Effective ways to motivate your team
What is it that makes us feel motivated? Do you work to motivate your team?
- Is it the pride of acting on behalf of others?
- Is it the knowledge of receiving a reward for accomplishing your goals?
- Or is it simply envy of others’ successes that drives you forward?
However you define motivation, it is an essential attribute for professionals to possess and one that combined with the drive of others within a team, can power your business on to achieve great things.
Take your local football team, for example.
Languishing at the foot of the table, they’ve been beaten by every other team in the league. Players are not in a mind to turn up to training and don’t seem to have any reason to put that extra mile into their running.
And then they check the fixture list and see that the next game is at home to their local rivals.
All of a sudden, the desire to train a little bit harder, to run a little bit further returns. Local pride is at stake; their reputation is on the line. The motivation has returned. Now it’s down to the manager to take and bottle this feeling and keep it going for the remainder of the season.
If they can do it, why can’t you?
A happy team creates a happy business
To ensure your business operates as effectively as possible, being able to keep the motivate your team is vital. And the simple secret to staying motivated yourself is keeping your employees happy. The old adage, “A happy worker is a productive worker,” is as true today as it’s always been, so to help, we at THP Chartered Accountants have come up with a list of our top 10 tips on how to keep employees motivated at work.
- Pay competitively…
When push comes to shove, the very reason most of us go to work is to earn money to pay our bills and fund our lifestyles. Sure, certain people garner other benefits and reward from the work they do but take-home pay is of great importance to every employee. Do your research to determine the wage rates currently being offered for comparable roles in the area, and pay accordingly.
- … and continue to increase
One of the most common reasons people leave their jobs to go elsewhere is money, specifically a lack of pay rises. It’s a sad fact that all too often, those team members who have been with you the longest and have been the most loyal, end up becoming the worst paid. The temptation of employers to give out the minimum pay rises they can get away to existing employees each year is just too great, it seems. Eventually, those loyal team members become disillusioned when they see new people being taken on to do similar roles and paid the new market-rate which is much higher. Really existing team members should be paid higher, to reflect their additional worth, but this seldom happens.
While offering an attractive starting salary will entice the right talent to your business, making sure you continue to reward their hard work with an annual review and competitive pay rise. This will ensure that they continue to feel valued for their loyalty and the work they do for you.
- Reward in non-financial ways
Of course, while money is of primary importance to employees, it needn’t be the only way you reward their work. Incentivising your staff by offering them the chance to receive additional annual leave, gifts, special events, or early finishes is a great means of motivation. It will help drive determination among your team to be the one to benefit from such rewards.
- Respect the work-life balance
It may seem counter-intuitive to say that spending less time at work is beneficial to motivation and your business success but respecting the personal lives and demands of your team is a great way to develop trust and motivation. By demonstrating your flexibility to working demands – such as enabling parents to arrive later and leave early –you will endear yourself to your staff, who will also feel the need to work harder when they’re in the office.
- Foster team spirit
In any work environment, it pays to recruit those who are adept at working as part of a team. While big personalities can often make for a lively working day, look at the bigger picture and develop a team where team members complement one another, enjoy each other’s company and where a team spirit develops organically. The key is in the way that you recruit, so carefully consider existing team members’ personalities before instigating change. Also, carrying out a personality profile is important to help you assess the personality of all candidates who apply for a position in your business. There are many great profiling tools available such as Thomas International, the majority of which can be completed online.
- Opportunities to develop
Personal development is crucial to one’s enjoyment in the workplace. By conducting regular performance reviews, setting challenges and listening to your team’s aims and interests, you can motivate workers to improve on a personal level. Boredom is all too common in professional life and encouraging them to develop will always prove motivational.
- Encourage creativity
Creativity is no longer the reserve of those working in the arts. In almost any role, the opportunity to approach challenges in a creative manner helps people flourish. By empowering your team to find creative solutions, improvements and more effective ways of working, you can simply reap the benefits of watching your team take the lead of driving your company forward.
- Improve the working environment
You’ve probably seen new startups with such ‘fun’ and ‘zany’ features as slides or ball pools in their offices, video games in the lunchroom and an area of beanbags in which to unwind. While these things may seem really “faddy”, the simple fact is that creating a working environment where people want to be and are comfortable in helps improve morale. There’s no need to go overboard but if your team is working in grey, lifeless offices, it should come as no surprise to you if motivation levels are low and it’s hard to motivate your team.
- Don’t blame!
Have you worked in an environment where you felt your job might be at risk over the slightest mistake? Errors are a part of being human but too many businesses rule by fear and are quick to point the finger when something goes wrong. A working environment such as this makes for a toxic place to be, increasing staff turnover and harming the company brand. Make it abundantly clear to your team that there is no blame culture throughout your business. Concentrate your efforts on correcting issues diplomatically when they arise instead.
Arguably the greatest bugbear among staff at any business is the poor level of communication. Keeping your team informed about essential developments in your business plays a significant role in making employees feel valued and motivated. Make sure you take the time to regularly update your team about what is going on in your business and let everyone know about your business successes, not just your failures.
Looking at ways to motivate your team is a crucial responsibility for those running their own businesses and doing it well represents a key element of the company lifecycle.
About Samantha Rowe
Sam’s title is Operations Manager, but the title itself doesn’t truly convey the variety of what she does for THP. From administrative tasks to payroll, strategic business planning, and office systems and procedures, Sam’s primary skill lies in multitasking.
Sam’s journey began as an office junior with George Nottage (now merged with THP), and she soon learned skills in payroll and bookkeeping, and then gained experience as a PA to the Directors, and as Administration Manager.
At the moment, Auto Enrolment is an area that has a key focus for Sam, and for THP as a whole. “The question I’m asked the most by clients just now is, ‘How will auto enrolment affect me?’ And the answer is, no matter how big or small you are, you will absolutely be affected by the Auto Enrolment regulations. I’d encourage you to start thinking about it now, and to look at your payroll software to make sure you’re ready.”