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How to motivate employees

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Need tried-and-tested ways to motivate employees? If the recession has sucked the life out of your staff, read our tips on how to gee up and motivate employees. This guide is sure to motivate even the most disillusioned employee in your company.

1 Motivate employees with the latest and greatest technology

Cambridgeshire-based telemarketing agency Blue Donkey motivated employees and upped productivity when it introduced a bespoke call-logging system in 2007. The system saves employees up to 30 minutes on admin a day, client reporting and staff retention have improved, and profits have increased from £300,000 to nearly £600,000.

2 Motivate employees by keeping them in the know

Employees who are engaged in the business will feel a sense of ownership, feel motivated and will, therefore, perform better. At Naylor Industries, the Barnsley-based £37m-turnover manufacturer of pipes, lintels and gardenware, all employees receive an annual summary of the business plan and budget; up-to-date company information from electronic noticeboards; a six-monthly DVD about major developments; a monthly note from the CEO on financial performance; and an annual newsletter.

3 Motivate employees by making them feel important

To motivate employees, take staff suggestions as to how the company can improve. John Fedden, a director of Worcestershire-based, B2B lead generation firm Sales Factory, tells us how this can apply to your sales team: “It isn’t just about mutually agreeing sales targets, territories and commission structures. It also means getting their valued input into the big aspects that really determine their success potential, such as product/service design, marketing strategy and even the terms and conditions within the customer contract.”

4 Hold a “hack” day to motivate employees

Job board software house Madgex holds “hack days”, which are informal ideas generation and discussion forums for all of its staff. The company also sponsors events that champion enhancements in IT and skills sharing. Processes and technologies in the £4.5m-turnover firm have been improved and employee motivation has been boosted, helping the company record strong profit growth in the niche product area of job board software.

5 … Or a “perfect day”

During its company away days – a tried-and-tested way of motivating employees – Madgex quizzes staff on their idea of  a “perfect working day”. The company has taken some of these suggestions on board. For example, Madgex now offers free cake on a Friday, fresh flowers in meeting rooms, and a green team was set up to make the company more environmentally friendly.

6 … Or a “Me Day”

BEcause, a £9.2m-turnover marketing agency, motivates its 50 employees at its London head office by offering “Me Days”. This extra day’s holiday is a reward for exceptional effort.

7 Don’t think health and safety, think employee wellbeing

Ergonomics consultancy and training services company System Concepts knows motivated employees are more productive, so it has spent a lot of time and cash on a wellbeing programme. Schemes include healthy eating initiatives and team building events involving fresh air and activities to get the blood pumping and motivate employees. The number of sick days taken has fallen from 124 days during 2005–06, to 48 days in 2007–08, saving the company approximately £35,000 in sick pay costs.

8 Motivate employees with flexible working

Flexible working can help you attract new staff, but it also motivates employees and allows existing staff to fulfil their other ambitions – whether that’s looking after their children, or having a better quality of life by removing their daily commute. Uzair Bawany, managing director of £12m-turnover Contact Recruitment, says: “One of our staff members is going to get married later on in the year and will then be moving to Ireland. We’re talking to her about working two or three days a week from here and from Ireland for the rest of the time. Motivate employees by being flexible and accommodating, especially when talent is scarce.”

9 Motivate employees by introducing them to each other

Want to motivate employees by getting them more involved in the company’s development? BEcause did, so it established four “Champion” teams. They’re chaired by staff members and include: The Architects (office environment), The Cultivators (culture/team building), The Squares (learning and development) and Harmony (internal communications).

10 Let staff self-appraise

Technical recruitment consultancy Penta Consulting attributes much of its success (pre-tax profits have tripled and profitability has increased by 251 per cent per head) to the introduction of a monthly web-based self-appraisal system that helps motivate employees by letting them identify their individual and team needs.

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Pick of the press: Wednesday 19 May 2010
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