Staff motivation is key for business success. Employee disengagement can lead to all sorts of problems, including high turnover, increased sickness absence and low productivity.
Motivating the workforce isn't an easy task, especially when it's something that many employers think starts and ends with money. In this day and age, many companies are having to reluctantly impose pay freezes and cut bonuses all together, so how can they possible motivate staff?
It's actually not as difficult as you might think. Here a few tips that can help motivate your staff:
By realizing that it's not all about money
Contrary to popular belief, salary is not a primary motivator for many workers. Yes, we'd all like to earn more, but it doesn't provide job satisfaction. In fact, it's more likely to cause conflict due to being part of an unfair wage system. Salary is very rarely the reason why people leave a job; most demotivation comes from a lack of appreciation for a job well done.
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The crux of the matter is that people want to be recognised and thanked for their efforts. They want to know that they are valued and that their contribution is important to the business.
A simple recognition scheme can do wonders for motivation, one where colleagues nominate each other for a weekly prize or simply the honour of being 'employee of the month'. Try to encourage a culture in which appreciation is shared and good work is highlighted; job satisfaction is crucial, after all, for motivation.
Team building events
No, don't groan, because these things really make a difference to staff morale and have colleagues laughing about the activity for weeks, if not years to follow. Team building events can help bring colleagues together and demonstrate ways in which they can behave more cohesively - ways that can then be applied back in the office. They are a chance for peers to get to know each other better, appreciate each other's strengths and weaknesses.
When else would you find out that Kate from HR is great at climbing tall trees and Joy from Payroll can efficiently herd geese if not via team building? London offers lots of great team building opportunities for those that don't want to do something active in the forest. How about a treasure hunt or 'The Apprentice'-style sales experiments? Regardless of the activity, you'll find that your team bonds and their morale is improved as a result.
Offer development opportunities
There's nothing worse than being stuck in a job when someone else is brought in above you for a role that you were never so much as told about, let alone considered for. All vacancies should be advertised internally to give people a chance for progression. However, if employees are not deemed suitable, they should be given comprehensive feedback and the chance to create a development plan with their manager, to address any skills gaps.
Development is very important to a lot of workers, everyone wants to better themselves and rise through the ranks. Therefore, the provision of training can boost motivation no end. Allowing people to develop, to upskill and learn more about their industry will also equip them with the tools and knowledge necessary to carry out their duties to a higher standard; they will take more pride in their job.
There are, naturally, many other ways to motivate the workforce without having to stretch the budget: offering flexible working, bringing in a huge TV so staff can watch sporting events together or simply allowing everyone to leave early on a Friday. Adopting just one of these could make a huge difference to staff motivation - try for yourself and see.
About the author:
Magnus Ward is a professional writer, blogger and also a globetrotter. Currently he lives in Brighton, UK. In the above post, he has come up with some great suggestions as to how to motivate staffs in office. To know more about team building activities, you may connect him via Google+ profile.