Employers are often heard expressing their frustration caused by wasted potential, lack of enthusiasm or lower than expected productivity by their employees. But it’s all too easy to blame your staff when, in reality, it is the employer’s responsibility to engage staff and keep them motivated.
In fact, it has been widely reported that a happy workforce is a productive one. You may also believe that financial reward is the top motivator for staff engagement, but a workplace survey conducted by Wildgeese in 2017 reported that 61% of workers choose happiness at work over salary. Read full survey here.
Engagement is a vital factor for a productive workforce because fundamentally it costs more to replace staff than to keep and develop them. Your employees will stay with your business for longer and be more productive if they feel valued and appreciated.
A happy employee is likely to work harder, take less time off sick, have better mental health and create close working relationships with effective communication. What’s more, happiness is infectious, so happy staff will influence others in the office and help to create contented clients too.
Even during times where your business might be experiencing difficult times, it’s still important to focus on employee engagement which will help to create a resilient working environment, able to deal with any issues ahead.
Tips for Motivating Staff
Motivating your staff to increase productivity can be a struggle for business owners not experienced in this field. So, the team at HCHR has developed some key tips for employers to help them to achieve this goal:
- Recruit the right people: it’s important to consider the culture of your company during the recruitment process. For example, not everyone works well under pressure in a deadline driven environment and an employee with these traits is unlikely to thrive or be happy.
Also, consider the social nature of the applicant and whether you think they will get on with the other employees in the organisation. Friendship in the office also increases employee engagement and therefore productivity. Strong companies recruit people who fit well into their company culture, but also add some different personalities to the mix to offer a varied skill set and add new creative value to encourage growth from all angles.
- Regular social activities: with work friendship being such a big influence on happiness and productivity, there is no better way of getting your employees talking and relaxing than at a social event. If you make these socials regular, there will be no reason for them to be forgotten which can be easily done in a fast-paced work environment. Socials can be as simple as a few drinks or a meal out; and they don’t have to cost much.
- Create a social area within the business premises: asocial area within your business premises is ideal for getting staff to take some time out over their lunch break to relax. It doesn’t have to children’s slides and brightly coloured bean bags like some of the big US corporates! You can have a relaxed space that will also impress visitors with comfortable seating such as sofas which will add to the more chilled out atmosphere. Darts boards, games systems, and pool tables will all get your staff interacting and it is healthy to create some competition and teamwork!
- Regular sports or activities: organising physical activities will encourage your staff to get active, especially if their job involves sitting at a desk all day. It’s a cliché, but anything that involves teamwork like an official entry into a Tough Mudder course or a half-marathon really does help staff relationships. There is a reason why assault courses are a stable military exercise; it’s about building strong relationships for the front line. Sports teams and activities can also boost morale and confidence, encourage skill sharing and create lifelong friendships.
- Share the company’s goals and objectives: by sharing this high-level information you will be directly involving your team with the company, getting them onside and making them feel part of the team.
- Create individual and team goals and expectations: it’s an HR basic, but nevertheless, people often overlook the potential for untapped value in their staff. Good communication can make you aware of areas where the staff member might be able to contribute more and therefore feel more valued. Give positive feedback on good performance as this is vital in making an employee feeling appreciated and therefore having the incentive to give even more.
- Ask your staff what they need and value: it’s important to listen to your staff and find out what they need or want. Ask them to tell you what social activities they want to do to encourage office friendships and happiness. If you have selected the right members of staff for your team, they will all want to do well and hit their targets. However, you do need to be aware that different people are motivated in different ways! For example, some may be seeking material gain and a bonus, while others may want a promotion. Perhaps they are supporting a family financially, or just starting out in their career so looking for training to progress up the ladder. If you understand how a person is driven, you will better be able to engage them.
- Invest in staff development and training: provide opportunities for fresh success to continually engage your employees as a strong learning environments goes a long way to help to achieve your business goals.
Employee engagement should always be a top priority for management, leading to a more productive business which will ultimately help to increase profit and growth.
At HCHR, we have a proven track record of helping business owners to develop staff engagement and motivation strategies. Starting at the recruitment stage we can assist you throughout the process aligning employee motivation with business goals and objectives.
Want to know more? Call us today on the number below for a free ½ hour phone consultation: