We’ve spoken before on 1850 Thoughts about the many challenges that come with keeping your workforce properly motivated and productive, whether that be via effective leadership, clever design, or favourable working practices, and as the UK is currently considered among the worst performers in this regard, it truly is an important subject matter to discuss.

According to a new study conducted by Full Potential Group, it is in fact the UK’s younger workers who struggle the most when it comes to motivation in the workplace, with those at the age of 20 experiencing the lowest levels of motivation overall.

Scoring just 5.9 out of 10 in Full Potential Group’s ‘Motivation at Work Report’, demotivation among these young workers is largely driven by a poor work/life balance (33%), too much stress (25%), workplace bureaucracy (22%), and conflict and tension (20%).

The Motivation at Work Report surveyed a total of 2,000 UK workers between the ages of 20 and 65 in order to ascertain not just those groups who experience the highest and lowest levels of motivation, but also the reasoning behind it. Interestingly, among those groups with the highest levels of motivation are working parents (scoring 6.7 for working mothers and 6.6 for working fathers), low-ranking bosses (scoring 6.8), and senior bosses (scoring 6.7). By far the most motivated group however are at the age of 51, with workers at this age averaging a score of 7.7 out of 10.

Across all age groups, the biggest workplace motivators were found to be the provision of flexible working options (67%), challenging tasks/work (46%), and the freedom to make your own decisions (44%). In the case of working mothers, this freedom in regards to decision making rose up to become the most important motivator, as stated by 68% of respondents within this demographic.

The biggest demotivators across the board were found to be a lack of work/life balance (33%), the inability to work remotely (26%), and job uncertainty (25%). Other contributing factors include a lack of recognition/reward (22%), other team members (21%), stress (18%), and the unavailability of flexible working options (also 18%).

Carole Gaskell, Managing Director of Full Potential Group, said of the report, “People might be surprised that 20 year olds were found to be the least motivated workers in Britain, but many bosses and leaders are getting it wrong by trying to motivate their young workforce in the same way that they motivate themselves, assuming they are identical to them. But times have changed and now the younger generation is less motivated by money or material awards but more by autonomy and a work/life balance.”


Sam Bonson

Sam is an aspiring novelist with a passion for fantasy and crime thrillers. He is currently working as a content writer, journalist & editor as he continues to expand his horizons.
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