Quick ways for businesses to motivate staff

Quick ways for businesses to motivate staff

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As an HR professional, you are always looking at the best strategies for getting the most out of your staff.  You have hired some of the best people around, and you want them to stay.  There are many online HR courses and management courses that can support you in your continued learning of all the ways that you can keep that talent interested.  Here we offer the quickest of guides to begin to shape your thinking and consider your next steps.

It is not surprising that money and benefits were considered a highly motivating factor in recent studies.  However, maybe more surprising is that they did not rank as the most important.  The study found that peer motivation was a significant factor, as well as encouragement and recognition.

With this study in mind, here are our best suggestions for motivating staff.

Make your workplace a pleasant place to be

Your employees will spend as much time at work as they will in their home.  They do not want to have to spend time in a grim and dreary environment for hours each day.  Therefore, look to the aesthetics of your workspace.  The basic level should be a well-kept and safe environment.  From here, you will want to consider some homely features that make your employees glad to be in the space.

If you don’t want to invest money in decorations, you could be imaginative and contact a local artist who could use your office walls as a gallery for their works.  Alternatively, charity shops have some homely items that you can get without costing your business the Earth.

Be respectful and honest

Being courteous and reliable might seem like the most obvious hints for keeping your staff motivated.  However, the idea that a manager has your back and wants the best for you is a highly prized sentiment in the workplace.  Offering respect and honest feedback is the sign of the best leader and mentor.  If you are unsure how to demonstrate this openly, as you are new to managing people, it is vital to read some of those books by gurus who tell you how to be open and yet professional with your colleagues.

Offer employee rewards

Most of us are only one step away from wanting a gold star from the headteacher.  We love recognition through awards, no matter how small the gesture.  However, if you’re going to stimulate real loyalty than offering rewards for performance that demonstrate the worth of the individual is critical.  You could provide private health care or offering to pay for additional training and qualifications.  Alternatively, if you have the means to organise it, you could offer a profit-sharing scheme.  The employee is then more motivated than ever to increase the success of your company.

People need to feel they can grow in a role

No one wants to feel that they are stagnating in a post.  The worst way to motivate a person is to leave them feeling that work is like a hamster wheel.  There is also a psychological dimension to this – as the person needs to feel that you trust them at work, and you know they can handle more.  If you spot someone showing real strength when handling communication along a supply chain, then maybe give them overall responsibility for the success of this account.  If you offer workers growth opportunities, you encourage them to see this as a career and not just a job.

Be sure to spot the good

It is easy to approach your team with an evaluative state of mind, where you are continually looking to see how they could be doing even better.  However, sometimes, you have to stop and see how far they have come to this point.  Imagine in a shop where a child has tripped over and grazed a knee, and a member of your staff offers an upset mother a cup of tea.  A small step above and beyond regular duties but one that deserves some positive feedback.  There will have been a lot of word of mouth recognition for the shop from that one simple act – and it was fundamentally human too.  Praise the person.  You will find they will have a deeper connection with your business afterwards if you do.

In brief

There are all sorts of efforts you can make to motivate your staff.  You can bring in food on a Friday; you can offer flexible hours, you could even provide recognition with a small pay rise.  Any investment you make in the motivation of your staff will show returns in your profits.

Nick Cooper
Nick is NCC's resident blog author and covers a range of subjects, including teaching and health & social care. NCC is an international learning provider with over 20 years’ experience offering learning solutions. To date, NCC has engaged with over 20,000 employers, and delivered quality training to over half a million learners.
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