Inspiring your workforce

Inspiring your workforceAn engaged employee is someone who will go that extra mile for the company. Companies with high employee engagement levels grow on average 4.5 times faster than those with low levels (Hays 2010). Engaged employees offer lower staff turnover and higher productivity. However, engagement takes work – here is some advice to help you achieve an engaged workforce.

1. How can I show employees that I appreciate their hard work, but that there are improvements to be made, without demotivating them?

There are several things you should do. Firstly, when an employee has worked longer hours, or put in extra effort, it’s important to show your appreciation. A simple thank you goes a long way to increasing engagement.

Feedback is fundamental in everyday employer-employee relations, and even more so where improvements are required. According to research (Gallup 2009) managers who give little or no feedback to their workers fail to engage 98% of them. Employees need to be aware of how they are doing and also what they can do to improve. This can be achieved through setting goals together and again reinforces the fact that the manager supports the employee.

Reward good work. Have exciting or relevant rewards on offer which are attainable. This gives employees something tangible to work towards. Also consider the frequency of rewards – regular rewards drive positive behaviour.

2. The working atmosphere is strained. How can I reverse this to inspire staff?

An engaging atmosphere is important. An open door policy and a first names rule creates an approachable feel to the working environment and means that employees feel comfortable. Ensure that management has a physical presence in the office – not solely via email.

You should also involve employees in company decisions. This will make them feel part of the company and give them a sense of ownership of their success, helping to boost the overall atmosphere. Keep employees up to date and aware of changes within the company to ensure they feel involved.

3. What is the best way to show staff that they are valued?

Encourage suggestions and input and always make staff see that their opinions count. Many employees have invaluable ideas which could benefit the company, yet often remain unvoiced unless requested.

Also, linking employee objectives to the overall company goals ensure that staff can recognise their contributions to the company’s vision. Encouraging development through training shows employees that you are willing to invest in them, as well as leaving the employer with an engaged and skilled workforce. Find out what talents your team has or want to have and utilise these when delegating projects to ensure they are using their areas of expertise and developing in relevant areas.



John Sylvester

John is responsible for the motivation division of p&mm ltd. Specialising in developing, implementing and directing many large scale staff motivation, recognition and employee communications programmes.

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