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How to keep your staff motivated

Good staff are worth their weight in gold and keeping them motivated through the daily grind of your working day is something most business owners need to keep on top of.

Stress is part and parcel of every job but taking the edge of off with a supportive word here and there or even taking the time to send a corporate ecard at Christmas, can make your employees feel valued.

According to Forbes, there are several ways that managers can demotivate staff including taking credit for someone else’s idea, abuse of power and bullying, not standing up for employees and being “emotionally stingy” – in other words not saying thank you, enough.

For good managers, it’s often something they do automatically. For the less natural ones out there, here are some tips on making your employees feel they are a valued part of the team.

  • Make a great working environment. People like to work in comfortable surroundings. Don’t try to pack them in like sardines, give them enough room to be able to do their job. Keep the office clean and invest in some plants to add some atmosphere.
  • Let them have pictures and keepsakes. Many office managers refuse to let staff have any personal items, like family photos, on their desk – their thought process is that they don’t want their employees thinking they own the space they are in. It’s a mistake to think this – give your employees ownership.
  • Be friendly. You don’t have to be business-like all the time, and you don’t need to keep a distance between you and your employees, despite what all those manuals say. Don’t be frightened to stop and chat about something other than work. Listen to your employees concerns.
  • Celebrate those employee milestones. If someone has a birthday, then celebrate. When Christmas comes around, send them corporate e cards thanking them personally for their efforts over the year.
  • Ask opinions. Everyone likes to have their voice heard. Even if someone comes up with a bad idea you should listen to it. That will encourage them to think of more and they may well hit the jackpot in the future because they have the confidence to open their mouth.
  • Share the success. Don’t take responsibility for all the company success, hand it down and pass it out to your employees. They’re the ones who have done all the leg work and they’re the ones that have made you look so good.
  • Does your employee need to wear a suit? Yes, you may be in the kind of business where suits need to be worn, but if you are not then perhaps you can consider your staff being dressed more casually. People often work better when they are not suited and booted.
  • Beer and pizza does the trick. Rewarding your team with a drink every so often for a job well done helps everyone bond and feel better about life. Bringing in some food treats once in a while has the same effect.

And finally, be enthusiastic about your business. Whether you produce computer software, offer a sales service to clients, create Christmas ecards for business, build kitchens or work in education, to name but a few, be optimistic and excited about your business. If you aren’t, how do you expect your employees to be?