Work-life balance most important for morale

Research from Morgan Redwood, suggests that work-life balance, job flexibility and holidays have the biggest impact when it comes to staff morale.

Motivated work force
The research is based on responses from the Heads of Human Resource departments or Board Director level from over 250 businesses. These have been drawn from across the UK and from a mix of sectors and a range of company sizes, with two thirds employing over 250 people, and none less than 50.Janice Haddon, MD of Morgan Redwood, said, "With it being Employee Motivation Day on 21st January, it's the perfect time for employers to take stock of what it is that their employees truly appreciate. Staff morale is a complex area, with many factors contributing to how employees feel in the workplace."Respondents to the Morgan Redwood study were asked what they believed were the biggest influences of staff morale. 'Work-life balance' was top of the list, with 39.6 per cent of respondents attributing it as a key factor. Second was 'job flexibility', according to 32.4 per cent, whilst 30 per cent believed 'holidays' and time away from work, were key. This is an improvement on a similar study in 2009, which put work-life balance in sixth place, job flexibility in seventh and holidays as the second least influential factor.Janice said, "Work-life balance is becoming a phrase you hear more and more. As the pace of society, aided by technology, increases, we're under mounting pressure to stay connected with the workplace even out of work hours. But more and more of us are recognising that there's a balance that needs to be struck. Our research suggests that employers and senior staff are aware of this and recognise its impact on staff morale."When the similar question of what factors adversely affect morale was posed, a 'poor work-life balance' came out as number one, followed by 'making people redundant' and the belief that 'people are under more pressure to achieve more in the working day'. The fact that 'pay has not increased' was in sixth spot showed a change in perspective from 2009.Janice commented, "It's interesting to note that pay wasn't considered amongst the most adverse factors. It's easy to assume pay is the be all and end all of employees' happiness. In a capitalist society, logic suggests if we're paid well, we're happy. But we're now appreciating money is by no means everything.There are myriad contributing factors to workplace wellbeing and satisfaction. Many of us would be happy to forego a pay rise, as long as our essential needs are met. It's something that employers should certainly take note of."She concluded, "Employee Motivation Day is a great way for senior staff to demonstrate to the wider workforce that both they and their work are appreciated, whilst encouraging them to embrace the positives of their job. But don't let it stop there. Motivation is an ongoing requirement, so aim to create a culture that encourages it all the time and not just for one day."For more Re:locate news and features on human resources, click here and for more on leadership and management, click here