One of our 2016 best theses was on understanding the motivators of frontline employee innovation by Mohamed Bhorat

By: Bhorat, Mohamed Firoze



Innovation is widely seen as one of the cornerstones of organisational success and sustainability in an environment characterised by intense competition. The frontline employee is increasingly being seen as a critical component in an organisation’s innovation effort, due to their close proximity to and frequent engagement with the customer. Yet there is a lack of insight into what motivates frontline employees to be innovative. The purpose of this research is to gain insight into the specific motivators that influence the propensity of frontline employees to innovate. This research took the form of a descriptive study using a quantitative methodology, collecting data from 264 respondents through an online survey tool and an existing measurement instrument found in literature. A non probability sampling technique was used at a particular South African bank to obtain the sample. Research questions were formulated around, intrinsic motivation, extrinsic motivation, and employee engagement factors and extended into determining which specific type of extrinsic and intrinsic motivators were effective in driving frontline employee innovation. A regression analysis revealed that intrinsic motivation was the only construct that was deemed to be statistically significant in predicting frontline employee innovation. However the “financial rewards” attribute, which corresponds to the extrinsic motivation construct, was found to be a statistically significant predictor of frontline employee innovation, albeit an inverse relationship. The findings suggest that frontline employees place more emphasis on their psychological needs being met in order for them to be innovative and that money is not necessarily a good motivator. In fact money as a motivator is seen as controlling and coercive and diminishes an employee’s sense of self determination and therefore may be detrimental to the motivation of frontline employee innovation. Academically, this study contributes to the insights on motivating frontline employees, with an emphasis on driving innovation. These insights may be used in business to inform motivational tactics that leads to a continued propensity to innovate amongst frontline employees, thus ensuring the overall success and sustainability of the organisation.

4 ways to boost employee productivity (Smallbiztrends)

By: Rieva Lesonsky September 28, 2016


Do you ever feel like you get more work done when you’re at home than when you’re at your business? You’re not the only one. A new survey asked employees when they’re most and least productive, and found most are less productive in the office than when working at home. In fact, more than three-fourths of employees surveyed say that if they have something really important to work on, they wouldn’t do it at the office. Slightly more than half (51 percent) would choose to work at home; 8 percent would pick a co-working space, coffeehouse or other outside location; and 8 percent would go to the office — but outside of regular business hours, so they could get some peace and quiet.

Clearly, the majority of people believe they get more done working at home, making remote work the ideal solution for maximizing productivity. But since it’s not practical for every small business to offer the option to work remotely, here are some ideas for helping to eliminate the most common issues that hinder productivity in the office.

How to boost employee productivity.

  1. Hold fewer meetings

Nearly 7 out of 10 employees in the survey cite “less frequent meetings” as a benefit of working from home. Assess the meetings that you regularly hold at your business and decide which ones are really necessary and which aren’t. It’s easy to get stuck in a pattern of holding a weekly all-hands meeting just because you’ve always done so — even if it’s not really that beneficial. For those essential meetings, using an agenda, setting a time limit or even holding meetings standing up are ways to keep them brief. You can also hold meetings at times when they’re less likely to interrupt employees just as they’ve gotten into the groove on a project. For example, try holding meetings first thing in the morning or right after lunch.

  1. Reduce distractions

Three-fourths of employees say distractions are a problem when working at the office. People who work in an open office environment are especially prone to distractions. Setting up your office with cubicles or partitions, or allowing employees to use headphones to tune out office noise, can be good solutions to limiting distractions. Hold meetings in enclosed office space so others around you aren’t disturbed by loud discussions. Set some ground rules for courtesy to help create a workplace where others can focus. For example, you might ask workers to limit conversations on speakerphones or not to play music at their desks without using a headset.

  1. Cut back on interruptions

Being interrupted by colleagues hinders productivity for more than three-fourths of people in the survey. Simple tricks such as closing an office door or hanging up “Do not disturb” signs can help prevent in-person interruptions, but digital interruptions are harder to prevent. If your company culture encourages employees to be “always on” and constantly checking their emails, texts and IMs, consider making some changes. For example, you can let employees know that it’s all right to focus on work for an hour or two and check messages only periodically. Choose one type of communication, such as IM, to be used only for urgent communications — that way, no one has to worry about missing an emergency message.

  1. Make them comfortable

More than half (51 percent) of respondents in the survey say they get more done working at home because the environment is more comfortable. Providing flexible spaces where employees can relax while working, such as a lounge area with sofas or comfortable chairs, can be conducive to focus. Many people (I’m one of them) are a lot more productive using a laptop on a couch than sitting in a straight-backed office chair. You can also provide employees with a set budget and allow them to choose their own office chairs for maximum comfort, or even give them a certain budget to purchase their own desk accessories and decor. When people feel at home in a space, they’re more energetic and creative.