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5 ways to motivate your employees

Having a good working environment and invoking team spirit in your staff will allow you to have a more successful business and a strong team. Teamwork and being a team player is becoming increasingly important as working with others can produce better results and ideas to innovate businesses.

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When you have a small business, you will likely be working with a small business team. There are multiple ways in which you can motivate your team and here are five ways you can keep your team motivated.

Lead by example

Be a good team leader and lead the team by example. If you are setting a positive example it will encourage your staff to follow suit. It will make it a collective effort, whether this is arriving at work on time or being energy efficient. You also have to show motivation and be passionate about what you are doing this will again encourage your employees to do the same.

Being a good leader means that you have vision and you understand the direction of where your business is going, so share this with your team. Set clear long term goals and objectives or an agenda that your staff are aware of, and encompass small goals around the bigger picture to make them attainable.  You should also have meetings regularly to ensure that you are on the right track, and let your employees know if there is a change in direction.

Friendly environment

Having a good workplace can make all the difference to staff morale. For example having an open plan office structure, allowing your colleagues to interact with each other, is just one of the ways that you can encourage team spirit. Having team players that have built professional relationships with each other will ensure a good team bond. To achieve this you might also consider planning team bonding activities outside of the workplace as this will allow your team to get to know one another better and develop even stronger bonds. If you are growing your team you should consider whether candidates will fit in with your existing workforce, as you will need to create a workplace that suits all of your staff and plays a role in their productivity and motivation.

You need to consider both the physical workplace and the mental workplace. Having an environment where your staff are encouraged to take breaks, whether this is to get a few minutes away from a computer screen, or to get a fresh glass of water, will promote a mental and emotionally healthy workplace. Allowing your employees to do this will also improve work productivity.

Communicate

Communication is key in any relationship and this includes working relationships and team relations. You will need to focus both on talking to your staff and listening to them, effective communication has to work both ways. Listen to your staff, whether this is feedback on a certain product that you want to introduce or if they are having difficulty with a particular task. Taking the time to listen to your staff means that problems are discussed and are out in the open, allowing you to take steps to resolve them. Unresolved issues can cause a negativity and a loss of productivity. As well as listening to your team, you also need to talk to them, as building a relationship with your staff will mean a better team bond. This could be small talk such as asking about weekend plans or family or it could be telling your staff about the progress of the business.

Celebrate success

When your team has achieved something great, recognise and celebrate their success. This is a great way to motivate your employees to push the boundaries and always strive for success. Recognising the little things your employees do to make the whole business a success is just as important as celebrating the big successes, as making your employees feel valued is vital to being a good boss. You may also want to reward your employees. For example if your team manages to sign a high profile client then you may want to celebrate by taking your team for a lunch or drinks. This will give them the incentive to sign further clients, again encouraging workplace productivity.

Research has found that happy employees are 12% more productive than those who are unhappy at work. Therefore, keeping your employees happy will benefit you and your business as they will work harder. Keeping your staff happy doesn’t have to be difficult, sometimes just acknowledging their hard work and their efforts will boost their mood and productivity.

Champion Individuality

As well as promoting a team work culture and the importance of working collectively you need to recognise your staff as individuals. You need to give all you employees a chance to progress and grow. By being in a same place constantly means your staff can sometimes lose that drive, so you need to give them something to work towards. Offering them opportunities to grow will make them work harder for you, and setting them individual goals will again help them be more productive.

Take time to learn about the strengths and weaknesses of your staff and push them when they need it. This will allow you delegate tasks appropriately ensuring that they are carried out with best efficiency.

Having a team that is happy, productive and motivated will mean success for you and your small business. Therefore, it really is worth investing time in getting to know your staff and spending some time to encourage them through goals and reviews.

More on starting up and growing your business here.

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