How to motivate the survivors

Picture the scene: The office is emptier than usual. Friends and colleagues are gone. More importantly, workloads and responsibilities have increased because there’s more pressure to reach targets and cover areas previously managed by others. Staff morale, not surprisingly, is low.

Here are a few pointers to have your team chomping at the bit.

1) "Instil a sense of job security in remaining staff," says Sylvester. "They need to feel valued."

It might be worth sitting down with your team (if you’re a very small firm) or your line managers to let the survivors know that their jobs are safe.

2) The second step is to answer all the following questions for each and every one of your remaining staff. They need to know what’s expected of them.

– What do you want me to do?- Why do you want me to do it?- How do I do it? Are there any training needs?- What is in it for me? (Introduce an incentive proposition here).- How am I doing? (Ensure you have good performance measurement systems in place to give staff accurate feedback about their performance, so people know if they are performing as they should and exceeding expectations.)

"Employers need to be 100 per cent clear on all of their expectations and ensure effective and regular communication with staff on this subject," says Sylvester.

"Whether it’s a campaign through the intranet, a print poster campaign around the office, or individual teams set up to measure performance while the company rides through the difficult period, staff need a constant reminder and easy access to either discussing or reviewing these objectives and expectations."

3) Now, we’re onto the incentives.

"Travel, luxury experience days and valuable/luxury gifts are welcome incentives for more senior employees," says Sylvester. "But this is still a far cry for the majority of workers across the UK who are worrying about their spiralling gas, grocery and petrol costs. Rewards such as supermarket and fuel vouchers not only allow staff to purchase every day items but engage them with a reward they feel is imperative in their lives, beyond a ‘nice to have’."

4) Find out what your staff really think of you.

No, this is not an excuse for mud-slinging. Staff surveys are an effective way to reveal the strengths and weaknesses of a company. You do have to follow up with an improvement strategy. But half the battle is already won: conducting the survey in the first place sends a strong message of intent and that, in itself, will have a retention effect.

Staff loyalty is paramount during times of economic stress. Why spend all that time and money training up a new person, only for then to apply their newfound skills with a rival company? Make sure they don’t walkRelated articlesHow to keep staff happyFive ways to avoid redundanciesFive companies that understand their people

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