Gone are the days of gold stars and a meat tray to reward positive employee performances. Here are five next-level strategies to keep your staff flying high.
The business world is a competitive place, and keeping staff happy and performing at their best isn’t easy. But those who make the extra effort reap the rewards in productivity, staff retention, creativity, customer service and innovation.
1. The feel-good factor
People love to give, and businesses that help them to do so reap rewards in employee satisfaction, taxation benefits and public image. There are two ways to share in the generosity: payroll giving and business-supported volunteering. In 2010, Australian workers donated more than $28M to charities, with $12M in matched donations from employers. Most businesses donate through third-party charity programs, which help businesses set up a donation system. The other way to do this is to give your staff the option of paid time volunteering for their favourite charity or cause. A couple of hours a month or a couple of days a year can give your staff that special glow.
2. Go a little crazy
Let’s face it – the daily grind can be boring. There are numerous ways to create a little fun. Dress-up days, the occasional long lunch, a hired performer (clown, comedian or roving magician), a community choir (maybe to run a class), a singing telegram to praise a worker, a lunchtime movie with popcorn and ice-cream, or a day where all the managers wear rollerblades. The list is only as long as your imagination. The key to success is surprise and laughter.
3. Over the edge
Great work deserves great rewards. Today there are businesses that provide a huge range of fun experiences. When someone stands out, why not give them a gift card to pick an activity (and if you’re feeling really generous, the time off to do it)? If the whole team excels, get them to choose an activity they all want to share. Adrenaline junkies will of course choose skydiving. Good luck getting an office consensus on that!
4. Above and beyond
People like to grow and learn, and businesses that support employees in this way not only gain loyalty, but also the benefit of their staff’s newfound abilities. Consider giving your staff a tax-deductible allowance of time and money to increase their qualifications or learn new skills. You can also ask them to take on work that is a step above what they currently do, and support them to learn with specialist mentoring. Giving staff a way forward is a pretty good antidote to them looking for a way out.
5. Keep an open door
Ultimately, your employees know what makes them happy. If you don’t want a Horrible Bosses situation on your hands, let them know that you are always available to hear suggestions, new ideas and innovative concepts. Make sure they know that you care by giving them opportunities to communicate their ambitions, dissatisfactions, problems and desires. Conversely, if there are interpersonal issues, conflicts or bullying in your workplace, you will only know if people feel comfortable sharing with you.
Most workplace turnover is the result of staff dissatisfaction with issues that can be easily and economically addressed. It doesn’t have to break the bank to keep your staff motivated and engaged, but it does require effort and care.
What’s the best thing an employee has ever done to motivate you? Share your story on the Optus Facebook page!