How to Motivate Your Staff
“People work for money but go the extra mile for recognition, praise and rewards”
For decades, employee motivation has been one of the most popular topics for discussion. There is plenty of workshops, trainings and conferences about it, and rightfully so, as motivating people is the key element of the staff management process. As successful entrepreneurs often say at business forums and conferences, people - a team - are the main resource necessary for business development in the context of recent transformations of the global economy. And most of us have already realized that this is true.
Now, imagine that you have already assembled a team – that is, you have hired some well-trained, efficient and reliable employees whose work results you are completely satisfied with (let us skip the questions how you found them and how much effort you spent on the search, as these issues require a separate article). Sooner or later, you will be asking yourself: “How do I retain them? What can I do to keep my employees motivated to continue working at my company?" If you have never thought about it before, well… It’s high time you did.
Each human being is unique, and we all have our own motives and goals when we apply for a job. For some, it is all about the money, for others, it is about career growth, for yet others it is about professional development, recognition, a sense of meaning, etc. That is why, there is no universal “recipe” for keeping all your employees motivated and engaged at the same time. What we need here is an integrated approach.
We at Accountor Ukraine have prepared a list and an analysis of the key motivational factors for employees based on our experience. So, let’s get started!
Paycheck. Regardless of what goal the employees pursued when they initially applied for the job, salary will always be an important factor determining whether they feel satisfied with what they do. No comment here, BUT! Never forget about the job search websites that nearly everyone visits, sometimes even out of sheer curiosity. We highly recommend analyzing the market salaries in your industry at least once a year (especially before planning next year’s budget) and ensuring that remuneration for your employees is not lower than the average market salary.
Comfortable work environment. Of course, not all companies can afford renting an office in the city center or near the metro. But even such trifles as an uncomfortable chair, a small table, a "slow" laptop, poor lighting can demotivate staff. As an employer, you are supposed to provide comfortable working conditions for your employees.
Career opportunities. Here, you need to analyze each individual: does he/she care about career progression? What results has he/she achieved? Does his/her current position still have “room” for development? And that is where we move on to the next motivational factor: communication. In order conduct the above analysis, we advise holding one-on-one meetings between HR and the employee or between the manager / line manager and the employee (depending on whether the company has an HR and on how large the company is) at least once every six months. In these meetings, the HR or manager and the employee can discuss the results of work, the employer’s and the employee’s expectations, the problems the employee comes across while doing his/her work, ideas, suggestions, the employee’s action plan for the future, etc. Such conversations will help you conduct a comprehensive assessment of each employee, understand his/her desires, intentions, as well as what this person can bring to the company and what you can offer him/her, what motivates him/her. Oftentimes, people feel demotivated simply because of poor managerial communication.
Understanding the goal of the company’s activities, vision of the overall work process of both an individual employee and the team as a whole, feedback on the employee performance, recognition and praise. These are two inseparable motivational factors. Show the company's quarterly / half-yearly / annual results to your team. This helps avoid “blind obedience” at work and provide a clear understanding of everyone’s role in a particular process and in the company’s activities in general. Tell everyone about the contributions made by this or that employee, this or that team. Mention every employee without exception, praise, talk about how much you appreciate their work, as it inspires people to know that their efforts are noticed.
Social motivational factors: health insurance, team building activities, congratulations on an employee’s professional holiday and other holidays, on their work anniversary. It is important for all employees without exception to see that the employer cares about them, shares important holidays with them, gives them an opportunity to have fun together and to share positive emotions. Working on a common project is important, but organizing a team building event will also give your staff sense of unity, as well as additional inspiration to remain part of the team.
Opportunity to learn. Never regret investing in training your employees, developing "hard skills" and "soft skills", as this improves the performance of each employee and the team as a whole, and, as a result, increases the company’s profitability. The employees and the company will be growing together, and an increased staff will be a pleasant bonus.
Additional financial incentives. That is, different types of bonuses: bonuses for the annual work results, for innovation, for additional sales. This is both a motivating factor in favor of the employee and a stimulating factor for the company, since it encourages everyone achieve better results to receive a reward.
It is impossible to rank the above motivational factors according to their importance, as they each of them has a different "weight" for each separate individual. The ultimate motivation program includes all of the above factors and ensures that all employees are satisfied and highly motivated. Remember: motivated employees are effective employees, effective employees ensure that the team/company works effectively, and effective work ensures high results and profitability.
We would like to take this opportunity to remind you that we at Accountor Ukraine also provide recruiting services, and we will be happy to help you find your perfect employees.