Regardless of how good your business model is, how well you are managing the logistics of your company and even how good your marketing is, the key to success always falls heavily on the productivity of your team. Gaining a myriad of new clients is always a welcome notion, but what if your team simply can’t keep up with this major workload increase. Sure, sometimes this may happen due to the fact that your team is horribly understaffed, but what if this is not the issue here? What if your problem is one of motivation?
There is a statistic claiming that happy employees are 12 percent more productive. Speaking of plain numbers, it is as if your 50 people crew is performing as if you have 56 people in your employ. We are talking about 6 employees you don’t have to keep on the payroll. Because of this, the question of employee motivation is one of the most important for any responsible job owner. Here are four best practices for raising the morale of the rank and file within your humble organization.
1. Make Everyone Work on Performance Pay
The first thing you might want to consider is having everyone work on at least some form of performance pay. You see, sometimes it might be quite hard to show your employees how exactly is company’s well-being in their best interest. No matter how hard you try, they will simply see your business as a standard 9 to 5 and they will just pretend to work for most of the time until they can finally go home.
By making them work on performance pay or, at least, paying them performance bonuses, you will make a direct correlation between your company’s profitability and their own budget. In this way, they will have a de facto example of how they benefit from your business.
2. Include Them in the Decision Making Process
Another way to show them that this is their company, as well, is to include them into the decision making process. This means that you should make your meetings count. Sure, a lot of people see conference room meetings as some sort of sit-together where you get to tell them your latest decision about how the company should be run, but what if it weren’t so?
What if, whenever you held a meeting you actually took their ideas into consideration? What if you implemented them into the business structure of the company later on and gave the credit to the person whose idea it initially was? It isn’t that hard to imagine how this practice would have a strong impact amongst your employees.
3. Show Them Your Appreciation
While the first two ideas seemed as something major (the first one exposes you to a significant expense, while the latter gives your employees an indirect control of the company) there are subtler and less expensive ways to motivate your employees. For example, you could commend them in public in order to show that you notice all the hard work they have invested in your company. You could write them an appreciation card or even order a nice fruit basket for them on their birthday, or better yet, their anniversary at the company.
Finally, if you want to do something that depicts their significance to the team as a whole you could find a way to show it with a gesture. For example, if you are sending them from Western Australia (which is your base of operation) to Sydney (a target destination) for a seminar, a conference of a negotiation, what you could do is organize them reliable airport transfers from Perth to take them to the airport in a luxury car. In this way, their significance to the company gets a material dimension, one that isn’t so easy to neglect or miss out on.
4. Customer Is Not Always Right
Finally, you need to keep in mind one thing – the satisfaction of your customers on the expense of your team’s morale is usually not a good trade. Think about it, clients come and go, but it is your team that remains here day after day, year after year. Because of this, and many other reasons, the customer is not always right. You need to demonstrate to your team that you are there to protect them from all the unjust accusations, that might befall them. Show them that you are their safety net and they will know how to return this favor through an unwavering loyalty.
From all of this, it becomes more than clear that keeping high morale in the office is your responsibility. Sure, it takes a lot of hard work, careful planning, balancing between different office relationships and being constantly on the watch for an emerging trouble. Still, by managing to pull of this right, you will be rewarded with an increased productivity, which is something that a young company desperately needs in order to grow. The choice is yours!