"It's not about the money": Work-life balance key in motivating staff

"It's not about the money": Work-life balance key in motivating staff

SINGAPORE - "It's not about the money, money, money," sang artiste Jessie J, and it appears that most employees agree with this sentiment.

According to recruitment group Hays, an attractive salary is undoubtedly important, but it is not the ultimate factor in ensuring that employees remain motivated.

Instead, employees are also motivated by factors such as a good work-life balance and prospects for career progression.

Indeed, according to Hays' 2016 Asia Salary Guide, work-life balance was the top reason in convincing workers to remain in their current job, with three in five Singaporean employees citing it as a key factor for staying put. Hays surveyed over 3,000 employees in China, Hong Kong, Japan, Malaysia and Singapore for the Salary Guide.

"Once our basic needs are met and we are able to pay the bills, there are other equally important factors that motivate us," said Christine Wright, Managing Director of Hays in Asia.

According to Hays, improved work-life balance correlates with overall job satisfaction, productivity and motivation.

"However, it's not just by increasing the life side of the balance that you improve motivation. Bringing your workplace to life, so people feel inspired, is another way of maintaining enthusiasm."

Besides improving work-life balance, Hays also outlined four other non-monetary ways to motivate a workplace:

The first is learning and development, as up-skilling of employees shows them that there is room for progression.

Letting employees know their career prospects is also an important motivating factor, as more than a third cited a lack of career progression as a reason for seeking a new job. "Ideally at least twice a year, have meetings to discuss your employee's ambitions and their promotion prospects," Hays suggests.

Giving employees recognition and greater responsibilities were the two other ways to motivate a workforce. The recruitment firm pointed out that employees liked to be acknowledged for their contributions and achievements, while giving workers more meaningful responsibilities makes them feel more connected to the business and its success.

Said Ms Wright, "Money is not the be all and end all. It's the factors which stimulate our core desires as human beings which truly motivate us, such as increased autonomy, acquiring new skills and being able to express ourselves."

seanyap@sph.com.sg

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