Coaching and Employee Motivation

Coaching and Employee Motivation 

A great deal of business research focuses on employee engagement. Engagement refers to commitment, focus, and passion on the part of employees, how motivated they are, how overall morale rates and how much job satisfaction is present. 1 A 2007-2008 Towers Perrin study of 90,000 workers in 18 countries found that only 20 percent of employees were fully engaged in their work. Of the remaining, 40 percent were partially committed and 40 percent were “disenchanted and disengaged.” 1 The companies with the most engaged employees increased their operating income by 19 percent and those with the least engaged employees lost 32 percent of this income. 1

How’s the Middle East measure up? In 2008, 30 percent of Qatar employees were “highly satisfied” with their jobs; 28 percent of Saudis and 27 percent of UAE workers reported high levels of job satisfaction. 2 Of the 11 GCC countries surveyed, Gulf Nationals had the lowest rates of job satisfaction. 2 As much as 30 percent of employees in Saudi Arabia and 28 percent in the UAE are extremely dissatisfied with their jobs! 2

The largest groups of workers were those who were neutral regarding job satisfaction. These employees constitute the largest part of any company’s workforce and warrant the most need of HR development & attention. Here in Academia of Human Potential our courses are primarily focused at improving employee satisfaction, loyalty, commitment and engagement.

Neutral responders made up 44 percent of the surveyed workers in Qatar, 38 percent in Saudi Arabia, 41 percent in Kuwait, 42 percent in the UAE and 53 percent or workers in Bahrain. 2

A 2009 study in the Middle East, The Employee Motivation Study, found that as many as 70 percent of employees were either looking for a new job or willing to leave their present job. 3

Our Leadership Course or Executive coaching can help leaders to reach every employee and understand how to improve employee engagement and motivation.

Understanding Motivation

Your employees are your greatest investment and not simply in regards to how much you pay them. In the Middle East, 36 percent of all employees rate opportunities for growth as vital; 33 percent give weight to a company’s reputation and only 5 percent reported financial reward as important. 3 The ability to engage workers requires discovering and fulfilling basic needs beyond financial survival today.

Some of these important needs include: 1, 4

  • Being cared for and valued
  • Having a good workplace physically
  • Being utilized to one’s best potential and having opportunities for growth
  • Communication and collaboration
  • Having autonomy
  • Doing meaningful work

Care and Value

Human resource expert Edward Lawler stresses that “treating people right is fundamental to creating organizational effectiveness and success.” 5 Indeed, only one in 10 US employees believe that they’re treated as if they have value; only one in 10 feel appreciated, recognized or believe that their company is interested in their well-being. 4 The Employee Motivation Study found that just 29 to 31 percent of Middle Eastern employees experience appreciation or recognition for the work that they do. 3

While business leaders can show appreciation through monetary rewards or promotions, a simple thank you is highly effective. For this reason our courses are designed to empower employees. We believe that this is much more powerful way for employers to show that they care and in its turn to get an authentic loyalty and performance that far outweighs performance obtained by coercion or financial rewards.

Ergonomics and Health

Another way for employers to show that they care about their worker’s well-being is to practice good ergonomics: utilizing research on the physical set-up and procedures that are sustainable over the long term. Employees themselves are the best source of such information.

Stress management courses, gym memberships and good health plans also symbolize a company’s care for their employees.

Potential and Growth

Every person is driven to exercise their best talents and use their unique skills. Our courses are designed to guide, discover and develop such abilities, and help every person fulfill the universal needs to learn, create, contribute to and master their world.

Learning is challenging and stimulating and successful companies offer learning and growth opportunities to all of their employees. In today’s rapidly changing business world, such learning gives employees the adaptability and resilience they need to stay on top and feel productive.

The opportunity for growth is a top consideration for Middle Eastern employees and yet 45 percent of these workers are dissatisfied with their present opportunities. 3 They report that there isn’t enough opportunity, the opportunities aren’t valuable or they aren’t geared to employee needs. Executive coaching can help companies choose the right opportunities to engage their workers.

Communication and Collaboration

Communication and collaboration are vital to a healthy workplace. Face-to-face interactions are especially important to consider in our high-tech world and such communication improves employee engagement and performance.5 Communication and collaboration help workers to feel that what they do makes a difference and builds a cohesive team.

In the Middle East, only 20 percent of employees believe what leaders tell them about developments and plans: 25 percent seldom believe what they’re told and 8 percent never believe what they’re told. 3

Communication and transparency are crucial to a trust-filled environment and collaboration is essential to the complex and varied business world today.

These needs are also important in terms of leader-employee and employee-employee relationships. Feeling personally connected with leaders and other workers contributes a great deal to workplace satisfaction. Such a sense of belonging is a core human need. Values and vision must be effectively communicated in order for a mission to make sense to everyone and for trust to evolve. Our Authentic Communication course provide a solution for that.


Workers don’t want to be told how to do everything and it’s the employees who are often best equipped to make decisions about their own work. Autonomy is a universal human need and micromanagement a universal irritant. Such management disempowers employees and reduces desirable initiative. 1

Business leaders need to trust their employees and give them the power to make decisions about the work that they do. An Ashridge Business school study found that “autonomy and freedom to do [one’s] job, the ability to make decisions and the authority to deliver the work in a way the employee considers best,” were vital components of employee motivation. 5

Meaningful Work

Employees are motivated when they feel as if their work has significance. No one wants to move through life feeling that they spend the greater part of their life working at meaningless tasks. Meaningful work isn’t just that which gets us our paycheck or meets our company’s profit and expansion goals. Mission statements have to resonate with individuals and leaders must “walk the walk—not just talk the talk.”

Everyone wants to contribute to real purpose and that doesn’t mean every company is equipped to save the world! Zappos is an example of a company with very high employee engagement and it sells shoes. The company and employees are committed to offering the best selection and service to people and making such products and service accessible to the most people: online. 1 Their mission is meaningful and the employees are loyal and passionate. 1

Workers need to understand and believe in a mission and it must resonate with their own values. Executive coaching can help business leaders to evaluate employee values, align the company mission and goals with those values and effectively communicate the purpose of the work.

Researchers refer to such meaning as “work spirituality.” This spirituality fits in an employee’s larger sense of utility and purpose in some way. It’s important for employers to consistently identify these values because they differ among individuals and can change among specific individuals throughout their lives. 5


  • Harvard Business Review: What It Takes to Be a Great Employer
  • Business Intelligence-Middle East: Qatar Leads the GCC on Employee Loyalty, Satisfaction
  • Dubai City Info: Majority of UAE’s Professionals Motivated To Work Despite The Recession, Latest Bayt.Com And Yougov Research Reveals
  • Perspectives: The New Rules of Employee Engagement
  • SHRM India: Motivation in Today’s Workplace: The Link to Performance