Motivating the workforce pays off

Research shows that a boost in engagement in the workplace could lead to a £26bn growth in UK GDP, according to Engage for Success.

But how can employers ensure they are properly investing in their people and motivating their staff when a new year beckons?

Aberdeen-based HR consultancy Hunter Adams says the start of a new year is a good time for employers to sit down with staff and chat about their development and career path. The HR firm, which helped its clients reduce staff turnover from 60% to next to nothing in a matter of weeks, believes the backbone of motivating and retaining people is asking the right questions to ensure a positive culture.

Dean Hunter, managing director of Hunter Adams, said: “We know that passionate, engaged staff are more efficient, productive and drive the success of a business. What companies don’t often realise is that engagement also has a huge impact on the amount of profit delivered.

Dean Hunter

“Managers should focus on making sure their staff are involved in the growth of a company and understand their part to play in its overall success. If they do this they will see motivation soar and staff will be less likely to look elsewhere for work even if times are tough. The end of a year offers an opportunity for management to communicate with their staff how they have grown and how they can help the business achieve its goals for the next quarter. If managers understand the ambitions of their staff they are more likely to witness growth in their revenue and profit.”

Flexible working is another way in which employers can motivate staff, and Mr Hunter believes this is a critical business tool which also has an impact on company retention throughout the year.

“At Hunter Adams, we offer flexible working, which is particularly helpful for staff juggling children and school activities, such as that unmissable sports day, because it allows them to schedule their priorities. But it doesn’t need to be a free-for-all. It can also make good business sense for the employer. Something like a nine-day fortnight, where employees work an extra hour every day to get every other Friday off can decrease overtime, doesn’t cost much to implement and can have a significant impact on employee motivation and retention.

“In a market as competitive as the north-east, flexible working helps employers create an attractive culture. Asking the real killer questions around the leadership team, pay and benefits and career path can also make a huge difference. If employers adopt this strategy and address any issues, they will notice a real shift in the motivation of their staff which they will be rewarded for on the profit and loss sheet.”

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