It is widely accepted that nowadays we live in a more complex and uncertain world than before. Since 2008 when the global recession emerged (which led to one of the greatest economic crisis that Cyprus has experienced), the economic and business climate is constantly changing. Memorandum’s collective experience has emphatically demonstrated that maintaining growth and stability is not something given or perceived as granted, rather than something uncertain and complicated.
One way we can tackle (and prevent) such economic crises, as well as to contribute towards a fine-tuned maintenance of our corporate growth and stability on a strategic and healthy long-term basis, is to make constant efforts to improve the quality of our services. This, set in a business context, can be achieved through the corporate and personal development of our employees. In other words, particular emphasis must be placed on the effective management of human resources, acknowledging that this is the driving force of the company.
But what our employees really need and how can we offer it to them? According to the well-known clinical psychologist Frederick Herzberg (1923-2000) and his book "Motivation to Work", motivation of employees is the key in achieving business goals. The word "motivation", derived from the Latin word "movere" meaning "to move", is defined as the inner impulse that directs the individual to achieve a goal in order to satisfy a need. Many companies believe that the basic employee needs that must be definitely met to a large extent are adequate pay, relatively good working hours and a pleasant working environment. According to Herzberg, this is not enough. Thus, he developed and elaborated on two categories of factors that affect human behavior.
The first category includes the aforementioned needs, which he calls "hygiene factors" and are related to the working environment, the processes and policies of the company, the sense of security and stability, as well as the quality of relations with colleagues and supervisors. These factors do not motivate job satisfaction themselves, but serve mainly to avoid employee dissatisfaction, for example good hygiene does not necessarily produce good health, but lack of hygiene can contribute to disease development. It is important to note that a company may succeed in meeting all these needs, but its employees continue being unsatisfied with the nature of their work or the conditions of their working environment.
The second and most important category refers to the need for personal development and growth. This category, which Herzberg calls "motivation factors", includes the factors that are related to the content of the job, the feeling of learning and development, responsibility and recognition for what the employee achieves, the feeling of satisfaction in the sense that the activity in which the employee is engaged is important to the company or to the society in general. The existence of these factors make employees contribute their services with appetite and hence greater efficiency.
Taking into account Herzberg’s theory and placing particular emphasis on "motivation factors", it is reasonable to conclude that everything commences from following appropriate recruitment policies. Apart from what is potentially included in a CV resume, it is important for the company's human resources representatives to understand the real reasons behind a candidate’s interest for the job. For example, does it feel that he likes the nature of work or not? By adapting our questions accordingly during the interview, we can certainly reveal a plethora of a candidate’s characteristics and motivators to a certain extent.
Additionally, great attention should be given to the implementation of good staff management practices. By actively recognizing employees' contributions, we create those conditions needed to motivate them to continue contributing to the workplace in a productive manner. At the same time, the institutionalised evaluation process allows for constructive dialogue and targeted feedback between managers and employees, thus meeting both the employee's and the company's needs.
It is important to note that the implementation of international human resources management standards, such as the Investors in People, are enhancing the efficiency and competitiveness of a company through the introduction of modern human resources management methods. Since 2012 KPMG adopted the standard with the ultimate objective of comparing the procedures and policies it applies with other good practices applied both in Cyprus and abroad (this refers to practices which meet the Firm’s core values). The Investors in People standard helped KPMG manage its staff in a more efficient manner. In addition, the communication between the top management and the rest of the employees was strengthened and corrective measures were adopted across the board.
Considering human capital as the most important asset of a company and aiming at the quality and continuous upgrading of their solutions and services, companies can develop their competitive advantage and thus improve the quality of service they offer to their customers.
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Member firms of the KPMG network of independent firms are affiliated with KPMG International. KPMG International provides no client services. No member firm has any authority to obligate or bind KPMG International or any other member firm vis-à-vis third parties, nor does KPMG International have any such authority to obligate or bind any member firm.