9 Easy Ways To Motivate Your Staff


When you think of staff satisfaction, productivity, and team building, you probably think about big corporate companies with loads of staff across different buildings. The reality is though team building exercises and boosting staff motivation is really important even in tiny businesses with just a handful of staff.

Studies have show that happy staff are 31% more productive so improving staff satisfaction and motivation should be a priority for any business owner.

Here are 9 things that can help improve motivation in your business.

Listen More

If your staff are demotivated and underperforming it’s probably because something is wrong. How do you find out if something is wrong? You listen!

Believe it or not if there’s something bothering your staff or keeping them from doing their jobs they’ll tell you about it given half a chance.

Listening to your staff is one of the most important things you can do as a boss. Not only does it make sure you find out if there are any problems, but it also makes your staff feel like valued members of the team. This will greatly improve their satisfaction and motivation, which will benefit the business overall immeasurably.

Don’t Micro-manage

If you don’t know what micro-managing is, it’s the tactic employed by a some less skilled managers where, instead of trusting their staff to get on with their jobs, they hover around telling everyone exactly what to do and generally being a nuisance.

There are two main problems with micro-managing.

The first is that for your staff it’s incredibly annoying and demotivating. Micro-managing basically says you don’t think your staff know how to do their jobs so you need to stand over their shoulder checking up on them. If you carry on this tactic for a while your staff will stop trusting their own work and will simply wait for you to instruct them what to do (probably while looking for a new job on the side).

The second problem with micro-managing is that it doesn’t even make sense! Your staff do their job all day long. After a few weeks of doing the same thing every day they’re probably pretty good at it, and probably a lot better than you. If you go in and start instructing them to do things differently, it’s only going to confuse matters and make the quality of their work drop.

As soon as you stop micro-managing and start trusting your staff you’ll see their satisfaction, motivation, and the quality of their work improve dramatically.

Allow Flexible Working

With a lot of jobs, it simply doesn’t make sense to work to a rigid 9 to 5 every day. Some days there might be more work, some days there might be less. Some days your staff might feel super motivated and want to stay late, others they might be a bit under the weather and want to get off early.

By allowing your staff to work flexibly, you encourage your staff to stay motivated. If for example your team know they can leave early on a Friday afternoon providing all work is done, not only will they feel happier, but they’ll be motivated to do a great job for the rest of the week.

By letting your staff be more responsible for their working hours, you help them to be happier and more motivated. And, if you ever need help to support your staff in their flexible working, you can always outsource business functions like telephone answering.

Pay Well and Offer Incentives

It might seem like common sense, but you should never underestimate how much good pay and proper incentives will motivate people to try their best. It shows your staff that you value the quality of the work they do.

Extra incentives like gym memberships and healthcare are also great tools to keep your staff motivated. Not only are these fantastic added extras to make your staff happy, if they use them they’ll also stay in good health which will help them work better.

Set Goals and Fun Rewards

Setting rewards for your team will help them to stay motivated. The targets they have to reach and prizes they win can vary from “whoever clears the most emails in the next hour gets an easter egg” to a traditional sales and commission model.

Either way, it helps staff feel like they’ve actually received a reward for the work they do, and it will encourage them to do more in the future.

There is one important thing to note though. If you plan on giving monetary rewards like bonuses to motivate your staff make sure they are actually bonuses. Don’t give your staff a rubbish basic pay and tell them they can make it up by meeting targets. Pay your staff properly. Bonuses are great added extras – they shouldn’t be needed to make ends meet.

Be Honest

There’s nothing worse than having a boss who you know is hiding things from you. It could be hiding things about the direction of the business, or just what they’re thinking. If you’re one of those bosses, it’s safe to say that staff won’t feel motivated in their work.

If you want to be more honest and open with your staff there’s lots of ways to do it. It could be as simple as having a weekly meeting where everyone gives an update into what they’re working on, or it could be setting up an intranet that you update with all the important information your staff need.

The more honest you can be with staff, the more motivated and productive they’ll be.

Have Clear Policies and Stick To Them

If there’s one thing that people don’t like it is injustice. Often people will feel injustice if they think a rule is being applied to them that isn’t applied to others. Often this could be things surrounding uniform, bonuses, or flexible working.

An easy way to fix this problem is to have clear written guidelines about dress codes, working hours, holiday booking, and anything else like that. It’s important to make sure these guidelines are clear too. For example if you write “ there’s a smart casual dress code” you could easily end up in an argument about why someone can’t come in wearing ripped jeans – even though you let other people wear jeans all times (probably perfectly smart NOT ripped jeans).

Have a dress code that clearly states “jeans can be worn but only dark blue or black jeans in good clean condition” or “polo shirts can be worn, providing they are of a neutral colour and not heavily branded”.

The same thing applies to a flexible working policy. Clearly state how flexdays are accrued and how much notice must be given to use them.

If you can make all your policies clear, people will view working for you as fair, and they’ll have nothing to distract them from staying motivated and productive.

Have More Breaks

People have a legal entitlement to breaks while they’re working for you. But really, 30 mins every 6 and a half hours isn’t much of a break is it?

If you can give people more breaks, both in terms of a longer lunch breaks, and more freedom to take a 15 minute tea break every so often, they’ll stay refreshed, awake and in a positive mood.

According to some studies people are only truly focused for 6 hours a week, so there isn’t much chance of keeping your staff focused for 6 hours straight.

By letting your staff have more time away from their work they’ll be less fatigued and more motivated. Even if they’re working an hour or so less each day, the improvement in productivity will more than make up the difference.

Create a Nicer Environment

Because of Silicon Valley start-ups and companies like Facebook and Google a lot people might think they have to have a ball pool and slides into the meeting room to compete. The fact is though there are a lot of things you can do in any office to make it a nicer environment and improve motivation.

Adding colour through plants or decorating can create some much needed visual dynamism in a drab office space, and providing amenities such as a water cooler or free tea and coffee facilities can make your staff feel much happier about their work. This will help them stay more motivated and productive and will benefit the business in the long term.

If you can do all of these things, or even just some of them, chances are you’ll have a happier workforce who will be more productive in the work they do. If you need any help providing your staff with support so they can work more flexibly you can find out more at alldayPA.com.

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