In any industry it is important to not only hire good employees, but also be able to keep them. Getting someone onboard and training them up to a level where they are performing well takes time, effort and money. It is therefore worthwhile to invest in keeping staff motivated.
There is no one size fits all way to motivate your staff. Certainly offering a competitive salary package is a step in the right direction, but money alone will not necessarily keep staff motivated. A good working environment is also important, but once again this is merely balanced against other factors. If you want to keep your staff motivated then you need to find out what is important to them. Why they joined the company, what gets them out of bed in the morning?
Staff don’t want to be another number
This may seem like over kill, after all you may be operating in a large multinational company. But if there is one distinct trend in employees, it is that they don’t just want to be another cog in the corporate wheel. At some point job security isn’t enough to keep a person motivated, even if they are diligent employee. Rather what does motivate people is a sense of accomplishment, that their job or role has meaning and that they are contributing to something that is indeed worthwhile.
The true value of middle management
This is where line managers play an important role. In overseeing teams they need to be more than just a supervisor, they need to be a mentor. Recognition doesn’t need to come in the form of a plaque on the wall or an employee of the month award – although these have their value too – but rather that the manager takes the time to get to know the people working in their team. In doing this the manager can identify an individuals personal strengths and areas that they could improve on. If one particular staff member shows promise they could even be trained up for a supervisory role. The bottom line is that you will never know the true value that employees hold for your business unless you get to know them.
Simple and silly ways to motivate staff
While mentoring and investing in staff is the primary way to motivate them, don’t underestimate the value of having fun. Simple things like having a casual day, a bulletin board or staff social are great ideas to reward and motivate staff. Do things that they don’t expect, such as providing small treats or bonuses. This could be in the form of a biscuit tin or company sponsored lunch once a month. When people look forward to going to work because it is a fun environment to work in they generally are more motivated and perform better.
Employee nominated awards are also a good idea. Rather than management appointing the best performers, get staff to nominate their peers. This will be a truer indicator of how well a person performs and works within a team. Not all of these awards need to be serious, you can add in some fun awards to keep things light hearted.
In any industry, employees are one of the most valuable assets. Look after them and keep them motivated and they will help you grow a more profitable business.