Successful business mentor and coach, Penny Davenport, gives her top tips for keeping your staff members happy, engaged and working towards a common goal.
A recent survey revealed that 48% of employees said they were only moderately engaged at work. Low engagement levels will lead to low productivity levels so this is an area for every business that needs constant addressing. There is always room for improvement when it comes to employee engagement, and it doesn’t always have to come in the shape of gifts or money. Your relationship with your staff is one of the most important factors in influencing engagement and improving motivational levels at work.
With that in mind, here are my five easy ways to motivate your employees.
1) Manage by committee
Of course, management have to be responsible for decision making in a business but to keep employees engaged, organise a number of employee committees for things such as charitable efforts / giving, employee benefits, on-the-job learning, new product development. Employees like to feel they have a say in how their company is run, and that they are heard.
2) Short-term goals
Make appraisals meaningful by giving every person a chance to set a target for their performance that’s important to them and will take them on the next step of the journey. You could even have a pick list e.g. a) get promoted, b) travel more, c) take a course. The important thing is to make this happen, so ensure that goals are agreed which are also important to your company.
3) Spring surprises
Employees, particularly the Millennials, like perks and treats. However, if you hand them out too often or make them par for the course, they will be taken for granted. Bring in some drinks for a ‘Fridge Friday’ but just do it on an ad-hoc basis. Perhaps serve doughnuts or brownies one day. Millennials also like time away from the office for team-building so perhaps organise a friendly football match or bowling tournament. Keep the treats coming on a one-off basis when they are least expected.
4) Bank of benefits
Offer each employee a notional sum of money each year which can be turned into a benefit of sorts – such as time off or books from Amazon. Younger employees may love extra holiday for travel, for example. Or maybe that funny money could be turned into a real bonus. This is similar to the flexi-time world of the 80s, but people like to be rewarded for their hard work, with a reward that is meaningful to them.
5) Clear vision
To have your employees fully engaged, it is very important that they know where the company is headed and what their role is in achieving it. Have a crystal clear vision at the top, and then cascade it down. Ask all your managers to identify their role in the vision, and the role of their team. You should be able to stop anyone in the corridor and ask them they vision and how they are helping.