David Saul, Managing Director of leading serviced office operator Business Environment, explains the importance of motivating your employees.
As the man who inspired one of the most successful and valuable companies in history, you can’t help but believe Steve Jobs when he said: ‘the only way to do great work is to love what you do’. With this in mind, it is somewhat troubling that such a large proportion of employees seems not only unmotivated but distinctly disengaged in the workplace.
A recent report by the Chartered Institute of Personnel and Development (CIPD) found that 62 per cent of employees are dissatisfied with their jobs, a more worrying 71 per cent feel disengaged at work, and a further 1 in 4 are currently looking for a new job. Clearly, not everyone loves what they do.
As employers, we all aim to employ positive and proactive people, but I believe that the onus of motivating staff and creating a productive work environment still lies with us, the employer. Not only do motivated staff make for a more successful business, they inspire strong, united teams, and lessen the costs of continually hiring and training.
In order to raise employee satisfaction and coach staff effectively, there are many strategies employers can initiate.
Firstly, it is important to give staff constructive feedback. This will ensure that people feel valued, and feel that the company is committed to their progression. One way to approach this is to ensure all employees receive regular performance reviews – a disturbing 27% have never had one. One particularly successful method is the 360-degree review, in which staff from all levels and departments offer feedback on an individual.
Another route would be to instigate a mentoring programme so that employees can engage in discussions about their career path, and are able to get advice in a confidential and nurturing environment. Employees should receive regular and meaningful feedback in order to feel valued and to build relationships with management.
It is also essential to consider employees’ work/life balance, especially when, according to the CIPD, 62 per cent of employees feel under pressure every day and 41 per cent report excessive pressure once or twice a week. There are many ways to improve a team’s work/life balance. For example, managers can keep tabs on employees’ working hours and reallocate work or draft in extra resources if any members of the team are consistently staying too late. Equally, companies can introduce flexible hours to allow people to take an occasional lie in, which can break up what might occasionally feel like an oppressive schedule. At Business Environment, we not only give our staff a day off for their birthday but in addition we give them 3 days off a year to be used for charity work – as well as channelling energy into clearly worthwhile causes, our staff return highly motivated and ready for their next challenge.
I believe that if you take the time to listen to and reward employees, and create a harmonious and productive work-environment, motivation will flow naturally, along with great work and staff who love what they do.