Staff Motivation – HR Industry Interviews

Interviews from the A Better HR Business podcast

Category: Staff Motivation (Page 1 of 5)

7 Things That Set High Performing Organisations Apart

HRwisdom invites you to another free short webinar to help you and your business:

The 7 Things That Set High Performing Organisations Apart.

The 7 Things That Set High Performing Organisations Apart

The influential research firm Insync recently put out the results of a survey into what makes high performing organisations, well, high performing. High Performing Organisations

It is a highly valid survey of more than 100,000 employees in over 200 organisations conducted over 5 years.

Anne Barclay of HR Advantage will be talking us through the survey results and the learnings for your business.

The key outcome that Anne and her colleagues noticed when they looked at the results was how consistent the survey results are with other highly respected research.

Other such research includes that conducted by Jim Collins (Good to Great and Built to Last) and work done by people like Stephen Covey (7 Habits of Highly Effective People).

The survey results were also highly consistent with the consulting experience of Anne’s team when working with successful (and not so successful) firms.

High Performing Organisations

Drawing on these powerful new survey findings, Anne will share:

  1. Practical insights into the important things that set high performing organisations apart.
  2. The seven things that make them high performers.
  3. Five simple steps to take action on this powerful information.

Sorry – Closed

Sorry, this offer has expired.

Check out the free Human Resources Management resources available now here.

How To Encourage Employees After Project Failure

At work, we are motivated to climb up that ladder of success where in most times, set our minds so much on the goal of succeeding that we do not leave any room for failures and disappointments.  However, setbacks are a natural part in our careers and happen in all workplaces.  

Setbacks happen for a lot of different reasons, and they can take their toll on us if we allow them to.  Sometimes failures jump on us from behind and take us by surprise. We may think that we did everything we can, from preparations to the actual procedure, but we still lost that client or project.

In my town, Brisbane, these scenarios are nothing new. They can happen in schools, workplaces, or anywhere where teams put in all their best efforts for a presentation that cannot be any less than perfect. They spend countless hours over something that became a failure in the end.

Encouraging your employees after a setback can be very difficult.  As experts say, helping a team of people is tougher that helping a single person to cope.  It requires understanding, patience, and the ability to think past the exact emotions you actually feel.  You also will have to understand that when the team handled that project.  Each one of the employees had different levels of perspectives, motivation drivers, and expectations. Even when it comes to the efforts that they have invested in that project, you cannot expect that all of them has put in the exact level of effort as the other.

You may feel bad about it, considering how much that failure had cost the company, but employees may feel a lot much worse.  At stake with that project were their jobs and their future.  After that failure, they could lose everything they were holding on to at the moment.  And as their team leader, your job is not limited to handing out and assigning tasks, and keeping track of their performances.  It is also your job to embrace a failure, assess it, and motivate your employees to help them bounce back from it.  Here’s how you can do it.

Photo by Tom Pumford on Unsplash

Give them time to wallow

Just as when someone goes through a difficult ordeal in life, we cannot just tell the person to move on from it without acknowledging the hurt and negative he or she must have felt at the time. Allow them to analyze the situation in their own for some time. It makes them think critically without your prompting and inputs.

Talk about it

A failure cannot just happen without being dissected and discussed. Since they are meant to be there to help teams learn and grow, it is best to gather your team with you and talk to them about it. Much better, be direct with your words and avoid sugar coating them.  Avoid saying the phrases, “looking at the bright side…”, “we’re lucky this and not that happened…”, or “we made a mistake…” They may sound consoling but they are not a direct hit at where the problem really was. Identify at which point the project failed or where you and your team missed so that you can avoid doing the same mistake the next time.  You need to let them know to make them see and understand.

No blame games

In your meeting with the team, emphasize on where the problem is to blame and not on who to blame.  Make it clear to them what the problem was, but avoid singling one person out and humiliating him or her.  After this, then you may speak with that person or group of people in the privacy of your office.  Additionally, keep things in a neutral tone. Make him or them know the gravity of their mistakes but do not attack their character. Again, make them understand the importance why you need to discuss this with them – to lay out the consequences of a mistake to the whole group and project, that it should not happen again, and how these things can be avoided. You can ask the employee or employees why the mistake happened and their inputs on how these can be avoided as well.

