September 2, 2015

10 ways to motivate staff

It’s very easy to assume that money is everything when it comes to motivating staff. Certainly, it’s what employers seem to think – according to the Office for National Statistics, the UK workforce received a total of £40.5bn in bonuses in the 2013-14 financial year.

However, there is plenty of research that shows that while financial remuneration is important to people, job fulfillment counts for even more. ‘Beyond the bonus: Driving employee performance’, a study by the Institute of Leadership & Management (ILM), found that 59% of respondents rated job satisfaction as their top motivator. In second place at 49% was a good basic salary (including a pension), followed by having a good relationship with colleagues and overall team at 42%.

Those were the top three motivators, but not far behind were having a good relationship with their line manager and having a level of autonomy in their role.

With these findings in mind, we have outlined 10 top ways to motivate staff:

1. Show employees that there are good career opportunities in your organisation. Give them a reason to go the extra mile, knowing that their career will progress.

2. Career development. Keep developing employees’ skills. Embed learning in the workflow and enable employees to learn in the way they want to learn. Provide learning opportunities, such as special projects or secondments where employees learn new skills and get involved in different aspects of the business.

3. Commensurate accordingly. Make sure employees are paid the going rate and are well rewarded for their efforts. Consider offering bonuses to top performers.

4. Invest in line managers. Good management is key to employee satisfaction, motivation and productivity so make sure your line managers are well supported and equipped for their role.

5. Celebrate successes. Everyone likes their efforts to be recognised. Consider doing it publicly – highlighting achievements on the company Intranet for example.

6. Ensure employees know how their efforts contribute to organisational success. When employees know that their work is producing results and how, it spurs them on to greater levels of motivation and productivity.
7. Take appraisals seriously. Many organisations now offer six-monthly appraisals. This is a chance for line managers and employees to take a step back from the day to day and really think about how a job is going. It is also a good forum for any issues to be raised and hopefully dealt with. Ensure line managers take appraisals seriously and that they set and review targets with employees.

8. Team building. Remember that 42% of ILM respondents said getting on with their team and colleagues was important to them? Invest in team building activities, such as an away day or night out on the company.

9. Flexible working. More and more people want – and expect – to be able to work flexibly. Where appropriate, facilitate it, whether it’s part time working, different working hours, home working, etc.

10. Get the basics right. Basics such as having a pleasant office environment and decent canteen make a real difference to employees’ daily satisfaction.