When you are running a business and managing a team, one of the most important aspects of your job is to keep your employees motivated. One of the biggest misconceptions may be that money is the only motivator of staff, and while adequate compensation is key in helping team members feel valued and rewarded, there are various additional techniques which are important in the formula of fostering a happy and inspired team. It is also important to keep in mind that new staff who you bring on board will quickly pick up the habits and points-of-view of their colleagues – both positive and negative – so it is important to keep the office atmosphere as happy and productive as possible.
1. Buy a plant
Believe it or not, but a simple way to increase office happiness is to invest in some greenery. Studies have shown that having just one plant per square meter can improve memory function, staff wellbeing, and productivity.
An attractive office environment is not just important for impressing clients, it is important for keeping staff as well. Make the office space more appealing with a bit of color and plant-life and you should see an instant boost in team morale.
2. Plan a trip
Team outings are crucial in creating a strong, cohesive working environment. You don’t need to spend a fortune on a weekend away: a fun day out solving puzzles, building rafts or even bowling can bring your team closer together. The key thing is to plan activities that everyone can get involved with, and everyone has to contribute to. Regular outings away from an enclosed office space help your employees to get to know each other and to trust one another both in and out of the workplace.
3. Schedule regular meetings
It is vital that each team member feels involved in the success and progress of your company. Weekly team meetings are the perfect way to share company news, keep everyone updated, and encourage collaborative and creative idea-sharing sessions. Make sure everyone knows the agenda of the meeting in advance, so they have time to prepare, and can, therefore, contribute to a more fruitful discussion. Relaxed, open team meetings, where everyone feels listened to are some of the best ways to inspire creativity and boost team morale.
4. Listen to them
As well as telling your employees what is going on with the company, it is important to listen to their feedback as well. If employees do not feel like they can share information with you, then you risk an ‘us versus them’ office, where employees only share opinions (and frustrations) with one another, and you feel increasingly alienated from your own team. As well as team meetings, make time to speak to each team member one-on-one, and encourage their feedback on the work environment and their job role.
5. Don’t overly criticize
While construction criticism is vital for personal growth, persistent negative feedback will only lead to your team becoming less motivated, and more resentful towards you. Make sure you include a solution in any negative criticism and a clear plan for how your employee can move forward and improve. Include positives along with the negatives, so your criticism feels less like an attack, and more like a collaborative conversation on how you can both improve things moving forward.
6. Take them out
Some of the most creative and successful businesses are those in which employees spend time together outside of the office as well as in it. Paying for regular work drinks, or treating your employees for lunch makes them feel rewarded, as well as encouraging them to talk to you and one another in a more informal environment. Often it is easier to share ideas and frustrations in this less formal setting, especially for any staff members who lack confidence or struggle to get their voice heard in the workplace.
7. Give them a bonus
An annual bonus, no matter how small, shows employees that they will be rewarded in the company’s success as well. A sum that will make a very small dent in your company’s profits, can make a big difference to your employees, particularly those on a starting salary. A small financial gift at the end of the year could give your employees the boost they need to get the new year off to a good start, and to encourage a fresh, motivated outlook moving forward.
By Medy Navani