Although feeling down and unmotivated after a failure is a natural reaction, it should not be that way for long. As a leader, the team will need you to be strong enough to handle such negative circumstances, and they need your guidance to learn and move on from it. Remember that your reaction and feelings are way more contagious to the whole team rather than a fellow team members. The process of learning and moving on has to start with you, the leader.

About The Author

Gemma Reeves is a seasoned writer who enjoys creating helpful articles and interesting stories. She has worked with several clients across different industries such as advertising, online marketing, technology, healthcare, family matters, and more. She is also an aspiring entrepreneur who is engaged in assisting other aspiring entrepreneurs in finding the best office space for their business.

Check out her company here: FindMyWorkspace


How To Support Your Employees And Improve Company Culture


Company Culture

From changing an office’s layout according to cutting edge architectural principles to ensuring that all staff members get to know each other in team-building sessions, modern companies have shown a willingness to explore the many ways in which company culture can be improved.

It has been proven time and time again that a higher level of employee satisfaction leads to an increase in productivity, not to mention a more pleasant atmosphere in the workplace as well.

In order to achieve these higher levels of productivity however, a company has to put a significant effort into building a corporate culture that supports employees and their talents.

Companies can use different methods to motivate individuals and encourage them to reach their potential. Here are some alternative methods being used in modern workplaces.

Look after their physical and mental well-being

By and large, the contemporary work setting is defined by its lack of dynamism. Most people today sit and work on their computers for hours on end, progressively atrophying their bodies over time. Studies have shown, however, that even light exercise is instrumental for fostering engagement and creativity, which is why companies stand to gain a lot from installing the likes of standing desks and workout rooms. In addition, the mental part of the well-being equation can be addressed by introducing various games in the workplace that encourage creativity and problem-solving.

Consider providing quality meals

You are what you eat. The importance of a healthy diet is undeniable, which explains why so many people seek to improve their eating habits. In the workplace, smart companies have already taken to providing their employees with quality meals, either free or at a discount, in order to encourage proper nutrition at a company-wide level. What’s more, eating together is also a boon for team-building purposes as people bond with each other during their lunch hours.

Foster their entrepreneurial spirit

A company is only as successful as its employees allow it to be. And fewer things are more integral to success than possessing an authentic entrepreneurial spirit. This kind of attitude and approach should be welcomed at all levels of an enterprise. Show that you genuinely strive to nurture the entrepreneurial spirit of your employees by encouraging personal projects and seeking their opinion on matters related to the company’s activity.

Encourage them to take time off

Finally, maintaining a high level of productivity has everything to do with knowing when to step back in order to replenish energy. With the ultimate goal of empowering their employees in mind, some companies have started offering them unlimited vacation days, considering that people should judge their own needs for rest and relaxation. However, this approach has also led to the promotion of unhealthy workaholism, as some employees ended up taking less time off than before. Since such attitudes are actually counter-productive over the long run, take steps to teach your employees about the importance of maintaining a healthy work-life balance.

As you can see, there are certain things that any company can do in order to support its staff. Ideally, they could all be implemented. However, in the real world, where companies are limited with time and budgetary constraints, it is rare that a company is able to follow each and every of the steps mentioned above. To show your will and commitment to your staff, enacting just one or two can still go a long way towards improving the overall well-being of your employees.

How To Handle Difficult Employees [Infographic]

Here at HRwisdom we talk a lot about how to find, hire, retain and nurture talented people for your business.

However, sometimes things go a little astray.

For those occasions, we thought you might appreciate this well-presented explanation from Get Voip of the main types of particularly difficult employees.

The Different Types of Difficult Employees [Infographic]

Here’s some of what you’ll discover:

A 2013 study found that in 42% of surveyed companies, low performing employees reported higher levels of engagement than their high-performning peers. They were also more likely to report their company as a “great place to work.

Difficult employees indeed . . .

How to handle difficult employees

For excellent free HR advice and resources, visit the HRwisom home page.

