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How to Motivate your Workforce

How to Motivate your Workforce

By Josie Martin

While money might be seen as a chief motivation for employees, there are plenty of ways to get the most out of your workforce that doesn’t break the bank, and keeps the office a pleasant and friendly place to be.  Here are a few tips for encouraging the finest out of your team.
Social Occasions

Hard working employees benefit from a chance to let off steam, and if you give them the opportunity to do it, they’ll appreciate the effort.  Organise a monthly social; depending on the size of the group this could be bowling or a cinema visit, or something more exciting like a white water rafting trip.  The bonding between you and your team will mean they’ll feel comfortable and relaxed in the week, and anticipate the next activity with eagerness.  Even simple treats like bringing a cake to work on Fridays or casual dress days will lift the mood.  Something to break up the week is what everyone needs!  By creating a sense of family, a feeling of belonging and encouraging the occasional frivolous fun, your workforce will know you’re not defined by work and will be replenished in time for Monday morning.

It may be exceptionally simple, but many employers forget to recognise the hard work of their employees either verbally or physically.  It may not feel natural to give your employees this praise at first, but it can go a long way for them feeling like they’re a worthwhile part of your team.  By awarding those who have performed well with an Employee of the Week title or a small gift, they will know that hard work will go noticed and strive to improve their performance.  A bonus system doesn’t have to be expensive to make a difference – vouchers are more personal than money, and often mean that the cash will be spent on something genuinely wanted rather than frittered away on bills or living costs.  Also, as you get to know your employees these can be tailored for the individual’s taste. 
Personal Attention

Your employees are thinking about their futures, so without the relevant information they may not feel that their careers are progressing.  By implementing one-on-one sessions, you’ll show them that you’re interested in their development and are looking out for their prospects.  Having reviews on a regular basis help to cement the trust between you, and can highlight personal problems or general issues you may not have considered around the running of the office.  This feedback is a benefit to both employer and employee, and an open dialogue is something to be encouraged.  Recognising the strengths and weaknesses in employees mean they will have goals to target over the coming months, and assessing their progress at the next review will motivate them further.
Work Environment

Without a positive work environment, it’ll be hard to get the best from your employees.  It should go without saying that a clean, open space with lots of windows is preferable to dark corners and musty rooms.  Of course, your offices may not be perfect, and there are plenty of other techniques you can encourage to get the most out of the area.  Comfortable chairs, spacious desks and organised office supplies are a simple way of keeping things in order.  Personal touches like allowing decorated desks are a good way to build morale, while having plants, pictures hung up around the walls and a bulletin board to allow communication will make the office a more comfortable and friendly place to be.

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