Whistle while we work – British SME workers a happy bunch

New research reveals that British employees are, on the whole, happy at work, with a third feeling inspired to succeed every day and 70% feeling positive more than three days a week.

EMD2016Ahead of the second Employee Motivation Day on 25th February, a study into the behaviours of the UK’s workforce highlights that team dynamics play the most important role in employee satisfaction, with two-thirds enjoying being part of a team. This is especially significant for SMEs who need to ensure they recruit self-motivated staff, who can encourage and motivate other team members to perform to the best of their ability to drive the business forward.

The research examined how various personality types within an SME take on very different roles. Businesses can thrive by encouraging a collaborative working environment that allows each personality type to have an impact – while there is no ‘I’, there is definitely a ‘me’ in team.

The most popular work personality is Captain Questions. A fifth of workers place themselves in this category, with exploring and problem solving what they enjoy most about work. These are the most likely candidates to call collective brainstorms to reach a decision and also the most likely to encourage free-thinking and offer thanks for all suggestions and input.

The second most popular personality type is, conversely, Independent Introverts, with 15% of employees making considered and informed decisions on their own before expressing them out loud, followed by the Confident Creatives (11%). Just over one in five employees will be a Big Idea Bod, understanding that it will be others in the group who make their ‘big picture’ thinking feasible.

Despite clearly being a nation of team players, the research reveals that 56% of workers believe they themselves are their biggest motivators, suggesting a personal ambition to make an impact is driving workers. Perhaps this is why only a small group (one in seven employees) are People-Orientated Performers – those eager to motivate others instead of themselves.

For this personality type, a third believed that even the smallest gesture of thanking people for their input goes a long way in motivating them to participate and case in point, three quarters of workers remember a time they were verbally praised.

A third of workers claim that simply encouraging collaborative working and allowing the different personality types to complement each other is the best way to motivate employees. 36% of employees thought taking the time to listen to other ways of working helped increase motivation. A quarter of employees also claim that being involved in decisions helps to boost positive attitudes in the workplace.

The study comes ahead of Employee Motivation Day 2016, a day created by Argos for Business to inspire passion and appreciation across the country’s workforce. The leading provider of incentive and motivational solutions is hosting this annual event to encourage organisations of all sizes to put motivation to the forefront of business thinking and champion creative ways of engaging staff.

Emma Glennon, head of key clients at Argos for Business, says: “When it comes to motivation, SMEs and entrepreneurs need to be self-motivated and work with similar self-starters to meet business objectives. There are often doom and gloom stories about the daily grind but our research casts a positive light on the UK workforce, revealing that many employees are happy at work.

“The team dynamic findings are interesting as they show a delicate balance between working as a collective, while being self-motivated. This ‘best-of-both-worlds’ type of work ethos stimulates personal satisfaction and ambition, within collaborative and positive working environments.

“Entrepreneurs and SME owners should acknowledge and reward their teams in ways that suit the individual. Ultimately, a one size fits all approach is not advisable, particularly when you consider how many personalities make up a team within an SME.”

Employees and employers can get involved in National Employee Motivation Day by downloading the motivation resource pack from, or by visiting the dedicated Facebook and Twitter pages, using the hashtags #EmployeeMotivationDay #EMD #MakeTheTeam and #NatMotivateDay.

For more information about Argos for Business please visit