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August 26, 2015

Ten ways to motivate and engage your staff for maximum returns

Research shows that motivated and engaged staff are more productive. They are focused, enthusiastic, dedicated to the business and are motivated to do their best – both for themselves and the company.

So how do you keep your staff feeling motivated and fully engaged? Try these 10 tips for maximum return on investment:

1. Share your vision – your goals for the business are an essential roadmap for employees. They may be clear to you but do your staff understand what they are working so hard towards? Take time to share the business objectives and encourage staff to pull together to achieve them.

2. Stop, look and listen – no one wants to be bossed around and told what to do. Instead, create an environment where staff are actively listened to and there is an opportunity for them to feedback their ideas, voice their opinions and share their feelings.

3. It’s good to talk – regular communication is the key to better engagement with staff. Research has found that employees whose managers hold regular meetings with them are almost three times as likely to be engaged as staff whose managers don’t. It has also been found that managers who use a combination of face-to-face, phone and electronic communication are the most successful in engaging staff.

4. Give praise where it’s due – acknowledge the effort your staff are putting into their work. When going the extra mile is noticed and praised in front of other team members, quality standards are invariably raised. The person feels confident, valued and other team members may be encouraged to ‘raise their own game’.

5. Fair’s fair – treat your people fairly and they will respect you and the business in return. This sounds simple but so many people don’t feel their bosses respect them and their needs and wishes enough. Always discuss personal matters with staff privately, respect confidences and take time to explain any decisions made.

6. Stick to your promises – always follow through on your promises. Failure to do so will result in staff losing respect for you and the business and could result in team morale taking a nose dive.

7. Stay the course – Don’t keep changing things all the time. It’s understandable you’ll have to make adjustments and update processes but resist changing things too frequently. This can give the impression you are uncertain about what you’re doing and can be unsettling for employees.

8. Delegate effectively – when delegating a task, make sure the person has clear goals, understands their role, is supported by sufficient resources and agree when to review progress. Don’t constantly check their progress or make them do the task again without explaining clearly why you are doing so.

9. Coach for success – everyone wants to do well and most need guidance to achieve their goals. Provide learning and development opportunities to improve skill sets. Support your staff by creating a ‘buddy’ or internal mentoring scheme. This is especially relevant for new employees who are often trying to find their feet and need an unbiased, friendly person to talk to and ask questions.

10. Fun makes work better – we all have to go to work but there’s no reason why it shouldn’t be enjoyable. It’s amazing how much more people can do when they enjoy what they do. Team away days, office lunches, birthday cakes, after work drinks, Christmas parties and team-building events are all great ways to motivate people to demonstrate how much they directly add value to your business.

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