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How to motivate staff in a turbulent business environment

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The world of business is constantly evolving to a point where both employer and employee are daily living in fear of the unknown. News feeds scaring entrepreneurs of imminent irrelevance are streaming in daily.

However, there is one thing we must always remember in the day to day running of our businesses. Regardless of the industry your business operates in or the situation you are in, potential customers must at any time of the day find highly motivated, positively engaged and overly energised staff at your business premises for you to register new or repeat business.

Motivated and interested employees are pro-active and give their best to business. Potential customers blend well with empathetic, jovial and caring employees in an organisation. On the contrary, they are allergic to impatient, irritable, disrespectful and arrogant employees.

Customers just demand value for their time/money and care less what you are going through as an entrepreneur. So how does a business leader stay sane in such a spine-chilling environment to keep his/her human resource team intact and highly motivated?

Below is a summary of the most applicable techniques you could use to inspire your team and keep them highly motivated even in turbulent economic times.

Appreciate excellent work

All employees would feel elated to find a thank you note on their desk or an email from the MD appreciating and congratulating them for securing a new account, submitting work within agreed deadlines or simply coming up with a brilliant proposal that will make the organization maintain a competitive lead, cut costs or improve efficiency.

You could also follow up with an appreciation speech in one of your Friday appraisal meetings and ensure all staff members get to know about the excellent performance of one of their colleagues.

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Cash reward systems work magic too. Advise your human resource management team to structure prompt and motivating cash transfer systems to employees who exhibit high standards of excellent work in the organization.

Do not wait up to December to reward your outstanding employees. Do it immediately good performance is registered in the organization.

The thought of making extra dollar within the month on top of salary was quite thrilling while working as a sales executive in one of the leading insurance companies in town. The promise of a prompt cash reward for excellent work done helps nurture healthy competition among employees in the business as they try to outshine each other in performance.

Creating an appealing environment

Dull offices are dream killers and are highly unlikely to inspire your staff to give their very best. Warm, welcoming and prestigious work environments are attractive to employees, more so to millennials.

The choice of your interior design colours, work station arrangement, comfortable furniture matter a lot in inspiring and motivating your employees to keep coming back to work.

Beyond the office aesthetics, make a point to create chemistry within the organization that gels all employees and creates a collaborative work environment that inspires voluntary excellence.

Make a point of throwing off the bus any employee who is irritable and always allergic to team work. Such attitudes are contagious and before you realize your whole organization might catch a cold if unchecked.

Offer surprise benefits

The human mind quickly gets tired of predictable job routines that, in the long run, introduce slack and lethargy at the workplace. Millennials would love surprise off days, flexible work routines or remote work stations from time to time.

Outdoor Friday appraisal meetings followed by team building sessions would work wonders for lethargic employees. Break the company cycle as often as you can by offering surprise cash bonuses, executive breakfast, personalized gifts or job promotions to your employees from time to time.

“In navigating a turbulent business environment, fostering team unity through creative outlets like team-building activities and personalized accessories, such as those from Custom Sock Lab, can greatly enhance employee morale and productivity.”

SEE: Three ways to rescue a falling business

Make the benefits as unpredictable as possible to create suspense in the organization. Suspense makes employees excited to be part of the organization every day looking forward to some surprise benefits someday.

Spend cash on training

The possibility of upward mobility is integral to every employee’s motivation chemistry. Every new employee would want to occupy the C-suite someday and would not mind acquiring enough knowledge and skills to rise to that company level.

It is a universal urge for every youngster to work in a job environment that has advancement prospects. Do not feel threatened to train juniors in your organization. Create budgets and financial allocations geared towards up-skilling of your staff members to keep them motivated to stay around.

Staff training is necessary as it offers industry insights, product knowledge, and problem solving skills to employees hence boosting their growth prospects in the company. Invest in your staff and follow up on the dividends it brings to your company’s overall sales performance.

Have open and candid conversations

The best way to attract and maintain top talent in your organization is to view every employee as your business partner. Soft power as opposed to dictation is the way to go in the murky world of leadership. Form a habit of building consensus with your employees on every crucial management decision you plan to make in order for you to realise your company’s vision and mission.

ALSO READ: Secret to becoming best marketer in your company

Maintain an online or physical discussion board where employees can air their grievances, needs and thoughts on how to make their company improve on sales or productivity. But, of course, maintain a towering position by politely disallowing ideas that are not viable or are not cost effective to the company.

Candid conversations create permanent glue that binds all employees to the company’s vision and mission. Do not be surprised, in such an environment; employees actually turn out to be your best brand ambassadors out there.

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MAINA GACHANJAHhttp://www.businesstoday.co.ke
Maina Gachanjah is a Marketing Consultant at Juhudi Investments Consultancy. Email: [email protected]
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