Chief Operations Officer, Michelle Gauntlett, gives us the insight into how she motivates that team at Connect.

During the summer, I was busy with Sue looking back on Connect as a business for the year and planning how we move forward.  Creating the orbit for what we want to achieve for the next 3 years.

Part of this process included looking at our staff numbers, using the data from the past 12 months to decide how many new positions we needed to create to fulfill the plans that we had just created.  (We have a fabulous system, Synergist, that made it all so much easier!)

We took to the recruitment process, screened interviewed and have actually taken on 13 new members of staff, we have Gen X, Gen Y & Gen Z all mixed in together to create the unique Connect Team.  Hiring great employee’s is just the start of the process, I want to develop them and ultimately retain them for many years to come.

During our annual staff survey, as you would expect money and perks were seem as important to the Connect team and have definitely acted as a motivator when deciding to take a job, however, we have seen that ‘making a difference’ and ‘being encouraged’ also were important factors.

Remember why people come to work – they want to make money, each of them for a similar and/or a personal reason.  My daughter plays a lot of Rugby, and Touch Rugby, whilst cheap to play, the cost of travel, accommodation and more specifically rugby boots is not cheap.

Create an enjoyable place to work.

No one wants to be stuck in a boring, dull office for hours on end, doing the same tasks daily. A visually pleasing, well-lit space makes work a lot less boring.

Making your workplace more lively doesn’t have to be expensive and can be done simply by purchasing features from local artists or furniture from quirky shops. Buy a few small plants.  Make the office feel a little more homely. Our office plants have taken on the role of ‘the children’, with all the team looking after Betty & Louis.

The little touches you make to the office make employees’ work-life more enjoyable.

Be supportive, honest and respectful.

“Employees leave managers, not companies.” In fact, in 2017, 75% of employees who voluntarily left their job, did so because of a bad boss. It may seem like a simple, obvious thing to treat your employees well. ‘Treat your team like you would want them to treat you’ Honesty, respect and support, amongst other great foundations, can be built as a result of being a great manager. Employees are more motivated and loyal, if you are a great person to work for.

Be transparent.

Your team are more likely to be invested in their job and you as a manager if they understand where they sit within the business and the impact they have on the business as a whole. Take time to share this information with individuals and the whole team.  Create a teamwork ethos.

Share positive feedback.

Positive feedback can make yours or someone else’s day, satisfaction in work is becoming increasingly important to employees as a motivating factor. 82% of employees appreciate both positive and negative feedback from peers, managers and customers. A little bit of feedback can go a long way into an employee’s development and job satisfaction.

Give employees room to grow and nurture their talents.

This motivating factor is even more relevant if your company is undergoing rapid growth. Yes, you can always offer employees more money to keep them, but nurturing talent may be a better solution. By offering training to employees you are not only motivating them but also strengthening your business. If you decide to open another location for your company, it might be a good idea to give high performing employees a shot at management, with training if they desire.

Recognise employees’ achievements.

Recognise and celebrate your employees’ performance at work.  If they have been putting in overtime into a project, or they go out of their way to help colleagues, a bit of praise and recognition can motivate them to continue their performance and work harder.  Allow them to be proud of the work that they have completed.  They did a great job for you there!

Ask employees what they value and their view on the business.

Instead of guessing what employees value and what actions they would like to see happen at your organisation, ask them!  At Connect, we hold a monthly staff meeting as a forum to allow thoughts and ideas to be shared, we also send a ‘Staff Survey’ out on an annual basis, we want to know what the thoughts and opinions are of all the staff and keep everyone involved in the company’s growth and evolution.

Be flexible.

Technology is not only changing how we work but also when we work. Checking emails after work hours, finishing spreadsheets or projects at home is a common issue. Offering employees flexible, or “agile”, working is only reasonable in today’s society. 46% of Connect employees stated that flexibility is the most important aspect when they were looking for a new job. Flexible working allows employees to work when they are most productive. Yet, by offering agile working they can still drop off or pick up their children from school.

Offer free food in the workplace.

Nobody works well if they are hungry. It seems so simple, but snacks can make people feel happy and more satisfied at work.  The fruit bowl and the biscuit pot make a big difference to the energy during the afternoon.

Those are my best tips for keeping your employees motivated at work, we would love to hear what you do at your workplace! Leave a comment below!