World Cup Fever?

Scott Philipson

June 17, 2006

Setting aside the fact the World Cup is on are you really happy with your job? Or is it a way just to pay the bills? If so, you are not alone. In fact, half of all employees only put enough effort in to keep their jobs. 70 per cent of employees are less motivated today than they used to be and another 80 per cent could perform significantly better if they wanted to.

This means people are unhappy at work and many overlook the importance of a fulfilling work life. Not only is it important for employees to be content, their happiness is important to their employers aswell. Disgruntled employees perform considerably worse compared to content ones.

Of course its nice to have your own parking spot and mobile phone bill paid, but these types of benefits are better at retaining and attracting employees. A free lunch (and we all know there is no such thing) will not magically create a healthy motivated environment. The question employers are trying to work out is if benefits keep employees happy, what keeps them motivated?


Office politics, unclear expectations and internal competition are all things we hate and hinder our progress. Things like appreciation, taking pride in your work, and clear goals all contribute to our motivation. Personally I would rather work in an environment where there are no politics, employers are honest with their employees, and are committed to the over all productivity of the company.

Here are some ideas of things considered detrimental to motivation.

  • Company politics;
  • Unclear expectations;
  • Unnecessary rules;
  • Unproductive meetings;
  • Internal competition;
  • Withhold critical information;
  • Criticism rather than constructive feedback;
  • Unfairness;
  • Under-utilising staff capacity.

Recognise any of them? And what about ways to get rid of some of these demotivators?

  • Add variety to routine work
  • Allow input and choice
  • Encourage responsibility and
  • leadership
  • Promote social interaction and teamwork
  • Develop goals and challenges
  • Promote job ownership
  • Provide encouragement
  • Show appreciation
  • Develop a measure that shows performance increase.

Staff resourcing

And now to Sven, the England team, the World Cup and how to keep your staff motivated throughout. Staff resourcing is always an issue during major sporting tournaments, but some employers still seem to be taken by surprise. Managers will need to talk openly to their staff and understand their plans and aim to strike a balance between maintaining business as usual while recognising that some employees will be struck by World Cup fever.

Different approaches will suit different organisations, but being honest with staff and involving them in planning ahead is key.

Set aside time to talk to your team to find out what staff plan to do – you can then make an informed decision about managing your resources. Offer staff flexible working options so they can make up time earlier or later in the day.

Create a rota for finishing early, so everyone knows they will get a chance.

Provide a television and extended break times while matches are taking place. Employees can make up time.

Also, remember not all employees are football fans and they will also have to be consulted to ensure they stay motivated too.

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