By Rob Hayter on 16 Feb 2015
The most driven employees can be the hardest to retain and keep motivated.
Historically, recognising and rewarding employees was simply seen as a nice thing to do, but now organisations know that in order to attract and retain staff they need to think strategically about rewarding employees in line with their goals.
This month we have compiled a list of our top nine cost effective ways to motivate and show your employees the love, as well as one ineffective method.
A simple ‘thank you’
A manager should always remember to thank an employee for outstanding work. This could be done via email but is more effective in a public setting such as a group meeting. Just taking the time to say thanks will help your employee to feel more valued and costs nothing.
Flexible working is widely accepted by many employers now and has many benefits. Read more on the five hidden employer benefits of flexible working on our blog. Most organisations realise that offering flexible working allows them to compete for the best employees and any disadvantages are more than offset by increases in productivity and morale.
Support the health of your employees
As a manager you should build relationships with your colleagues and ensure they are healthy and happy in the workplace. You can find our five top tips here on our blog to reducing stress in the workplace and creating a healthy working environment. These include offering healthy food and drinks, encouraging exercise and creating a stress-free environment.
It is possible to reward employees on a budget, outside traditional benefits, such as lifestage benefits, access to retail discount schemes, salary sacrifice schemes.
Train and develop
Training doesn’t have to be expensive, read our blog on 5 ideas for training on a budget here.
Control your environment
This doesn’t need to cost a lot, bring in pot plants and pictures which can create a more attractive and stress-reducing environment, along with natural light, appropriate temperatures and good ventilation.
A strong team can help motivate individuals, so ensure you have regular team meetings, so people know what other colleagues are doing, workload etc. If you have a small budget, then arrange for time out of the office as a team, this can help everyone relax and communicate outside of work matters and help with team building and general communication.
Ask employees for their input
Have you ever done a staff satisfaction survey? A survey may help you plan a more positive and creative work environment in align with your employees. You can find out more about satisfaction surveys here.
Team member of the month
If you have a large enough team, then recognise employees who have performed well by giving them a trophy. At the end of the month they give it back and you pass to the next team member. This can help create a bit of healthy competition in teams as people like to be recognised in front of their peers.
And what not to do…
Some employees will sadly decide they want to move on, perhaps for a higher salary or career progression. With the talent pool for sought after candidates shrinking, counter-offers are less an occasional hurdle in the leaving process and more an expected stage. A Google search brings up 12 million results for ‘why not to accept a counter offer’. It’s well documented that it’s not a good idea for so many reasons.
We all know the reasons not to accept a counter offer. Here are just a few reasons not to give one in the first place, which should be far more important to know based on the likelihood of future repercussions.
You know your team and you don’t need someone resigning to tell you that they aren’t fully satisfied and want more of something; more money, more responsibility, more prospects of promotion etc. If you could give your staff that ‘more’ whilst being fair to the entire team, surely you would have done so before they handed in their notice, right? Can you really offer them what it will take to stay whilst maintaining respect for yourself, your company and the rest of the team?
It’s a short term solution and your team will be constantly in a flux mind-set from that point on. For over twenty years the number of people who remain in a role more than a year after taking a counter offer sits at about 1 in 5. We cannot find a single source that indicates the odds have at any point been better than 30%. If you came up with a business plan for anything else that you believed had at absolute best a 30% chance of long term success, would you go through the plan?
The balance of your team is shattered irreparably when notice is given no matter what happens from that point. You will never have the unity, the trust and the confidence in each other again – the team will eventually discover that the candidate wanted to leave; you’ll always know they tried to leave and they’ll always be thinking ‘this manager was holding out on me when they knew I wasn’t happy!’ It may not be rational, or fair. But somewhere inside the mind, it will be fermenting and there is nothing that can be done about it.
Word will get out that one of your team members has a better deal or got more out of the job because they tried to leave. And that isn’t just a message that you don’t want to send out – it is just about the worst message to have out there. It says ‘the only way you can make me assess your true value is to threaten me with losing it’.
Being the leader is a hard job. And it gets harder when you invest in people, train them to be the best and then they move on. But ultimately, every leaving staff member is an opportunity to find someone new, to inject fresh drive and ambition and style and ideas and everything that the best new person can bring. In every other case, your best way forward isn’t to cling to something that’s already broken, or try and keep it together long enough whilst you build something new. Start today with a new employee that loves working for your organisation.