace motivation and productivity. Eden Springs have published their own guide to workplace motivation.

The guide demonstrate the importance of creating an ‘open and flexible workspace’ to improve communication between employees, managers taking more time to ensure their employees have a better work-life balance, setting realistic workloads to ensure enough time and resources are allocated to projects, encouraging employees to adopt a healthier lifestyle and investing in more staff training to improve skills and productivity.

The Federation of Small Business, Institute of Directors and local Chambers of Commerce are also worth contacting for support and guidance as well as providing networks with other businesses who may be under-going similar challenges.

Leave a Reply