Are you spending thousands of dollars on wages, training and reward systems but forgetting about the feelings of value and respect amongst your staff?

Many organisations feel that the best way to motivate staff is through material means, such as money, gift and incentive schemes. Often we forget that non-financial practices can be just as effective in boosting staff morale.

They are often simple, everyday gestures that can greatly improve work quality and performance.


Examples of these practices include:

  • Thanking staff for a job well done
  • Treating all colleagues with respect
  • Providing opportunities for development
  • Providing feedback on performance
  • Increasing accountability and responsibility at both a personal and organisational level
  • Effective and positive communication and
  • Enabling participation.

A simple way of encouraging participation and reinforcing staff involvement in the workplace is giving them the opportunity to provide feedback.

Asking staff, ‘What do you think?’, not only gives your employees agency in their workplace, but can also give employers great insight into the facilities they operate, the products and services they provide, and the customers they cater for.

Two key questions that provide food for thought in this regard are ‘would you bring your friends and family here?’ and ‘would you ever advise your friends or family to become an employee here?’

Discussion surrounding these topics can be thought provoking and enlightening for both employer and employee.

However, these questions may not give you the answer that you expect, or that you are looking for. You must be ready for ‘no’ and you must also be prepared to find out why.

Staff are open to provide feedback and their opinion, but if their opinion is disregarded or if they feel management is being ignorant on the issue, they will become demoralised and disenchanted. Cases in which nothing can be done to improve the issue can still be turned into a positive experience, through acknowledging that you have listened to their concerns and providing them with the opportunity to offer solutions.

Solutions that are implemented are more likely to be successful if the staff have been involved in all aspects of the decision making process.

Staff motivation can also be improved through being involved in the running of your organisation outside the description of their jobs. This strategy also has the benefit of relieving pressure on management, while promoting an inclusive and motivating environment.

Some roles that staff can be involved in include: inductions and mentoring of new staff, sustainability implementation, writing procedures, coaching and training staff, compliance audits, licensing audits and compiling newsletters.

As supervisors and managers the focus is not giving these duties away completely, but engaging staff in all levels of the organisation and as a result boosting motivation and recognition. From personal experience, it is important to not underestimate the abilities of your staff, and through maintaining controls but allowing a degree of latitude employees may discover an element of their workforce that they did not know they had.

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