Good HR Video On The Biggest Mistakes Made By Leaders

At HRwisdom we enjoy sharing good information and thought-provoking discussions. Good HR Video

Today we are sharing a good HR video from Harvard Business Publishing on the biggest mistakes made by leaders.

You may also like the follow videos too:

The Importance Of Staff Training (a very funny 40 second demonstration)

Excellent Presentation On What Motivates Employees & What Demotivates Employees

In the meantime, here’s the good HR video on the biggest mistakes made by leaders . . .

Good HR Video

Finally, if you’d like something short and sweet (not a video), you may like to take a look at this light-hearted HR policy development.


Presentation – What Motivates Employees & What Demotivates Employees

Excellent Presentation On What Motivates Employees & What Demotivates Employees

Today we are sharing an excellent presentation which helps to answer the common management questions of what motivates employees and what demotivates employees. What Motivates Employees & What Demotivates Employees

The speaker, behavioral economist Dan Ariely, briefly outlines a number of experiments that relate to human motivation.

Dan then links them back to the workplace with excellent suggestions for all organisations to consider.

Karl Marx even appears briefly too (well, his philosophy anyway).

While you’re here, don’t forget to check out the current HRwisdom Bonuses only available to readers of the HRwisdom Blog.

Let’s watch . . .

What Motivates Employees & What Demotivates Employees


How To Benefit From Team Building Events

How To Benefit From Team Building Events

At HRwisdom, we often look at how to motivate and engage staff. Today, we have a guest article which looks at  how to benefit from team building events.

How Businesses Can Benefit From Team Building Events

Team building is not a new phenomenon but an increasing number of businesses are only just discovering the benefits that team activities can bring. How To Benefit From Team Building Events

Team building’s effect is two-fold: it not only stimulates personal development in employees but the day can also have a lasting impact on the business in the form of improved productivity and motivation.

In fact, the benefits of team building are having such an impact that some businesses are incorporating team building as part of their standard curriculum, making it a regular outing every month or two months.

If you’re out of the loop, you may be wondering just what makes team building such an important part of business. Here’s a handful of reasons.


Most team-building activities involve solving a problem; from creating a structure from scratch or eliminating an opposing team at paintball. From a business perspective, it is interesting to see which members of a team step up to the leadership plate in this type of environment.

Through observation, managers can also identify particular talents like delegation, planning and other individual skills that may emerge. By letting this expertise blossom on a team day and bringing them back to the workplace, businesses can benefit from the use of these skills in an office environment.

It’s not just businesses that can reap the benefits. Certain team-building activities can foster confidence, energy and creativity in a team as well as giving people the chance to learn personal information about each other. By establishing a rapport between team members that may not have bonded before, people could be willing to work in a more amicable way in the office.


Further to building rapport, team members can have a tendency to help each other more when a problem needs to be solved. On a team-building day, an environment is specifically created, helping people to work together to achieve a certain goal or objective. This can be useful when brought back to the workplace as working together to reach a target is a key objective for many businesses.

Motivation to solve tasks not only helps achieve personal goals but also improves business performance. Think of your company as a machine with a lot of little cogs that need to turn for the business to move forward. Regular maintenance and calibration is needed for the machine to improve; it’s the same for your workers.

Team-building activities can also help foster innovation; a key trait for any business looking to grow. SmartBlogs suggests you might even be “surprised at the innovations and improvements that result from all that collaborative brainpower” let loose in an environment outside the office.

As we can see, there are more than a few reasons to embark on a regular team-building day. Throwing a spanner into the predictable pattern and routine of the workplace may return dividends at the end of the financial year in the form of trust, performance and the understanding of a team’s strengths.


Written by Blue Hat ( Bluehat Group is a multi award winning team building organisation. They specialise in live events with particular emphasis on communication, motivation, learning and performance related outcomes. 

Pros And Cons Of Zero Hour Contracts

Pros And Cons Of Zero Hour Contracts

HRwisdom looks at workforce-related issues around the world.

Today, HRwisdom contributor Joe Errington looks at the pros and cons of zero hour contracts in the UK.

