To keep your staff motivated, focused and productive
Today, 15 January, is Blue Monday – the so-called most depressing day of the year.
Although there may not be hard science behind the idea of Blue Monday, there’s no denying that January can be a gloomy time – for both employees and employers. It’s important that business owners and managers fully understand the effects that lack of motivation and enthusiasm can have on both the individual and consequently the productivity of a business. Over all there are a few approaches managers can adopt to maintain motivation and ensure staff stay focused and productive.
Making work fun and introducing healthy competition leads to better results. This is the theory behind gamification, the buzzword for the process of introducing game elements into various activities to help motivate, engage and keep employees and customers. Gamification typically includes badges, leader-boards, points and progression, and can be used for employee engagement in various day-to-day operations.
With recognition often an important factor in high productivity and morale, gamification can be a great way for employees to receive plenty of feedback, quickly. Positive feedback can incentivise good work, improve motivation and reward team achievements. Employees might also better understand their strengths and weaknesses, leading to enhanced performance.
Showing a little appreciation can go a long way towards a motivated, higher performing workforce. Everyone likes to feel valued, and a bit of recognition can lead to better self-esteem and workplace relationships, boosting productivity. Recent research has revealed that over 66 per cent of those surveyed, see being valued as the most important aspect of their day to day employment. Positive work experiences also have a huge impact on productivity and 78 per cent of people are more productive when work experiences are positive.
Gratitude is absolutely vital in the workplace, confirms UC Davis psychology professor Robert Emmons, a leading researcher on the subject. “Most of our waking hours are spent on the job, and gratitude, in all its forms, is a basic human requirement,” he says. “So, when you put these factors together, it is essential to both give and receive thanks at work.”
Promote flexible working
For many employees, flexible working provides a good way to balance work and everyday life without compromising either. Giving employees an element of control over their time could be highly beneficial for both the business and the employee. Research conducted by Cass Business School and Cranfield School of Management suggested a positive association between both informal and formal flexible working arrangements and job satisfaction and organisational commitment. When implemented properly, flexible working could work wonders for employee morale, engagement and general workplace productivity.
Setting up an employee volunteering programme and giving employees paid time off to volunteer for important causes is likely to pay back in spades. It can enhance your employees’ skills, encourage team-building and create a positive culture within your business, which can be recognised internally and externally. Many organisations across the world are committed to taking action to make a tangible difference to both local and global communities, and bringing employees along on this journey could be a good way to keep them engaged. In fact, Employee Volunteering found that 95 per cent of workers felt volunteering had a positive influence on them and 76 per cent said it had a positive influence on how they feel about their employer.