What does it really matter whether or not staff enjoy their job, happy and enthusiastic in their roles, so long as they get the job done?
Well studies show that motivated, enthusiastic employees are more effective, productive, take less time off and are more likely to stay with the firm, resulting in fewer customer complaints and higher profits.
Unfortunately most employers treat their employees like a replaceable commodity rather than their biggest asset. In these tough times, sometimes it seems the only way to stay afloat is to let some employees go. This results in the morale of any remaining staff to fall. Low morale means low productivity. Couple this with the bad publicity that losing staff will bring, meaning lower sales, and it’s a recipe for disaster.
So while it’s tempting to cut expenses by cutting staff, employers should first consider the impact that this will have on the future of the company. If you have no other option than to cut staff, you should communicate this with your staff so that they understand exactly what is happening and why, and demonstrate your support. Become aware of declining motivation by looking out for things like more days off sick which could indicate either stress related illness or even going for job interviews.
The biggest way you can motivate employees in tough times is to give them a sense of security. Let them know that layoffs are the last resort rather than a quick fix. Talk through your goals with your employees and encourage them to have their own goals. This helps them to become emotionally involved in the attainment of the goal. Involve employees in a motivation programme and provide ongoing positive feedback. Encourage a community spirit and comradeship by involving your staff as much as possible, encourage their input and listen openly to ideas. Build a culture in which your people co-operate to beat the competition rather than fight amongst themselves.
If you are open and honest, you will find that your people will pull together and may come up with alternative suggestions such as taking a temporary pay cut.