Don’t forget to access all the latest free HRwisdom resources and special gifts – just click here.

Over to Joe . . .

Zero Hour Contracts Examined

New research claims that one million British workers are employed on zero hours contracts. Under these, they are not guaranteed hours and are only paid for the work they put in. Is this a fair system though? What are the benefits and drawbacks? Is there a better solution for businesses?

A zero hour contract is essentially a formal agreement of casual employment. As the name suggests, employees are given a proper contract but with no set hours. In difficult times, it is useful for employers to have this kind of flexibility, but it can be open to abuse.

Retailer Sports Direct has found itself thrown into the stoplight again following the revelations that 90% of its staff are employed this way. With many workers at Sports Direct’s beck and call, not knowing from one day to the next whether they will be working, many have been quick to point the finger and accuse them of exploitation.

So are workers being exploited, or is this an essential means of fighting unemployment? Here are the main arguments for and against the zero hour contract.


Zero hours contracts allow small and mediums sized companies to cope with varying demand. In consumer facing industries, you cannot know for sure how busy you will be tomorrow, and zero hour contracts are a way of reducing overheads and minimising risk.

It is this kind of flexibility that kept many people in jobs during the worst of the recession. Where full time contracts would have required redundancies, zero hours allows employers to shave a little time off everyone’s workload, reducing the wage bill without any drastic measures.


Both employers and employees will relay their frustrations at lazy or unmotivated colleagues. In the same way that a zero hour is open to abuse from employers, full-time contracts can be abused by employees.

Unproductive workers cost companies thousands, and heap more pressure on their colleagues. As a result, many employers are reluctant to offer staff a full-time contract unless they are 100% sure they are right for the job. Another way which zero hour contracts help to minimise risk.

Better Than Casual

Most UK companies will need to employ casual labour at some point; whilst technically illegal, this is necessary and should be tolerated to a point.

The casual labour market costs the government millions in unpaid tax though. Zero hour contracts are a way of bringing this back above ground, recouping money for the government and helping to protect worker’s rights.


In times of economic hardship, more people are willing to take any job available to them. Many unscrupulous employers know this and use zero hours contracts as a way of reducing costs at the expense of their employees.

By employing people this way, they can get around many employee’s benefits which we now take for granted. Sick pay, holidays and pensions are all avoided, affecting the financial security of many workers.

Damages Economy

Workers who do not feel financially secure are less likely to spend money. The decision to buy a home for example, will be put back for a few more years, hindering our economic growth.

With the lack of quality, secure jobs available, there is little incentive for people to get back to work. Although living off benefits is not ideal, it is much more stable than a job with no guaranteed hours.

The Solution

Employers, unions and the government need to come together to reach an agreement that is in everyone’s best interests. There are ways in which a company can stay flexible, without compromising job security.

Flexible hours contracts allow employers tailor their rotas to meet varying demand, while at the same time offering their staff a guaranteed income. For smaller businesses, or those affected by seasonal changes, this can be an ideal way of reducing risk for both their employees and themselves.

For larger organisations, outsourcing peripheral parts of their business may be the answer. Specialist facilities management services can take care of tasks such as cleaning, catering and security, allowing companies to offload the risk and focus on their core functions.


Joe Errington is a marketing executive for MITIE, a strategic outsourcing company who specialise in facilities management.

Advantages And Disadvantages Of Voluntary Redundancy vs Forced Redundancy

Advantages And Disadvantages Of Voluntary Redundancy vs Forced Redundancy

With the world economy struggling and companies continuing to layoff staff, questions arise over the respective advantages and disadvantages of voluntary redundancy vs forced redundancy.

It is an emotionally-charged topic for all involved, including for the people making the decisions about who goes and who stays.



Get $30 and a free transfer when you use CurrencyFair to send money overseas via this special HRwisdom offer code:

Get $30 and a free transfer when you use CurrencyFair to send money overseas via this special HRwisdom offer link.


Voluntary Redundancy vs Forced Redundancy

You may have already read the HRwisdom Blog post on how to fire someone.

You may have read about how to build a resilient workforce.

