Motivation Matters

Keep hold of your talented workforce and strengthen long-term business goals by inspiring staff with the right mix of guidance, resources and rewards. Motivated employees who want to do their best everyday and who are passionate about what they do are more likely to stay with you, helping your business grow.

Putting time and resources into these 6 steps will help build a culture your staff want to be a part of.

1. Consistent leadership

  • Lead by example with clear communications to your employees that define your businesses mission, ethics and values.
  • Create visible leadership through open-door communication and a management culture that says 'tell me how things are going for you'.
  • Make time to get together and share news about your businesses progress and how your employees are contributing to its development.

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2. Be inclusive

Everyone's opinion should matter, so nurture an environment that encourages opinions, regardless of job title.

  • Remember to consult your employees about big decisions and changes - and communicate outcomes clearly, and promptly.
  • Try new ideas, and create a test and learn environment where everyone feels they can contribute to innovation and change.
  • Make sure you have the right policies in place that support the behaviours you expect from your employees, such as respect for each other.
  • Foster a spirit of working together as a team.
Motivating and retaining key staff

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3. Agree goals

Setting goals ensures employees are working towards achievements that are aligned to the needs of your business.

Break down high-level strategy into specific and measurable tasks by using the SMART technique:

  • Specific
  • Measurable
  • Achievable
  • Realistic
  • Timed

Your employees can then see how their role shapes your businesses long-term vision.

Consider linking team or individual goals with rewards - incentives such as team prizes can boost confidence and help employees feel valued.

Motivating and retaining key staff 2

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4. Grow your talent

Get to know your employees and you'll be able to support them reach their own career goals, as well as retain them.

A supportive employer delivers training opportunities and career progression for their staff. This leads to better performance for the business and a happy, skilled workforce.

Even if your budget is small think about ways you can help develop your team - consider secondments, community volunteering, protected time for self-learning and free online training videos.

Motivating and retaining key staff - grow talent

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5. Reward your staff

Providing a benefits package is one of the best ways to give back to your employees.

  • Salaries, commission and bonuses are likely to be key drivers in why people choose to work for you and what motivates them to stay. Defining experience-graded salary levels that are competitive against similar companies will help attract and retain talented staff. To find out more about national minimum wages and options such as hiring Apprentices visit gov.uk/national-minimum-wage-rates
  • Workplace pension schemes are an attractive benefit and all employers will need to provide one for their eligible employees in the future. You can find out more about what you need to do as an employer at gov.uk/workplace-pensions-employers

Rewarding loyalty doesn't always need to be financial, so consider what your business can accommodate and what your employees would enjoy.

  • Medical benefits.
  • Flexible working options.
  • Holiday allowance, days off for birthdays or Christmas shopping.
  • Training opportunities and business exchange days.
  • Free lunches, community volunteering, social events.

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6. Use feedback effectively

Talking to your employees about their performance is an important part of business and personal growth.

  • Make sure you protect time for regular one-to-one sessions - ask how your employees feel their work is going and provide constructive feedback.
  • Plan formal annual reviews to check progress on current goals and to set new ones.
  • Be interested in your employees and look at the whole picture - congratulate success and find out where support can be put in place to increase performance.
  • Be specific to each person in both praise and improvement - feedback should be relevant, actionable and not overwhelming.
Motivating and retaining key staff - Use feedback effectively

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