You’re starting your business and you’re heading for great things. However, despite the great commercial ideas and robust financial backing, your staff seem to be lacking that special spark and have not yet gelled into your ‘dream team’. Here we look at how you can best motivate your staff and increase productivity without spending a fortune.
Lead the staff meeting
Nothing tells a member of staff that you have confidence in them more than giving them responsibility. As a manager or business owner, you’re probably expecting to lead staff meetings yourself – but why? For each general staff meeting, why not appoint an employee as the chairperson? This is particularly effective if the person is of a quiet disposition or perceived as a bit of a troublemaker.
Any employee will feel positive if you show that you’re willing to invest in them. Sometimes, that doesn’t require you to spend hard cash, but perhaps half a day of that employee’s time once a week. Several government agencies now offer free of low-cost training to the staff of new businesses. The UK Department of Work & Pensions’ Train to Gain programme (www.traintogain.gov.uk) offers advice on a number of disciplines and where free or low-cost training might be available in your geographical area.
- free and impartial advice on your training needs
- help in finding the right training - at a time and place which suits them and your employees
- in some cases, help sourcing funding
- help reviewing progress in developing the skills of your workforce
If you appear to be unhappy in your role and the way in which your business is developing, it’s unlikely that your workforce will be buoyant and positive in their jobs either. It's the desire to do something important that ignites passion among your employees. It emanates from you and has a powerful impact on those around you.
- Ask often for ideas and feedback. Your employees are a rich, untapped source of ideas. Use them to boost customer and staff satisfaction, practice growth and profitability
- Empower employees. Give them responsibility and authority. A common complaint is: "I'm treated as if I don't have a brain." Give employees the power to do their job, then get out of their way and let them do it. Trust them and reap the benefits
- Challenge your staff. Give them tasks outside of their comfort zone but make sure they know that mistakes will be treated as learning points and not reasons to rebuke
- On a regular basis, watch for employees doing something right and congratulate them there and then. It's the easiest and most effective thing you can do to raise employee morale.
- Is your workforce beginning to work as a team? Throw a small workplace party and tell them so. Achieving goals is something special for employees, especially new or younger ones. Celebrate birthdays, new arrivals, or leaving occasions. It will create an enjoyable work environment that will boost everyone's morale.