You may have seen our recommended employment document software programs to create customised termination letters and other HR documents.

Now is probably a good time to listen to our very popular interview which looks at the different aspects of the difficult process of managing redundancies in the workplace. voluntary redundancy vs forced redundancy

The interview on how to manage redundancies is divided into small, bite-sized pieces.

In the first part of the interview, we take a look at:

What are the advantages and disadvantages of offering voluntary redundancies vs conducting forced redundancies/involuntary redundancies?

In the other sections, there is good advice on how to manage the redundancy process. This includes:

  • What are the steps involved in the staff redundancy process?
  • How to select employees for involuntary redundancy?
  • How to communicate during the redundancy process?
  • Should you walk someone out immediately when making them redundant?
  • How can you manage redundancies without destroying all employee goodwill?
  • A case study.

To access this excellent interview (it’s free, of course), just log-in using the form over on the right hand side.

Then click on the link called:

How To Manage Redundancies Without Destroying All Employee Goodwill


Challenges In Managing Change | Unusual Insight From A Retired Rock Star

Challenges In Managing Change | Unusual Insight From A Retired Rock Star

There are many challenges in managing change for supervisors and middle managers when it comes to managing staff.

There are well-known problems faced by frontline leaders and middle managers:

  • Dealing with difficult employees and workplace law issues.
  • Managing within constrained budgets
  • Excessive numbers of meetings
  • The need to constantly reduce costs
  • Balancing requirements of the role with managing each individual team member

There are many more such challenges in managing change.

However, there is another challenge facing supervisors and middle managers that doesn’t get much airplay . . .

An Under-Acknowledged Challenge When Managing Change

Consider the ‘under-acknowledged’ challenge: Line managers being required to communicate and support unpopular decisions into which they had no input.

We were reminded by this problem in an unusual way – by a retired rock and roll star. challenges in managing change

Peter Garrett was formerly the lead singer of the successful Australian rock band, Midnight Oil. He then went on to become a politician, being signed as a star recruit to ultimately become a minister in the Labor government.

Recently, with the switch back to Kevin Rudd as Prime Minister, Garrett announced his resignation from the ministry and from politics.

In a post-resignation interview with Alex Malley, Garrett was free to open up about a key challenge he faced during his time as a government minister.  

challenges in managing change |1Strangely enough, he described the under-acknowledged problem that faces supervisors and middle managers when it comes to communicating difficult news.

The interview article introduced the issue: “Politicians often argue in favour of policies they personally, secretly oppose. It’s an essential part of the political game. Just ask Peter Garrett.

[quote]”I always understood entirely what I think are the very necessary disciplines of being a team player in a political party,” Mr Garrett told TV series The Bottom Line…” I took the view, painful as it was, that if you are a cabinet minister in a government and you accept the fact that government policy won’t always reflect your specific personal viewpoint then you’ve got one of two choices.” “You can either leave or you can be a responsible member of the cabinet,” he said. “I chose the latter course of action. But it was by no means easy.”[/quote]

According to the interview, ‘Mr Garrett had told the interviewer Alex Malley that he had always compensated for that inability to speak his mind publicly by arguing passionately with his fellow ministers.’

[quote]”I do reflect my views very strongly where I need to with my colleagues,” he said. But when the argument in cabinet is over, it’s every minister’s duty to express support for the final policy in public.”[/quote]

Challenges In Managing Change – What Can We Learn From A Retired Rock Star?

When it comes to helping our supervisory staff and middle managers, what can businesses learn from a retired rock star?

Key Learning: When making business decisions that may be controversial or difficult to accept, business leaders must look beyond the usual communications plans that tend to only focus on the ‘end users’ of the decision.

Time must be taken to consider whether involvement and buy-in by supervisors and middle managers is possible.

If it is possible, leaders should maximise the chance of the proposed change succeeding by getting the crucial commitment of the people who will receive the most questions and feedback when the change is announced – line managers.

If the involvement of line managers is not possible, business leaders must plan for extra briefings and support for this key group before the message is widely communicated.

Feel free to share this article with your friends and colleagues.


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