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How to encourage staff to ‘go the extra mile’

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How can managers encourage their employees to go the extra mile and boost productivity? By ensuring they provide the right incentives.

That is according to Employee Benefits, which lists motivating factors such as mobile working, recognising hard work and good management as some of the driving forces behind a happy and productive workforce.

And while some companies already know what is important when it comes to employee engagement and motivation, more can benefit from taking these wellbeing factors into consideration, regardless of size or finances.

Take good management, for example. Nick Holley, director of the Centre for HR Excellence at Henley Business School, believes this is the key to incentivising staff to “go the extra mile”.

“A good manager can engage people. The question is, what makes a good manager? What is clear is there isn’t one approach to managing, it needs to be flexed to fit the needs of the individual,” he explained.

This means being attentive to staff members and their needs – employees will want to do their best if they feel their employer is interested in them and what they do.

Another factor which can have a profound effect on motivation is mobile working, by allowing staff to take ownership of their own tasks. In this way, employees will feel they are trusted and rather than being micro-managed, they will feel motivated to perform.

In addition, recognising hard work and employee achievement is an important part of staff motivation and engagement. However, managers must be consistent when rewarding staff who have performed above and beyond the call of duty.

Mr Holley warns against employers expecting employees to repeatedly go the extra mile. “I don’t think this should be encouraged as a matter of course,” he said.

While there may be times when staff members need to work late or through lunch, it should not be expected by managers or become the norm. Expecting people to repeatedly work in this way will only serve to disengage them.