Employee motivation is often at an all-time low in December and January. In the run up to Christmas, all staff can think about is time off, Christmas parties and finishing their Christmas shopping. Post-holidays, thoughts turn to lack of money and having little to look forward to. If you pay out a Christmas bonus to your staff, then it is also hard to keep them motivated once this has been and gone.
Measuring staff morale isn’t always easy either. While you can see how sales are doing through a quick glance at the figures, spotting a decline in staff motivation isn’t always instantly obvious. Yet a lack of motivation among your workforce can directly affect sales figures, with poor productivity and a high staff turnover being just two of the main culprits. Here are some ways in which you can increase staff motivation this winter.
Praise As Well As Point Out Mistakes
Too often we tend to focus purely on the things that a person has done wrong. Quick to complain, we should make sure we are equally quick to thank and praise on a good job well done. While you are paying staff to come in and carry out a particular role, this doesn’t mean you can’t thank them on a regular basis. Even if you can’t afford to hand out bonuses or other staff rewards, a simple ‘thank you’ or ‘well done’ still goes a long way.
Talk to Staff Regularly
Feedback shouldn’t just go in one direction. Have regular discussions with your staff or introduce more frequent appraisals in order to find out how happy they are – or not, as the case may be. Anonymous feedback may give you the opportunity to find out the real roots of any problems, but make sure you act appropriately on anything you find out, as otherwise staff will quickly become discouraged from sharing their concerns.
Don’t Overwork Employees
If staff are having to regularly work over their set hours, they will soon become disgruntled, stressed and tired. This may lead to invaluable staff leaving for a better role elsewhere, or result in employees having to take time off sick through stress or exhaustion. Everyone needs time off, so make sure staff aren’t overdoing it and are making the most of the annual leave on offer to them.
Employee Rewards and benefits are a fantastic way of increasing motivation and boosting morale. Everyone likes to receive presents and you don’t have to dish out fat bonuses to keep your team on side. However, what you should consider is ensuring that any incentives or rewards you offer are tailored to the interests of your workforce. Offering a selection of different high street vouchers is a popular choice because it allows staff to choose something that meets their tastes or allows them to change what they receive to match something they want at that time. Vouchers are often more of a treat than cash too because they can feel more like a gift, rather than something you should use to pay off debts or save for a rainy day.