Monthly Archives: June 2015

Why Incentives Don’t Actually Motivate People to Do Better Work

Business is fuelled by productivity and companies are continually trying to find a way of inciting this within their workers. One of the most popular methods for boosting productivity is offering rewards to employees. These types of incentives typically revolve around money and usually include either pay rises, bonuses or a mixture of the two. Whilst it may seem like a forgone conclusion that more money would lead to better workers, this doesn’t seem to be the case. Financial incentives can cause a temporary boost to productivity but this doesn’t tend to last and often workers will slip back into old habits.

Psychologist Frederick Herzberg theorised that there are two distinct factors which effect job satisfaction. His Two Factor Theory states that motivators are aspects which increase job satisfaction and therefore productivity whereas hygiene factors can affect satisfaction and decrease productivity if they are not being met. Interestingly, Herzberg stated that salary was a hygiene factor and whilst it could discourage productivity, no pay rise would be high enough in order to boost productivity in the long run. Other hygiene factors along with salary include, job security, fringe benefits, status and working conditions.

Another theory which attempts to explain the factors which affect motivation within the workplace is the Job Characteristic theory from Oldman and Hackman. This theory hypothesises that there are five core job characteristics which affect issues such as motivation, turnover, satisfaction, performance and absenteeism. These characteristics include, task identity, task significance, feedback, autonomy and skill variety. Interestingly the theory doesn’t place any importance on salary or any other financial incentives. This supports Herzberg’s hypothesis that salary may not be the guiding factor behind productivity.

If we return to the Two Factor Theory, we can look at what Herzberg stated could boost productivity within the workplace. Motivators include factors such as recognition, involvement in decision making, challenging work and a sense that one is important within the company. So, you could say that hygiene factors such as salary are what get people into work each day but motivating factors are the reason they work hard.

This idea is supported by a piece of research carried out by Teresa Amabile from Harvard University. Her study involved testing 238 employees from seven different companies. During the study participants kept a diary of their workdays as well as ratings on emotion and motivation. All in all, Amabile assessed up to 12,000 diary entries and daily ratings and her findings were fairly conclusive. Overall, the study found that the single greatest affecter of positive emotions and high motivation was progress in ones work- however small.

Research into this issue has raised important questions about motivation and the workplace as a whole. It may be that a shift is required within the business sphere, from a punishment/reward system to one that focuses more on the individual worker and their attitude towards the job they are doing. Factors such as salary and bonuses are important but they aren’t the driving force behind overall job satisfaction and motivation.

The New World of Mobile Internet

Did you know 9% of internet users don’ have a PC?  A recent study by Danyl Bosomworth of Smart Insights  shows that fixed computing is on the decline but mobile devices are being used more heavily to search the internet.  80% of internet users now own a Smartphone and 47% have a Tablet and amazingly 16% already have either a Smart watch or Smart wristband.

And according to Modern Marketing Matters, mobile search is predicted to surpass desktop in 2015. Having a mobile-friendly website is more important than ever.  Many companies will look back at 21st April 2015 as a black day in their calendar because that was the day Google started “expanding” their use of mobile-friendliness as a ranking signal for mobile searches. In other words, if you didn’t have a mobile or responsive website, you may have found it more difficult to rank in mobile search results.

Google also explained that the mobile algorithm is on a page-by-page basis and runs in real-time, which is good news for some webmasters. In other words, if 10 pages on your website are mobile-friendly and 10 are not, the 10 that are mobile-friendly will benefit in mobile searches, while the others will not.

So gone are the days when you needed to download an App to see the data or suffered continual frustration at having to look at a webpage that displayed poorly and was often unreadable.

First Directory had brought together a team of international developers to launch the fifth version of their popular website in a truly mobile form.  A host of additional features have been included to make the user experience more unique.  These include a Question and Answer board that allows them to ask any company, any question and to also review the previous answers, often saving time if the question is a common one.

Users can now rate their experience of a company, giving praise where it is due and alerting a company to unhappy customers giving them the opportunity to resolve the problem in a positive manner.

Press releases, Exhibitions, Opening times, Key contacts and a host of detailed information is provided to give the user a broader picture of the company along with a gallery feature which will highlight the company’s product range in a powerful visual manner.  All of these features are available to every company in the directory entirely without charge.

Cyber Security Tips for Companies of All Sizes

Cyber security is an issue that affects every company, however large or small. Within the past few years, countless organisations have fallen victim to hacking and fraud. As hackers grow more sophisticated by the day, protecting your business against intrusion is more important than ever before. Safeguarding your online infrastructure is essential but many companies neglect basic security measures, allowing hackers through the front door. Here are just some of the ways you can secure your business.


It may seem like an obvious suggestion but many companies are still failing to utilise password protection as a viable defence against hacking. Passwords should be as complex as you can make them, this includes the use of capital letters, numbers and symbols. Try to avoid words or phrases which could be easy to guess, such as names, dates or common words. A technique which has become popular in recent years involves the swapping of single word passwords for longer phrases. The phrase doesn’t have to make sense, in fact the more complex and nonsensical, the better.

Another typical mistake made by many organisations is the use of a single password for many accounts. This may make it easier to remember your login details but should your password fall into the wrong hands your entire infrastructure could be at risk. Use different passwords for different accounts and change them regularly.

Security Software

Protecting your company can also involve the utilisation of trusted security software. There are many types of security programs available, including anti-virus software, firewalls and anti-malware software. It may be simpler to install a comprehensive software package which incorporates all of these tools into a single program. These can be quite costly but there are many free trials available for businesses who are looking to save money. Some vendors even offer their security software for free!

We are all aware of some of the larger security software companies but there are many out there. Try to stick with the well-known vendors but you can use tools and programs from other companies as long as you do your research first.


The way in which you connect to the internet is also incredibly important to the overall safety of your company and its online assets. Establishing a secure connection within your main workplace is vital but this is not the only issue. Public Wi-Fi hotspots such as those found at coffee shops or on trains can be unsecured and therefore open to intrusion. This should be kept in mind when accessing company files outside of the workplace.

Utilising a VPN or virtual private network will encrypt your data and therefore allow you to access public hotspots without having to worry that your sensitive information is at risk.


One of the most useful tips for ensuring cyber security is simply to remain vigilant. Hackers employ many techniques and will take advantage of any situation they can in order to infiltrate your system. For example emails can often be used as a way to trick users into revealing sensitive information such as passwords, contact and financial information. With this in mind, make sure your email filter is set to high. Also be on the lookout for suspicious behaviour, for example emails which ask you to input private details or even spelling mistakes within the body of the text.

Vigilance can also extend to your hardware as lost or stolen devices can be just as problematic as virtual attacks. Keep your devices on you at all times and consider installing a remote wiping application, just in case the worse happens.