With the end of another financial year fast approaching, we conducted some research looking at how capable and motivated British, Swedish, and Dutch workers are when it comes to helping their employer achieve business goals. Alongside this, we examined the focus of British CEOs in the wake of comments from the Centre for Economics and Business Research (Cebr) that economic growth didn’t meet initial expectations across Europe last year. Looking at the UK, it would seem many businesses set themselves some tough goals with operational efficiency, consolidation and growth in emerging markets coming out as the top three priorities. Here’s a visual summary of the full list:
The good news is that our research showed that half of employees care passionately about helping their employer to be successful in meeting these goals, however the recession may have left them feeling battle-weary. We also found that although Brits take their role in their employers’ success seriously, one in five lack the motivation to do their job to the highest possible standard. In fact, we’re the most unmotivated when it comes to the countries surveyed – 5% of those in the Netherlands and 11% of Swedes felt the same about doing a good job.
It’s obvious that at a time when businesses are trying to do more with less, they need the full support of their employees to succeed. However, as you might expect, this is easier said than done.
Room for improvement
The workers we surveyed feel they lack the resources, senior direction, efficient working practices and communication to fulfil their potential. I believe every one of these issues is a key factor for driving the success of an organisation today.
Although it may sound obvious, a workman is only as good as his tools. However, this doesn’t mean a toolbox must be jam-packed with all the latest software or devices. Having the correct mechanisms in place to help employees communicate at all levels and cope with tasks efficiently, can have a huge impact on the overall productivity and output of a business. Workers clearly recognise the need to work smarter. In fact, worryingly, a third of respondents said they knew they needed to change their everyday working practices in order to be more successful. So what’s holding them back?
Well, a quarter said they just ‘haven’t got round to it’ and this isn’t going unnoticed. A third of managers we surveyed admitted they know they need to improve the way their teams work but are struggling to motivate them to do so. At a time when efficiency is key, businesses need to look at how they can change this. Productivity and time management will continue to come under scrutiny and those precious minutes spent searching for information due to poor communication or attending badly managed meetings all add up. Identifying more efficient approaches and helping people work better together is a key part of helping businesses grow and accomplish their goals.
At Mindjet we’re always trying to improve the way we work and keep ourselves and our colleagues inspired: we want our work to be challenging, rewarding and fun. As a provider of collaborative work management software that helps teams work better together, we’re even more passionate about ensuring we help other businesses do the same – particularly when many businesses are struggling.
So, on this vein, in my next post I’ll be giving some practical steps to how we can all start 2013 off on the right foot. In the meantime you can find about what’s in our Work Inspired Manifesto or read more about our research campaign in this report.