Majority of Belgian employees are highly motivated at work

How motivated are Belgian employees? Quite a bit according to a large-scale survey conducted by Mensura. No fewer than 43.5% indicate that they are highly motivated, while only 4% state the opposite. In today’s precarious job market, it is especially important that employers do not lose sight of the large ‘in-between’ group that is ‘fairly’ to ‘slightly’ motivated.

Over the past four years, Mensura has surveyed around 56,000 employees about their motivation at work. Of these, 43.5% claim to be highly motivated, while only 4% state the opposite.

The survey covered various factors that have an impact on motivation. Is there enough variation in the work? Is the emotional stress acceptable? Does the employee believe in the organisation’s mission and values and how does he or she view the company policy? Other topics included advancement opportunities, support and acknowledgement from management and the working atmosphere.

Clara Carlier, psychosocial prevention advisor at Mensura, comments, “Intrinsic motivation is often rooted in a match between personal values and norms on the one hand and the organisation’s mission and values on the other. The fact that your organisation fulfils your personal beliefs triggers a lot of positive energy and motivation. This is why it is important to include employees in the bigger picture, so that they can clearly see what they contribute to the whole. A significantly large number of employees are highly motivated.”


Impact on well-being

The importance of motivation for the overall well-being of employees should not be underestimated. After all, a high level of motivation affects the mental and emotional well-being of workers. This in turn leads to greater involvement and productivity.

“To uphold that positive energy and maintain motivation in the long term, a positive working atmosphere, support and/or acknowledgment from colleagues and management are essential,” agrees fellow prevention adviser Laura Claret. “More specifically, these are all opportunities in which employees are willing and able to share their opinion with their employer, such as during one-on-one conversations or team meetings. Giving employees a voice and considering their input is of considerable value, especially during change processes within organisations.”

1 in 3 believes that a better work-life balance is needed"

Attention for ‘in-between’ group

Apart from the ‘highly motivated’ and ‘unmotivated’ extremes, it turns out that a large number of employees (52.5%) are ‘fairly’ to ‘slightly’ motivated. As an employer, it is important to motivate these employees even more or to help ensure that they do not lose their motivation. 

“Among a large group of employees, there is a growth margin to increase motivation,” explains Clara Carlier. “It is important here to maintain their motivators and to focus more on work characteristics that can be improved. This can be achieved by encouraging employees to identify their energy sources and possible improvement areas. Active listening, acknowledgement and taking action are important with this group of employees.” 

Work-life balance affects motivation

A flexible work organisation is also important to employees. Just under 82% find this to be ‘very’ to ‘extremely’ important. In terms of work-life balance, there appears to be room for improvement: one in three (34.2%) believes that a better work-life balance is needed.

However, work-life balance turns out to have a significant effect on work motivation. Among unmotivated employees, 70.8% are not satisfied with the balance between their work and personal life. Among the highly motivated, this number is one in four (25.3%).

“If motivation is low, there is a risk that it will decrease further. This can lead to lower work quality, absenteeism and employee turnover. So, the challenge is to maintain the positive aspects and together identify areas for improvement. A psychosocial risk analysis is a excellent starting point,” adds Laura Claret. “Motivation is a protective factor for employee health and strengthens employability in the long term. Organisations that succeed in creating a workplace in which employees feel that their work is meaningful will definitely benefit from this.”