Creating a team of happy, motivated and efficient staff is critical to the success of small businesses. However, getting your team excited about their next project or even coming to work the next day takes a little time and care. Getting the desired result is sometimes difficult without the right training or experience in place. As small business owners, we wear multiple hats on a daily basis – from Finance Director and Marketing Executive to CEO and Sales, the list just goes on. But did anyone prepare us for the sometimes challenging role of Human Resources Management? This is often a role we are thrown into by default, but it is actually one of the most powerful roles within your business and needs to be fully embraced to create genuinely motivated, enthusiastic and proactive staff.
Here we outline 6 of the best tips to inspire your staff.
1) Create a Defined Culture
Laying down the law and relaying the well rehearsed rules of ‘how things work around here’ is an instant mood killer. Instead, place great emphasis on the values of your company and ask your employees to define what they mean to them. This creates a sense of belonging and loyalty to a company. Having a well defined and strong culture will also guide decisions made by employees. Your company values creates an environment where they feel accomplished and part of a community. So remember, no matter what you do, find a way to strengthen your culture. Facebook have nailed workplace culture.
2) Set a Good Example
Leading by example is incredibly important in further developing the business’s culture and guiding your team. Office gossip will very rapidly diminish team spirit and fracture teamwork. Be fair and consistent in your review of employees work and evaluate all employees by the same standards. Celebrate diversity in the workplace and value all contributions from employees whether or not they provide large or small value.
3) Prioritise Staff Happiness over Motivation
Everyone wants to feel valued and part of a community, it’s human nature. Establishing good ol’ fashioned relationships with your staff based on mutual respect will highly benefit both sides of the equation. Congratulate and reward a job well done in the workplace, whether that be through a monthly reward system, a simple email or team meetings over lunch off site. Some of the most successful companies in the world (Google, Facebook, Zappos) place a strong emphasis on keeping their staff happy, motivated and above all inspired.
4) Nurture, Develop and Support Staff Goals
Implementing a professional development structure within your workplace, is going to help you understand your employees goals and aspirations. Here you will be able to help shape your employees, offer guidance, provide feedback and put in place the right training to improve upon the weaknesses and strengths. This can be completed in various ways and should be set up according to what’s right for your business. This could be a quarterly meeting, a 6 month review, or a monthly check-in with management.
5) Bet on Character
It has been said time and time again that your attitude will get you through anything. Make sure your business is filled with the right kind of people, the ones who fit within your culture as they will ultimately be your brand advocates and help your business succeed. You get what you pay for and this goes for staff too. By prioritising character over education or skill, you’ll be sure to create an environment in which people will want to work and in some cases, seek out your business. Some of the best in the world were never formally educated, Richard Branson, Steve Jobs, Bill Gates, Thomas Edison, Walt Disney shared a common trait of persistence and attitude. By betting on character you will never lose.
6) Have some fun!
Having fun in the workplace is sometimes seen as taboo, a distraction or completely unnecessary. However, there is a growing body of research which supports the claim that lightening up, can increase team productivity, staff retention, team morale, team participation, project completion and reduce the amount of sick days. Injecting a little fun into your workplace isn’t going to be of detriment, it’s only going to work wonders for staff in the long run with a more enthusiastic and engaged team.
Creating a business full of motivated staff is critical to the success of your business. Keep these values in mind when hiring or encouraging your staff and remember that you can mix and match different values to determine what works best for your business.
What are your strategies for motivating staff?