Employee Motivation as a part of Employer Branding – Part 1

As part of our new regular series “Employee Motivation as a part of Employer Branding” we would like to illuminate the two best-ranked aspects of the 2015 “work motivation” study by the Manpower Group – a good working relationship with colleagues and superiors as well as flexible working hours.

The most important factor for employee motivation is a good relationship with colleagues and superiors. In the study, 65 percent of the respondents said to be more motivated if they get along well with colleagues and superiors. Even though the percentage is lower than last year (77 percent), a good working relationship is still considered to be the most important motivating factor.

Pierre Bourdieu influence on the theory of social capital

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Pierre Bourdieu “in action” (Photo: alicia gaudí @flickr.com, creativecommons.org/licenses/by/2.0/)

The most famous scientific theory about the positive motivational influence of good relationships between colleagues and superiors is the theory of social capital by the French sociologist and social philosopher Pierre Bourdieu. Social capital describes the collective benefits of social relationships between different people, in the case of a company the relations between employees and superiors.

Building social capital requires a high level of trust for giving support, assistance and recognition to others and to establish cooperation. All these characteristics and a high degree of trust lead to a strong intrinsic motivation of the employees and to higher motivation. An employee who does not feel well, is not a good worker. Real friendships between the employees are not necessary but social capital promotes a pleasant and helpful working environment, which leads to collegial relationships and long-term retentions of employees.

Flexible working hours an important motivating factor

The study “Working Motivation 2015” by the Manpower Group Germany named flexible working hours as the second most important motivating factor for employees. Overall, 50 percent of the respondents had the opinion that flexible working hours are an important motivational factor. In the previous year, only 67 percent of the respondents concurred that flexible working hours have a positive influence on employee motivation.

But even though flexible working hours can be found on almost every job advertisement as an incentive, researchers at the University of Minnesota came to the conclusion that flexible working parents have no significant time savings. It means, in particular, that workers can not afford more time for their children. Flexible workers have just more time for themselves and feel less stressed, which is beneficial for their own well-being and their own motivation.

Happy workers positive for corporate image

Good relationships with colleagues and supervisors as well as flexible working hours increase the motivation and commitment of employees and affect the long-term retention of employees in a positive way. In addition, happy workers like to share their positive experiences within the company and thus communicate unconsciously a positive corporate image.

In the next part of our series “Employee Motivation as a part of Employer Branding” we will discuss the aspects “friendships with colleagues” and “free drinks for employees”.

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