Understanding how to motivate your staff is an essential focus of any human resources manager. You may have worked hard to hire the best talent in the field, but now you are tasked with keeping them at the company and getting the most from them.
Obviously, money and benefits packages are one of the ways to motivate staff. A survey of professionals ranked this highest of all other factors. However, peer motivation also ranked more highly than you would maybe imagine. People love encouragement and recognition.
So, if pay and benefits are only a small proportion of what motivates the best talent, what else can you do as an HR manager to increase engagement and commitment?
Improve the working environment.
Your talent will spend as much time awake in your workplace as they will in their home. Consequently, the environment needs to be pleasant. If you expect your employees to work in drab and uninspiring conditions all day, then you are going to impact their mood seriously.
There are basics you must consider. The place should be safe and habitable. However, to motivate the staff, you may want to go further than this. You could invest in the decorations around the place. One great tip is to contact local artists and offer to act as a gallery for their work. Your staff get some lovely creations to look at, which is ever-changing, and you appear like you are giving a local artist a helping hand.
Maintain the highest values.
To suggest that you should be honest and respectful to your employees to maintain motivation should go without saying. However, sometimes when you are in the battle, the mission can override the fundamental qualities that make us good human beings. Therefore, the challenge to maintain the highest values in how you treat people can sometimes be harder than you would hope. You should always monitor your tone with the team and be thoughtful and measured in how you deliver feedback to people.
There is no getting past that urge for recognition. We may think we have left the need for a gold star from the teacher back in school. Yet, the truth is that we always yearn to be spotted doing well. The gestures you make when you are glad of the additional thought, effort or talent that has been employed is more likely than anything else to garner loyalty. How you choose to do this is dependent on your context. You could opt for a profit-share scheme, a bonus scheme or the offer of free private healthcare.
Not everything has to be ostentatious. Sometimes it is enough to spot the good that people are doing and to mention it. It is too easy to get into a critical mindset where you are continually pushing the team to do even better. Therefore, when you are going through the day, make sure to spot the moments when they are performing exactly as you would hope. Find a way to offer praise.
It might be that there is a standard item on the agenda where people express gratitude for something someone has done. It could be as simple as a thank you as you walk past on the way to the coffee. Gestures do not have to be so big all the time for people to feel valued. They do, however, need to come at regular intervals, so people feel continually appreciated for the effort and commitment.
Offer routes for progression.
Talented people will always be looking for the next opportunity. The idea of stagnating in a role with likely be the number one fear of anyone ambitious. Therefore, you need to work with this psychological dimension of managing staff. It may be that you offer someone more responsibility when they demonstrate skill in a role. For instance, if someone leads a client with skill, maybe they could take more responsibility with the client in the future. Alternatively, you can arrange for the team member to go on courses to gain qualifications that will allow them to progress and improve their CV.
The desire to encourage loyalty to your company is the first step in motivating staff. If the team recognise that you want them to stay and continue to thrive in the workplace, you have done a lot to encourage motivation. People love to be needed. You can continue to make small gestures, such as cakes on Friday or team days out somewhere fun. If you are worried about the expense – consider the impact a group of highly motivated people will have on your profits.