For business owners, the health and well-being of employers is an important responsibility. Ensuring employees are happy goes beyond being compassionate however. Research from the Social Market Foundation has shown that on average happier employees are 12% more productive. And aside from maximising productivity, motivating staff is an important part of ensuring retention and minimising recruitment costs.
Involve your employees
The first and most obvious step towards motivating staff is with monetary incentives. But as most business-owners know, paying staff more just to keep them happy is an expensive and sometimes misguided option. Rather, a more cost-efficient and ultimately effective way of motivating employees can be to involve them in your business’s journey. Clearly telling staff the plan for the business and their role in it can give them a feeling of responsibility and inclusion. Let them know how important they are and what you are trying to achieve with their help.
Put yourself in their shoes
When running a business, it is very easy to become so buried in your day-to-day duties that you forget how everyone is in the organisation is coping. As a business grows and becomes busier, it can be easy to simply delegate work to your staff without considering their own schedules. Employees who are continually given more tasks can end up feeling used taken for granted and therefore can be less productive. It is important to utilise your staff fully, but take the time to empathise with them and check how they are coping. This can pay dividends for the business. Staff will appreciate this consideration and if there is a greater understanding of everyone’s work burdens then tasks can be divided up more effectively.
Keep that personal touch
It can be difficult as a company grows to allow the time for individual catch-ups with each employee. However, it is vital to remember that each person will be motivated differently and some may need more attention than others. Research into employee well-being by Edenred and Ipos found that 96% of employees value management’s ability to listen. The message is clear; being treated as an individual is important.
Treating different personalities with the same motivational strategies can have a detrimental effect so it is important to make time for each employee if you can. If this is proving too difficult to achieve, try and see how other members in your management team can help. If one of your colleagues looks after a specific team, use them to get an idea of how morale is and what they need from you. This can be a more time-efficient way of motivating the staff in a growing business.
Rewards and bonuses
There are several different perks and benefits you can introduce for your staff that could help them be happier and work harder. These can range from flexible working hours and bake sales right up to help with travel costs and childcare vouchers. Go one step further and see how you can tie these to specific employee’s performance. If someone hits their set targets, think about how you can reward them. Accomplishments for the business don’t always trickle down to individuals so think about how you can make someone feel like they are directly benefiting from their own work.
Your staff are one of your business’s most valuable assets and losing employees (who then need to be replaced) can be a costly and disruptive hurdle to overcome. A huge amount of time and resources goes into running and growing a business, but no matter how busy times are it is important to ensure staff are happy, committed and driven.
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