Delving into the industry’s motivation levels, a nationwide study found that 45 percent of construction workers think feeling valued in a job is a top priority, with 37 percent saying recognition actively motivates them to work harder.
New research also reveals that on the whole, tradies are happy at work, with a third motivated to succeed every day and 70 percent feeling positive about work more than three days a week, cemented by a positive forecast predicted for the construction industry in 2016. Demand remains strong in the sector and the government is committed to construction and infrastructure programmes.
Ahead of the second Employee Motivation Day on 25th February, the study into the behaviours of UK workers highlights that team dynamics play the most important role in employee satisfaction, with two-thirds of workers enjoying being part of a team.
The research examined how various personality types of team-workers also take on very different roles. Construction can thrive by encouraging a collaborative working environment that allows each personality type to have an impact.
The most popular work personality is Captain Questions – a character no doubt encountered frequently on site. Despite often being the focus of on-site banter for their continuous questions, a fifth of workers place themselves in this category, with exploring and problem solving what they most enjoy about work – a key skill for tradesmen. These are the most likely candidates to call upon colleagues to reach a collective 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 percent of employees making considered and informed decisions on their own before expressing them out loud. This is followed by Confident Creatives (11 percent). Just over one in five workers identify themselves as a Big Idea Bod, understanding that it will be others in the group who make their ‘big picture’ thinking feasible – think architect.
Despite clearly being a nation of team players, the research reveals that 56 percent 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) are People-Orientated Performers – those eager to motivate others instead of themselves – your site foreman, perhaps.
For these people-orientated performers, 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 compliment each other is the best way to motivate employees.
In keeping with the collaborative working theme, 36 percent of employees thought taking the time to listen to other ways of working helped increase levels of motivation. A quarter of employees also claim that being involved in decisions helps to boost positive attitudes on site.
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.
Argos for Business is working alongside Roger Black MBE, 3 times Olympic medallist and motivational speaker, as part of ‘Employee Motivation Day’. Roger identifies himself as a ‘Captain Question’ within a team, encouraging free-thinking and offering words of encouragement to teammates:
“In 1991, the British Team won a gold medal for the 4×400 metre relay team in the World Championships. In a brave move, we made a team decision to change the running order the night before the race, and that decision ultimately resulted in a gold medal
“By giving your team mates room to make collaborative decisions about what they do, you will see an increase in engagement and a greater commitment to tasks – because they have made it their own. Argos for Business’ research showed that taking on responsibility was the main motivator for over a quarter of UK employees, and this resonates on site, as well as the sporting arena.”
Emma Glennon, head of key clients at Argos for Business, says “Our new research casts a positive light on the UK construction industry, with tradesmen proving to be happy at work and championing team spirit.
“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.
“That’s not to say self-starters who need little motivation from others should be overlooked when it comes to incentives and rewards, however. Instead companies should acknowledge and reward them 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.”