Why Motivation Matters?

This question may seem simple. And yet, in a world where 51% of the global workforce are not engaged, it seems that now more than ever, employers need to work towards motivating their workforce. ¹ As mentioned in the previous blog on employee engagement, an engaged workforce sees a far better increase in productivity and talent retention. When Africa now is experiencing some of the biggest employee migration across the continent and the diaspora, employers are seeking more and more solutions to the motivation problem.

Some sources estimate that engaged employees generate 43% more revenue than disengaged ones. How then can we motivate our workforces to ensure productivity, revenue increase, and more importantly, a happy and healthy staff? Building a great work culture has three key steps to it: remaining positive, valuing employees, and actively working to improve their lives. Such a recognition culture drives positive behaviour and by doing so, increases productivity.

Some of the most successful methods employers in Africa have implemented revolve around the idea of incentives. When incentivised by a system of rewards and objectives, employees become more productive. Tying your organisation’s core concepts into the incentives you offer is essential. Companies like my.15.com offers a platform designed to encourage employees to strive for personal objectives and rewards. Built around the concept of employees establishing their own goals and accomplishments of the week, the platform also asks the employee how they are doing and how their week went. This allows the employer to gauge the level of happiness in the office and react accordingly.

Offering half-days and days out is another way to keep employees happy and productive. When working in a high-pressure sales environment, for example, time away from the desk is as important as time at it. Team-bonding remains key to motivating employees, which allows for the promotion of positive communication and increases awareness of other employees. Supporting your employees will then translate to your employees supporting one another, leading to a more positive and productive workspace.

How has this move to motivate affected Africa? The Careers in Africa Employer of Choice survey is the continent’s best gauge of employee happiness. With over 20,000 respondents from 54 country markets, assessing the African talent pool has never been easier. In the survey by Careers in Africa and their partner Willis Towers Watson, respondents were asked over 90 questions about their current employers, which included GE Africa, PwC, and IBM. The results were enlightening.

What Careers in Africa found was that in Africa, motivation differed somewhat to the norm. Whereas pay, job security, and career advancement are the usual top factors for professionals, in Africa, we found that the opportunity to learn new skills and employers who valued their employees’ well-being were key factors for African professionals when choosing an employer.

Well-being in Africa therefore is key. Building a workspace which values employees and their personal development means a more productive workspace. For employers looking to generate more profit, motivation becomes a crucial element for the business. This is the reason why P&G won the Employer of Choice Top 100 prize for 2016: motivation matters.

For more information about the Careers in Africa Employer of Choice, please visit our website here.


1.)     The Gallup Organisation