Russell Ward is CEO of Silent Edge – a specialist in sales training, motivation and much else. Here he talks about how vital it is to have a motivated workforce.
‘A motivated workforce is a productive workforce’; a mantra which not many would dispute.
It’s the way in which we motivate employees that is a matter of fierce debate. We work with the sales forces of many corporations and often we’re met with the Taylorite view of motivation through performance related pay. Typically we respond by asking HR teams and the trainees to consider that learning and development can offer more effective employee motivation that reinforces loyalty to the company.
Consider for a moment contact centre staff. It’s a challenging industry where you often find record levels of attrition. Having worked with contact centres across a number of sectors, we have seen the operational and technical training that is offered alongside the incentive-based pay schemes.
The fact remains, however, that these call centres are still not always productive. Many contact centre staff still lack training in customer services and sales. While this may suffice to meet the business needs in the short term, it does nothing to develop the individuals concerned.
The contact centre example merely serves to illustrate a point, and is in no way the only relevant environment in which this applies. Across a wide range of industries employers do not appear to invest time in the cyclical process of evaluation, development and coaching.
The issue of key importance is that when individuals are able to see the investment in time and money that a company makes in developing their personal skill set, they are motivated by the potential to grow professionally. Employers who are offering the opportunity for their staff to learn and develop offer a greater level of employee satisfaction.
Having worked with clients across many sectors, we consistently see the business case for investing in personnel development. In order to motivate for change, and for this to be sustainable, call centre staff must clearly be motivated to perform. The financial impact of an increasingly productive workforce is considerable.