By Nimesh Shah, Marketing Director at Feel Good Contacts.
January has come and gone. Your stellar channel team had started the year on an energetic high, excited by a fresh year and decade. But, now that March has arrived, that energy has evaporated (maybe even your own has diminished slightly). How can you motivate your workforce during this March slump? Nimesh Shah from Feel Good Contacts offers some insights on how to reignite the motivation fire:
We all know that a miserable boss equals miserable employees who cope by going through the motions to get through the day. If you want your recruitment team to look forward to coming to work and to bring fresh ideas to the table, then you need to make simple changes. Spread positive vibes by smiling, laughing and from time to time participate in conversation that’s not always work related. Try to build rapport with the staff that you worked so hard to recruit for your dream team.
Go back to the 80s
In a modern-day office, so much of your work is dependent on using a screen (computer and phone). While it is impossible in this digital age to completely escape from using a screen, there are small changes you can make that are inspired by a 1980’s office environment which will make a difference to your wellbeing and that of your colleagues. Instead of firing off e-mails try picking up the phone and talking to your employees. It would be even better if you could walk across the office and have a face to face discussion. Try and keep open lines of communication, have an open-door policy and don’t get your PA to prevent all access to you.
You’ve heard the saying; a healthy body equals a healthy mind. Our working world is designed so that we are sitting for eight hours a day. This is the most passive thing you can do which means that you’re not metabolising sugars and fats. Research shows that long periods of sitting can have a detrimental impact on our health and wellbeing and cut years off our lives. The World Health Organisation listed inactivity as the fourth biggest risk factor in global adult mortality. Try to encourage mood boosting healthy habits. Why not inject a bit of fun during a Friday post lunch slump and do some deskercise?
Lead by example
I believe that it’s vital to lead by example. If an ‘always on’ culture is prized in your organisation then gradually make changes to banish it. If employees are expected to check their e-mails 24/7 to stay ahead of the game, then they won’t be coming to work feeling fresh and raring to start the day. Make a point of taking a proper lunch break and encourage your team to do the same. This healthy habit will stop you and your colleagues from glaring at your computer screen. We’re well aware of how damaging screen time can be to your health and productivity. Get some fresh air and have your sandwiches on a park bench or patch of grass. If this is not possible then find a location in the office that is away from your computer screen and don’t look at your phone! Do this and you and your team will feel refuelled and rested and you’ll all be much more productive in the afternoon.
Leavism has been labelled as the new scourge of working life. This is where employees take their annual leave to catch up on their backlog of work and check emails to keep ahead of the game. The aim is to appear keen and competitive and to keep their job secure. As the boss, you should be encouraging your staff to take their annual leave to rest and enjoy their well-earned break. Whilst they are on annual leave you should not bother them with emails. When they get back, they’ll be invigorated. You need to emulate this behaviour by taking your annual leave and staying away from your emails to show the team that you trust them to get on with the job.
Talking about trust, no one likes to be micromanaged and controlled. Let your staff own their work, this will improve engagement levels and in the long term you’ll have self-sufficient teams.
Communication is key
You see a bright future for your company. To retain your employees, they need to see it too. Be transparent and communicate your company vision and goals. Your workforce will be driven if they can see how their actions can contribute towards the bigger picture.
Managers must listen to their workforce. By doing this, employee morale will be boosted as they know that their opinions matter. The business will also benefit, by expecting the best from your staff, you’ll get the best from them.
Make your team feel valued
There isn’t a one size fits all approach to dealing with low employee morale. To make staff feel valued, call them by their names, make eye contact when talking to them and personally say thank you. Taking the time to show appreciation will help motivate your workforce. Your colleagues should also be encouraged to inform you of the achievements of their peers.
Inspiring office environment
Employees want to spend time in an office that looks good. You don’t need to get the contractors in to overhaul the office. Simple changes can help to boost their mood. How about painting the walls a new colour and rearranging the furniture? You could also introduce some new artwork to the walls. Motivational messages are good but don’t over do it. Mix it up with some interesting artwork.
The addition of seasonal flowers and plants can help to soften the feel of an office environment plus it gives the office a lovely aroma. It’s important to keep the office feeling fresh, a warm stuffy office can make employees feel sleepy especially during the post lunch period so from time to time open the windows for some fresh air.
Office lighting is also something you need to consider. I appreciate that it’s a fine line between good lighting that provides enough illumination and bright lighting that borders on glare. Office workers need comfortable lighting to enable them to see all kinds of documents, but theses must be ones that will not blind them. Also, the lighting should not be too dim as this will make employees feel sleepy and less productive.
If morale and motivation has taken a dip lately then don’t be rash and put your teams on a training or team building course to fix the problem. You simply need to review things internally and make the small changes I have recommended. By investing some time in your staff, your most important asset, they will be driven to come to work and do some amazing work.