We’ve all heard that it’s ‘Blue Monday’ today. Although I’m sure that will remind many of a certain New Order song, it’s actually a reference to one of the most depressing work days of the year. How does it feel? Not great apparently.
So how do you motivate staff to get past their New Year funk? We’ve got a few thoughts…
Financial incentives rarely get the results you want
You may be thinking, “I pay my staff a lot, surely that’s enough?”. Well research shows that in fact it isn’t. Staff are rarely motivated by money.
If you want to give a further financial incentive, that’s fine, but it really pays to motivate them in more creative ways…
Give job satisfaction
Job satisfaction is a difficult thing to pin down, but if you do get it right it can really help to motivate your staff.
Finding out at interview stage or during an appraisal what motivates them personally is a really great way to understand how to deliver job satisfaction.
This could include anything from giving them a varied role, something with real prospects of development, or even just helping them to see how their contribution has impacted upon the business. Giving regular appraisals is a good opportunity to do this.
Help staff get a sense of belonging
It might sound a bit airy-fairy, but giving a sense of belonging is a proven way to motivate your staff within their role.
For starters, take the time to tell them about the business, what it does, and its goals. This will feed into how you inform them of their contributions to the business. There’s nothing worse for anyone than to blindly do their job without any thought as to how it affects the company.
When you can, give employees an update on the progress of your business goals, along with any news that might be relevant. Short term meetings about promotions and good performance also go a long way to make them feel more involved.
Other simple and more fun ways to engage staff and make them feel they belong include providing uniforms with their name and department, holding a monthly bake off competition or cocktail hour and bringing in a cake for staff birthdays.
You may even want to give your staff a chance to invest in the business – engaging them financially with the success of the business, and making them feel a real part of it.
Give staff an understanding of how much you value them
It might seem difficult to make employees valued – especially on a day like Blue Monday – but there are a number of quick things you can do.
For example, you may want to ask them for their input on tough business decisions. Listening to their ideas will make them feel like their thoughts and ideas have real value – it’s not just you that has the great ideas, remember that.
Taking time to say thank you, give feedback, or even just say hello may seem too small to matter, but they’re key to building a sense of appreciation for your staff. And not just when things are going well, people work just as hard in the difficult times, and will need to feel valued more than ever.
Perks are of course a popular way to help staff feel appreciated. This may be anything from a few cakes to say thanks, or some drinks down the pub on a Friday – whatever you think they might like best really. Don’t just do the same things though, staff may get bored and it will lose its impact.
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