It’s often said that a company’s staff are the most important asset it has. And it’s often said for a reason: it’s usually true. Employee motivation matters.
The way you manage and motivate your people can make the difference between a business that does ok and one that performs beyond all expectations.
Paying close attention to how satisfied, motivated, efficient and productive your employees are is essential. Having a key member of staff suffering employee motivation issues can really hit your bottom line.
However, look at the resources bigger companies put into motivating their staff and it’s easy to get disheartened. They might have thousands of pounds a year set aside to spend on ’employee motivation’. You probably don’t.
It’s no problem. What you lack in spending power you can make up for in imagination. Some employee motivation strategies need virtually no financial investment. Other do require a bit of cash, but you can often make your investment back via increased employee productivity and effectiveness.
Re-evaluate your packages
It’s a good idea to take a look at the salary and benefits packages you offer employees, particularly if you haven’t reviewed them for some time.
This doesn’t necessarily mean you’ll have to increase salaries or the amount you spend on benefits. Often there’s a surprising disparity between the benefits a company offers and the benefits its employees actually want. Simply allowing your staff to provide suggestions, then adjusting your benefits as much as you can within budget can have a real impact on employee motivation.
Of course, there’s a limit to what you can do without spending more. And if you can afford to bump up your budget in this area then you’ll probably see a bigger increase in employee motivation. Good accounting software can help you set budgets and control costs.
Employee motivation comes from flexibility
Some changes to working practices can both boost employee motivation and reduce your costs. Introducing flexible working practices, like allowing employees to work from home or to vary their hours, can really improve staff satisfaction. People will feel more trusted, happier and productive.
If flexible working suits your business, you might find you’re able to move to a smaller office or reduce your energy costs.
Define company culture
When you spend all day working in the same office, little things can make a big difference. Motivate employees by giving them the day off on their birthday, providing drinks on the last Friday of every month or getting a weekly delivery of fresh fruit.
Some companies choose to reconfigure offices to meet the requirements of their employees. This doesn’t have to be expensive either, because you can give your employees ownership over the space by giving them time to repaint walls and shift furniture themselves.
Running company away days and activities like sports teams can improve people’s health as well as boosting employee motivation.
In the next few weeks, we’ll be discussing how company culture can be a massive differentiator in an industry. Keep visiting the Small Business Centre to stay updated.
You can do a lot to encourage good performance in your staff – rewards and recognition can be really effective. Consider running an employee of the quarter scheme or come up with other ideas to recognise and reward employees who do well.
Boost employee motivation by listening
Some methods of increasing employee motivation require zero investment. If you don’t have any budget to spend, strive to communicate better with your staff whenever you can.
Operate an open door policy. Take an active interest in what your staff are up to, both during and outside of working hours. Aim to make your people feel comfortable approaching you with their problems, questions and ideas. They’ll feel happier if they feel they’re in an open, friendly environment.
Maintaining open communication is particularly important if there’s any uncertainty about your company. Staff who are concerned about their job security can be distracted and unproductive.
No matter how you do it, it’s vital you take active steps to keep your staff motivated and happy. It’s not just about their health and productivity. It keeps your company performing well, too.