Keeping staff members motivated, happy and inspired to deliver their best work every time they arrive in the office is a key challenge for business owners and managers the world over. And while there are many established techniques for promoting a productive atmosphere, not all of them are relevant in 2020.
Unfortunately, there is no magic wand and so much depends on simply hiring the right people, including those who are joining you for the right reasons, not just for a quick pay-day or to kick back and relax every time they roll into the office.
But there are a number of techniques you can employ to nurture the right vibes in the workplace that don’t entail spending money or investing countless hours in workshops and educational programs.
One simple tip that yields great results in terms of morale, and which is even backed by science, is to share good and bad news in equal measure. It may often be tempting to try and protect your staff members from the information you think they don’t want to hear, but you’ll usually find that you can nurture greater respect for the business just by being honest with people.
Many businesses believe that holding regular reviews is the key to keeping staff motivated, and while this is largely beneficial, it’s important that the goals you set are tangible. You may hold a healthy and constructive conversation with a colleague, but if they leave the meeting unsure of what their objectives are then it could lead to frustration.
It’s also important that the objectives you set are challenging. It can be tempting to set objectives that are easily attainable but it’s important that there’s a healthy mix between boosting their confidence and challenging their potential. Your average colleague will receive much more of a boost from achieving something they initially thought was beyond them.
Speaking of balance, it’s important that time in the office is augmented by enough opportunities for staff members to enjoy their life away from work. Every company is different, but you should only encourage colleagues to continue working after hours if it is absolutely necessary.
But flexibility is important too, which is why some of the world’s biggest businesses allow team members work from home if it doesn’t affect their ability to complete their tasks. Sure, they may take time out at lunch to watch a couple of YouTube videos or even play a few casino games, but you should be able to trust colleagues to do what’s asked of them, even if they’re not on site.
More than anything, it is crucial that your staff members feel loved and respected, and a part of something bigger. Find ways to help them buy into the wider goals of your business and, where possible, reward individuals when the business as a whole is performing well.
As we discussed at the start of this article, there’s no switch to flick or secret to learning, and building a hard-working culture may take time. But follow these tips, and keep an open dialogue with those around you, and you can ensure your team is performing to its optimum level.