While the coronavirus pandemic has been a difficult time for everyone in terms of safeguarding our health and learning to live with restricted social freedoms, it has undoubtedly afforded us an opportunity to revolutionise the way we work.
Your employees are an essential cog in the machine that is your business, and keeping them happy and motivated into the New Year is key to keeping that machine well-oiled and working smoothly.
1. Prioritise employee work-life balance
As an employer, you need to embrace the importance of a healthy work-life balance for your employees.
While employees need to be committed to their roles, leading a healthy and balanced life is essential, and will likely increase the motivation of your workforce. Ensuring that your staff work reasonable hours, have adequate time off, and don’t feel that working overtime or from home is essential to their career progression is crucial.
Overworked employees can feel taken for granted, overwhelmed and unhappy, so take the time to check in on their workloads and make sure they’re not being asked to manage more than they can reasonably handle.
2. Get to know your employees
Understand your employees as individuals and you’ll be able to focus in on the areas each person excels in.
By understanding their individual strengths and passions you’ll be able to give them the responsibilities that suit them best – improving their job satisfaction and performance.
3. Recognise and reward your workforce
Rewarding your employees, even in a small way, lets them know that they’re appreciated and gives them the motivation to keep pushing forward.
Acknowledge their achievements, give credit where credit is due and have a budget allocated for staff treats and events.
If your employees know you appreciate their efforts they’ll remain committed to your company and to getting the most out of their position.
Smaller, more regular rewards and frequent positive feedback is often considered more effective than an annual acknowledgement of achievements.
4. Remember to say ‘thank you’
Following on from the tip above, fostering a positive work environment is essential if you want to keep good staff members. It will encourage teamwork and communication, increasing the productivity and engagement of your employees.
Simply saying ‘thank you’ to an employee for their hard work shows them they are valued, which is essential for keeping them both happy and motivated.
5. Include your employees in the ‘bigger picture’
Make sure you keep the lines of communication with your employees open, and take the time to update them about the company’s future and goals for the coming months or years. Being able to see the bigger picture will enable your employees to understand the importance of their role in the business.
6. Be clear about future opportunities
A study conducted by the University of Iowa found that employees don’t feel the need to stay with an employer that does not provide career advancement opportunities.
Investing in training and development is essential if you want to retain valued employees, as is having clear career paths in place.
7. Switch things up
If your business runs on deadlines and a tight schedule, it could help your employees’ motivation if you try and add some diversity where possible – like having a day a week where staff are able to work on different projects.
8. Provide perks
Providing your employees with little perks can really boost motivation.
Perks such as free meals, tasty snacks or casual dress Fridays are great examples of simple changes that will keep your employees happy and motivated throughout the New Year.
If you want to build on the tips we’ve shared, you could start by introducing a suggestion box and discovering what changes your employees would like to see. After all, keeping your employees happy this year could have a great impact on output, retention and your company’s reputation as an employer.