Poor staff morale can have a very tangible impact on the success of a business, but have you ever considered the impact it might have on your boss’ nights sleep?
According to recruitment firm Robert Half, over 40 percent of Australian bosses were kept awake when the skills shortage was at its worst earlier this year.
Robert Half director Andrew Brushfield suggests that in the current economic climate, staff morale should be at the top of a business’ agenda.
“Naturally employers are keen to hang on to their top performers when business is good, but it is equally important that they keep their teams motivated and engaged when the outlook is uncertain.”
He said that during tough times it’s common for bosses to assume that their staff are happy to even have a job. What musn’t be forgotten however, is that the most talented employees will always have options.
“Losing them can cause additional problems at a time when companies can least afford to let productivity and customer service slip,” he added.
Brushfield said it is key that Australian businesses learn from past mistakes, and with the sliding Australian dollar and US and Eurozone debt crises causing added stress, this is no time to muck around.
With this in mind, Robert Half has put together some strategies for keeping employees motivated, and Dynamic Business thinks it’s one to keep by the water cooler.
1. Be transparent: Talking openly with staff during challenging times can help people feel they have some control over the situation. By being as open as possible with staff, managers can make them feel more included, and also get some helpful ideas for the business.
2. Don’t blame those at the top: If you’re a middle manager who has to deliver bad news, you may be inclined to tell employees that you would have done things differently. While this may take the heat off, it sends a message that the company’s management is out of sync, which can be disconcerting for staff.
3. Remind staff about benefits packages: Few employees know how much their firm spends on benefits like health and well-being packages. If finances are being stretched, it can be reassuring to hear about benefits they have access to through their employer.
4. Incentivise employees: Cutting budgets shouldn’t mean cuttings rewards. There are plenty of low and no-cost incentives that bosses can use to ensure staff still feel valued. An afternoon off, praise at a meeting or a personal thank you note are all inexpensive ways of showing appreciation.
5. Think about the bigger picture: Profit isn’t the only thing that motivates employees. Meeting regularly with employees to talk about their jobs, what motivates them and facilitating their personal development are good ways of showing them there is a long-term vision for them within the organisation.