We all know that with feeling valued and appreciated in the workplace comes happiness. When staff feel happy and acknowledged, they work harder, feel better and are generally more motivated and engaged. In challenging times, it is easy as a business owner to set your sights on protecting against business failures, money worries or perhaps other challenges, and the wellbeing of staff might no longer be as top of mind as usual. However, engaged and motivated teams are usually your business’s best asset. We have put together some easy tips to help keep your team loyal, engaged and motivated in the workplace, whatever your businesses budget or size.
Whether it is a work accomplishment or a personal one, acknowledging your team is an easy and often cost-free way to create lasting loyalty and trust in your workplace. It may be writing a personal note acknowledging a piece of work, showcasing community awards or achievements in internal communications, or perhaps bringing in cupcakes for a milestone. Be personalised and genuine in your approach and encourage others in your workplace to follow suit for an even more empowered team dynamic!
When you ask your team for help or feedback, you are acknowledging their strengths and showing your appreciation and respect.
Not only are you allowing your team members’ voices to be heard, you are encouraging a two-way channel of communication. You can do this by taking the time to chat to employees casually about what’s on their minds inside and outside the workplace or, with larger teams, you may send out an online questionnaire using free online tools like Survey Monkey. Either way, you are demonstrating to your team that you value their input and as you take their feedback into consideration you can create a supportive work environment.
Culture is the backbone of many successful workplaces. Workplace culture is the shared values, belief systems, attitudes and assumptions that people in a workplace share, and these usually come from leadership’s examples and efforts to engage their staff members in what is considered a healthy culture.
This can be developed by making sure staff feel respected, motivated and enjoy being at work. This last one is particularly paramount in hard times - but creating a fun working environment can be easy and cost effective. If you have some budget, it could mean team building outings or shouting the office lunch. You may even consider summer working hours for employees. If budgets are smaller, you could put time aside once a month for a shared morning tea, encourage team members to take breaks away from their work space, or if working remotely, set up a weekly quiz to complete together.
With Christmas not too far off, it could be time to reimagine your end of year team celebration. Consider, an after-work BBQ, a family friendly picnic at the park – these are great ways to acknowledge everything your staff have worked through this year.
In a COVID – impacted world, flexibility with how and where employees work is paramount. If your business model allows, give your team flexibility on how they work. When your employees have the freedom to work the way they need to, they feel trusted and respected. Being trusted to work outside the office, or flexible hours builds a sense of faith between managers and employees, leaving employees feeling empowered instead of micromanaged. Flexibility helps employees achieve work-life balance which directly corresponds to satisfaction and retention. Engaged employees work harder, smarter and with more purpose.