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‘Wages aren’t your staff’s world,’ warns leading business coach as he launches campaign

MANAGERS need to realise that “bigger wages aren’t everything” when it comes to motivating staff, a leading North East business coach has warned.

For almost two decades, Ian Kinnery has been coaching and advising some of the region’s top business leaders.

Now he’s warned of the need for a “fresh perspective” when it comes to managing and motivating staff, amid sweeping changes to the business world in recent years.

Changes to the office culture since the covid pandemic – from remote working to flexible hours – have resulted in a “seismic shift” among the priorities of the UK workforce, according to Ian, who said managers ultimately need to manage less to have an impact.

“The universal assumption has, for a long time been that workers will do anything if you just pay them more – but that is about as wrong as it gets,” said Ian.

“The workforce has come to realise that there’s more to life than money, and managers need to stop with the ‘one size fits all’ model so many still use.”

A previous European Business Coach of the Year winner, Ian said managers need to increasingly find different ways to galvanise staff who, data shows, are becoming increasingly switched off with their roles.

The most recent CIPD/YouGov Working Lives survey revealed that just over a third of UK staff (37 per cent) feel inspired by their work.

Additionally, less than half (45 per cent) are highly motivated by their organisation’s core purpose.

The research comes as Ian explored how managers can motivate ‘difficult’ staff in an interview with fellow coach, Anth Quinn, as part of a new series called ‘The Changing World of Work’.

Launched on the back of his successful mental health campaign, ‘Save the Entrepreneur’, the series explores reoccurring issues in the modern workplace ranging from the importance of wellness to the different challenges being encountered by managers and leaders.

And according to Ian, bosses need to “inspire not manage” if they are going to get the best out of their workforce.

“The old-fashioned drivers – like trying to simply pay people more to perform better – just don’t have the impact people once assumed they did,” added Ian.

“Staff need to buy into the business, and a vision, and rather than simply being told what to do, they need to be inspired.

“That’s why the old approach of simply cracking the whip doesn’t work. Staff get more from being coached, rather than managed.

“The modern office worker wants to feel trusted, empowered and integral – if they don’t feel valued, they won’t grow your company and you can be left with the dilemma of how to manage them.

“That’s why managers benefit from utilising coaching, as the expertise they gain will trickle down through the company and they learn skills that can convert undervalued or uninterested staff into assets that will ultimately grow their business.”

For more information on Ian’s services, please visit

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