Staff Motivation

A look at how a Manager can motivate their staff to perform to the best of their ability.

Staff motivation is probably the most important thing to achieve for any Manager.  You can be technically brilliant at managing, you may know all the legal parameters a Manager needs to work within and you may even be brilliant at achieving all your deadlines.  However, if you cannot motivate your staff to be brilliant at what they do; ultimately, you will fail.

So what does motivate staff?

Judging by what is happening in the UK at the moment, it is clearly money!  Train drivers, nurses, lawyers, teachers and even your postman feel that they are underpaid in today’s society resulting in strike action in a bid to achieve higher pay.

Clearly, striking is contagious, and provides fuel for the media and even the economists. If an occupation receives a respectable pay rise, you can guarantee that as soon as their occupation becomes newsworthy, an economist will show that in ‘real’ terms their wages are going down!

The reality of staff motivation however, is somewhat different. I accept, everybody welcomes a pay rise, particularly when the cost of living is rising and inflation is hitting double digit figurers for the fist time in a generation, but a pay rise only provides short term comfort.  Once the pay rise has been received, that ‘extra money’ will be absorbed into a person’s living budget, which results in them wanting another pay rise to motivate them to work the month after!

This is of course in unsustainable. Also fuels further inflation, thus increasing a businesses costs, meaning there is a greater risk of them going under.  Clearly a better, more effective way of motivating staff has to be found.

Why do people work?

There are exceptions (charity workers, people requiring the social interaction), but the majority of people work to fund their lifestyle.  If you take away their pay, they will not turn up for work!  A Manager needs to find out why somebody is working, then look to see what can be done to support that.  If a Manager can show how an employee might benefit from working for your business to help achieve what they really care about, then you have a motivated member of staff. This is somebody who is going to always ‘give it their best’ .

So how does a Manager find out?

The perfect opportunity is the staff appraisal.  Rather than focusing only on work, find out what your staff member is looking to achieve in their life within the next 12 months. Are they planning on moving house, starting a family, saving for a holiday, taking up golf or a new hobby or perhaps undertaking a charitable event to raise money for a cause they care about it.

What can a Manager do about it?

The question is – what would help your staff member achieve their goals?  Depending upon the goals, the options will vary but using the list above:

  • Moving house – put them in touch with somebody who lives in the area they are looking to move to.
  • Starting a family – make sure they understand and value the paternity/maternity rights they have within your business plus flexibility of working options.
  • Taking up golf – who else plays golf at work? Does the business have any special financial concessions arranged with a golf club or equipment etc..
  • New hobby – what are they interested in?  Who do you know can give them some guidance?
  • Charitable event – will your business sponsor them or provide clothing or equipment?

Staff Motivation is about caring

In summary, if you want your staff member to perform at their best, they need to be motivated.  To achieve this, the Manager needs to take actions to show they care about what is really important to their member of staff.

Here at Unlock Staff Potential, we are committed to supporting and training your staff to ensure they have the appropriate skills to help your business flourish. Contact us for a bespoke training quotation.