Some top tips for motivating your team
Most businesses just wouldn’t be able to run if it wasn’t for the team of people working there. As an employer it can be easy to forget that your employees are people and that people need to feel valued. Motivating your team is really important.
You may be the boss but this doesn’t mean you can’t still be decent and fair.
Arguably, the success of your business depends on it. But how do you know if your staff are happy working for you and why does it matter?
I just want to feel appreciated
When you’re busy and emails and calls seem constant, it can be all too easy to forget to say a proper thank you. Recognition for a piece of work well done shows that you value their efforts and that you are taking an interest in what they do.
And there are countless ways to show your employees that they’re valued.
You could, for example, implement a formal reward system and each month, give vouchers to any employee who has gone above and beyond.
It could be more effective to make sure that good work and effort is praised as and when it’s done, rather than waiting until afterwards.
You could buy your team breakfast or lunch regularly (this does depend on the number of staff you have) or do a coffee shop run. Arrange for the office / shop to get a fresh fruit delivery once a week. If might not seem much to you but it can make a big difference to them.
Create the opportunity to spend time with your team too. You won’t get to know people if you never speak to them!
Research shows that money alone isn’t enough to motivate people but it’s important to know if you’re paying market rate.
Are you offering other benefits like childcare vouchers or medical insurance? Are you investing in people’s future by allowing them to do additional study or courses?
Motivating your team? It’s good to talk
Good communication is key to keeping your staff motivated and happy. You might not be comfortable with public speaking but it’s important that you periodically tell your employees what’s happening within the business.
Depending on the size of your business, this could just be a chat at a few desks or it could be in a meeting room, via a call or even an email. Whichever method of communication you choose, be open and honest with people and give them the respect they deserve. When people feel you’re keeping information from them then any trust is soon broken.
Make sure you give your people the chance to talk to you too. If communication isn’t two-way then it doesn’t work. Make sure people know that they can approach you and talk to you whenever they need to. You could have an open-door policy on a Wednesday afternoon for example, or it could be as simple as adding a note at the end of an email telling people they can speak to you if they have any questions.
Set a positive example when motivating your team
You might start off feeling particularly cheerful but then you get to work and your boss is in a foul mood. The chances are that this will put you in a bad mood too. If you’re the boss, remember that your behaviour will set a work culture and this will determine how others perceive you and how they behave.
You’re not responsible for making every member of staff cheerful all the time but think about setting a positive example. For a business to be successful, it needs a workforce that’s cohesive. If everyone cares about each other then they’re more likely to pull together when the going gets tough.
Remembering birthdays is important. A simple happy birthday shows them they’re valued and not just robots working away. Really getting to know your employees will make a big difference too. You don’t have to know their life history but if they have children, what are their names? Do they have a dog? Are they a black belt in Karate?
Perhaps you could assign a member of staff to actively look after employee wellbeing and create a support network?
A happy working environment
Make sure you do what you can to create a nice working environment. Make the most of natural light, provide comfortable furniture and introduce some indoor plants. Within reason, allow staff to personalise their workplace too. You could work for a great business but if the place you have to work in is uninspiring and cold for example, it’s going to have a negative impact on your productivity.
Can you be flexible?
If you can, offer employees some flexibility, either with their hours or their location. Someone might want to start work an hour earlier so they can leave to get back for children or an evening study course. Some people thrive working in a different environment one or two days a week. If their job allows, maybe they could work from home? Just make sure that you don’t set a precedent you can’t offer to everyone though.
Motivating your team aids team retention
Your team members are one of your most important assets, so investing time to keep them happy is well worth it.
It costs a great deal of money to recruit and train new staff and a loyal workforce is a great sales tool for winning new business.
If you like your job and your boss, you’ll talk positively about them. Most people don’t want to do business with businesses unless the employees are happy there. Existing customers like consistency too, so a high staff turnover could see your clients looking elsewhere.
The longer people work somewhere, the more knowledgeable and skilled they become. You’ve also invested time and possibly money to train them so you don’t generally want to lose them, particularly not to a competitor!
If your company has chosen integrity and respect as part of its core values, then it will quickly gain a positive reputation and be a place where everyone wants to work.
Making payroll simpler
Some people believe that money makes the world go round, while others will tell you that money isn’t everything. Either way, you need to treat your employees well.
At THP, we’ll listen to your needs, run your payroll whenever you need it and explain payroll regulations in a way that makes sense.
About Jon Pryse-Jones
Since joining THP in 1978, Jon Pryse-Jones has been hands on with every area of the business. Now specialising in strategy, business planning, and marketing, Jon remains at the forefront of the growth and development at THP.
An ideas man, Jon enjoys getting the most out of all situations, “I act as a catalyst for creative people and encourage them to think outside the box,” he says, “and I’m not afraid of being confrontational. It often leads to a better result for THP and its clients.”
Jon’s appreciation for THP extends to his fellow team members and the board. “They really know how to run a successful business,” he says. He’s keen on IT and systems development as critical to success, and he continues to guide THP to be at the cutting edge and effective.