Emma Glennon - Argos for Business

Are finance professionals happy at work?

Our research reveals that British employees, including ones in the financial sector, are, on the whole, happy at work, with a third feeling inspired to succeed every day and 70 per cent feeling positive about work more than three days a week. This counters a common misconception that we’re a nation of disgruntled employees pushing paper.

What makes finance professionals feel valued at work?

Our nationwide study found that 40 per cent of finance professionals think feeling valued in a job is a top priority, with 34 per cent saying recognition for their hard work actively motivates them.

Tell us a bit more about the research…

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 all organisations to put motivation to the forefront of business thinking and champion creative ways of engaging staff.

The study into the behaviours of the UK’s workers highlights that team dynamics play the most important role in employee satisfaction, with two-thirds of all workers enjoying being part of a team.

The research examined how various personality types of team-workers also 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.

Are there different personalities within the workplace and what are they?

The most popular work personality is Captain Questions. A fifth of workers place themselves in this category, with exploring and problem solving what they most enjoy 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 per cent of employees making considered and informed decisions on their own before expressing them out loud, followed by Confident Creatives (11 per cent). 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 per cent 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 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.

Does collaboration help with motivation in the workplace?

36 per cent 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 in the workplace.

Argos for Business is working alongside Roger Black MBE, three 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 members room to brainstorm and 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 in the workplace, as well as the sporting arena.”

Do you think it’s important for employers to recognise the different personalities within a team?

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.

Emma Glennon, Head of Key Clients, Argos for Business