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5 ways to keep your staff motivated

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We caught up with Luke Wade, of LBW Advisory, and asked for his recommendations on actions that local business owners can implement when trying to keep staff engaged and interested day to day.

Here are his top 5 tips on motivating staff:

1. Empower your staff and include them in the bigger picture

Provide transparency on where the business is going and how it will get there to help set the context for each staff member’s role and purpose. Include people in the decision-making process to give meaning to their work and a sense of ownership for their part in the business’s success. Enable opportunities for personal and professional development to improve job satisfaction and ensure a clearly defined career progression.

Ensuring everyone knows what to do and why they are doing it means that the whole team is on the same page and driving the business in the same direction. It’s a basis for success.

2. Allow for flexible and autonomous working arrangements

If COVID-19 has taught us anything, flexible hours and flexible work locations can work well for a lot of businesses.  Clear goals and targets are key to remote workforce productivity. But it is also important to let people demonstrate initiative – be a supporter not a blocker!  Create autonomous teams where you can set jobs and let staff work in their own way without micro- managing them.

Don’t be tempted to micro-manage. Build a relationship with your staff based on trust. Put the effort into setting clear goals, support them to achieve them, and they will deliver.

3. Celebrate the small things and provide positive feedback regularly

Delivering great results for a client or securing a new client can be real cause for celebration. But the small things matter too. Hitting deadlines sometimes goes unnoticed – but you would notice if they were not hit so show your appreciation. With any success it is critical to acknowledge them in a timely manner. There is nothing worse than getting the recognition three months after the event. Make it happen when they happen

Staff birthdays and personal achievements outside the workplace also warrant a mention. Whether its recognition of sporting prowess or musical talents – recognition contributes to a happy and more engaged workforce.

4. Facilitate an agile workplace

By focusing on teamwork, cooperation, and productivity you can create a more resilient team, better able to handle the problems thrown at them and respond to opportunities as they arise. Encouraging open and transparent communication means that team members can voice concerns and they can be dealt with quickly.

Whether you call them ‘huddles’, ‘tool-box meetings’, ‘scrums’, or ‘talking while you walk’, regular short sharp meetings with a clear agenda enables your staff to work through issues as they arise. They empower the team to move forward – or change direction if need be.

5. Recognise a job well done

Setting the goal is, of course, only the start of the journey. Specific targets or performance indicators create opportunities to celebrate when they are achieved, to reward the hard work, to build employee confidence and to create a real sense of team. Some businesses find success with a profit share incentive or bonus structure. Others choose to remunerate people based on targets.

In my experience it doesn’t always need to be about the money. Time off, staff lunches or team activities can work well as recognition. Find out what matters to your staff.


Meet our Local Expert: Luke Wade of LBW Advisory, Somerville

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After a stint in the corporate world, Luke has spent the last 7 years as a tax and business advisor to small and medium sized businesses on the Mornington Peninsula. He is passionate about working with engaged business owners who aspire to build great businesses and enjoy a balanced and successful life. He believes that the key to building a sustainable business is by implementing structure and process into operations – this ensures the little things get done, get done well and the big things (good or bad) are highlighted early, so they can be addressed. LBW Advisory | Somerville Tax & Business Advisors

Content reviewed and updated November 2023

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