As a small to medium business owner you will know how important your staff are needed at the heart of the business.

This is for many reasons from better working culture and increased productivity to fewer absences and lower staff turnover. So, how can you motivate your staff so that you, your business and your workforce can reap the rewards?

First of all, huge pay packets aren’t necessary for most cases. Money isn’t the only driving factor employees look for with job satisfaction. Think about you, as the owner or director, and what you want and need out of your day-to-day tasks. Knowing you’ll be paid well isn’t the be all and end all as you’ll probably need some other motivational factors at work (unless you’re a robot! Artificial Intelligence in the workplace is another topic all together…)

As a small to medium business you have the benefit of being personal and flexible. Remember there is no one-size-fits-all way to keep your team motivated so take some of these top tips and see how they can benefit your company:

1. Leave Them to It

Micromanagement reduces job satisfaction and stifles creativity – two key factors in keeping staff motivated. By getting out the way, you give staff more freedom to do what you employed them to do. Having job authority motivates us as we want to get the job done and do it well; by leaving them to it, not only do you demonstrate trust, but you should also see a good output of productivity, too!

2. Listen

Be approachable and friendly towards your staff and they’ll feel comfortable enough to come to you with any issue. Make sure to listen to them, whether they have a problem, opinion or suggestion. Their comments matter to them so they should matter to you. Make sure to take what they’re saying on board and let them see you’re doing just that.

3. Offer Benefits

If you give staff a reason to, they’ll stay. By offering employee benefits, you’ll incentivise staff more and they’ll see the difference between you and your competitors. Reduced staff turnover is beneficial in every way – it saves time, is cost-effective and creates a better working culture. At Benefits Cloud you can offer thousands of deals to your staff for as little as £2 per employee per month. If staff recognise the added extra you’re providing at work, they’ll feel better motivated and more productive.

4. Take Notice

Although we said you need to leave employees to their jobs, you also need to recognise their achievements. A study found that 63% of participants said lack of appreciation is the number one problem at work; in reverse, when managers recognised employee contribution, engagement increased by 60%. By taking notice of jobs well done, targets hit, a good round of coffees, whatever it might be, your staff will thank you for it.

5. Develop their Careers

Employees aren’t going to feel motivated in their jobs when there’s nothing to aim for. If a job role becomes stagnant, staff will feel demotivate and think “what’s the point?” You might not be able to offer financial incentives in terms of pay rises, but Benefits Cloud can provide deals and discounts for great value for money. Additionally, make sure there are career development steps in place. Can you offer training? Or promotion?

A wooden block with LIFE and WORK written on it, balanced on a circular wooden block. A women has her hands either side

6. Be Flexible

In our other blog, we speak more about the benefits of flexible working. If an employee wants to work 4 days a week, for example, then don’t write it off immediately – consider the situation. Perhaps it’s to spend more time with family or simply to work different patterns to save burnout. Whatever the reason, it’s obviously important to this employee so take it on board and look if it will work with your workforce. Be aware that employees who have worked for you for at least 26 weeks have a statutory right to request to work flexibly.

7. Team Build

As a small to medium business owner, we’re guessing your workforce is probably quite intimate too. Building great relationships between your staff will make them want to come to work, which ultimately will increase motivation. From staff days out and teamwork exercises to an early Friday finish and a trip to the pub, it can be whatever suits you and your workforce best.

A woman wearing a Virtual Reality mask with her colleagues cheering in the background

8. Mostly Work, a Little Play

Don’t be too strict at work, else it’ll be like being treated like a kid at school again. Highlight the importance of screen breaks and encourage your staff to get away from their desks. What about bringing games into the office? A company we work with have a foosball table in their office with a running tournament going. Provide some fun in the office!

9. Ask Questions

Running a business can be hard with all the decision making falling on your shoulders. What if you put some questions to your staff to answer? This goes back to giving them authority in their role and gives you an insight into their opinion of the company. They might come up with fresh ideas you’d missed, and recognition of their input will go a long way!

10. Sign up to Benefits Cloud

You will know all about investing your money to get a good return on investment and staffing is no different. That return may not be tangible, like sealing a juicy contract or hitting sales targets, but all these things are almost impossible without a motivated, happy and productive workforce. With no long-term contracts and packages from as little as £2 per employee per month, why wouldn’t you?

Bear these top tips in mind when employing staff, making contracts, facing difficult HR issues and in day-to-day running of your business.

With a happy, engaged and motivated team behind you, you will go from strength to strength.