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Nine tips to motivate staff

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Keeping your staff motivated can make a huge difference to your business. In this guide, check out ten proven ways of how you can motivate staff.

1. Motivate staff by giving them the latest and greatest technology

The first easy way to motivate staff is to give them the latest tech gear. You’ll boost morale and up productivity.

Cambridgeshire-based telemarketing agency Blue Donkey discovered this 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.

Or you could give them an iPad – we’re sure that would motivate staff too!

2. Motivate staff by keeping them in the know

You can motivate staff simply by engaging them in the business. Not only will they feel a sense of ownership, but they’ll perform better too. 

At Naylor Industries – a Barnsley-based manufacturer of pipes, linels 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. Plenty to keep them motivated.

3. Motivate staff by making them feel important

This proven method is great to motivate staff – take staff suggestions on how the company can improve.

John Fedden, a director of Worcester-based B2B lead generation firm Sales Factory, tells us how to apply this to your sales team: “It isn’t just about mutually agreeing sales targets, territories and commission structures. It also means getting their input into the big aspects that really determine their success potential – from product/service design to marketing strategy and even the T&Cs within the customer contracts.”

4. Motivate staff with “perfect” days

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

5. … or motivate staff with “Me Days”

Because, a £10m-turnover marketing agency, motivates its 50 employees by offering “Me Days”. This extra day’s holiday is a reward for exceptional effort. Or you could instead offer employees a day off on their birthdays (or the day after their birthdays, if they prefer).

6. Motivate staff by thinking wellbeing, instead of health and safety

System Concepts, an ergonomics consultancy, knows that a zen workforce is happier and more productive, so it has spent a lot of time and cash on a wellbeing programme. Schemes include healthy eating initiatives and outdoor team building events, to get the blood pumping. Between 2005-06 and 2007-08, when it first introduced the programmes, the number of sick days fell from 124 to 48, saving the company roughly £35,000 in sick pay costs.

7. Motivate staff by being flexible

Motivate staff by allowing flexible working – it will help attract new staff and also allows existing staff to fulfil their other ambitions (looking after their children, moving their daily commute, etc). 

Uzair Bewany, MD of 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 the rest of the time. If it can work for your business, you’ve got to be flexible and accommodating – especially when talent is scarce. 

8. Motivate staff by introducing teams

Want to motivate your staff while developing the company? Because did, so it established four “champion” teams. They’re chaired by staff members and include: The Architects (who champion the office environment), The Cultivators (culture/team building), The Squares (learning and development) and Harmony (internal communications).

9. Motivate staff by letting them self-appraise

Technical recruitment consultancy Penta Consulting attributes much of its success (pretax profits have tripled and profitability has increased by 251 per cent per head) to the introduction of a monthy web-based self-appraisal system that helps sales staff identify their individual and team needs. Why not try the same? It means staff will be more focused and motivated to achieve their own – and your company’s – goals.

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