How do I…

Motivating my staff

Managing director and co-founder of Kirk & Kirk, Jason Kirk, shares advice on maintaining staff motivation and the benefits it brings

Jason Kirk

A business is only as good as the team that runs it. Happy employees perform better. But how can you maintain a high level of motivation amongst your team?

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As an employee, what keeps you motivated in the workplace? Or are there any initiatives that you think would work well in practice?

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I know that many readers will be thinking “money,” because we know that paying people well is a key factor in motivation. However, there are other more sophisticated ways of maintaining a warren of happy bunnies.

Incentive driving 

You may have noticed companies such as Perkbox advertising their wares. They, alongside several other businesses, offer staff rewards. These rewards can range from cinema tickets to High Street vouchers – a whole range of incentives have been created so that you, as an employer, can simply pay a modest membership fee for your team to benefit from a whole range of rewards, which are organised for you.

It’s similar to the ‘ping pong table in the middle of the office’ approach that has been adopted by a number of creative companies as part of investing in their staff having fun in the office.

Think about it this way – it is a nightmare finding good quality staff, it costs a fortune to find them and to train them, so when you have them, you want to keep them. Maybe that is why some companies invest so heavily in their staff happiness.

"Motivated staff rarely pick up their bag at 5pm, they hang around because they are enjoying themselves – they feel invested in the success of the company"

Retaining staff

The key to effectively retaining your team is understanding what motivates them, both as a group and as individuals. The only way to find this out is by listening to them. If the answer is simply money, then you could offer small bonuses and perform regular salary reviews. However, money is not necessarily a priority for everyone.

The answers to what motivates people are sometimes quite subtle. They want to look forward to going to work when they wake up. They might not be conscious of it, but it makes a difference when they enjoy the working atmosphere. Time invested in happy staff is well invested, both during and after working hours. 

Motivated staff rarely pick up their bag at 5pm, they hang around because they are enjoying themselves – they feel invested in the success of the company.  

Create the right atmosphere at work. Carry products that your team believes in and can be passionate about. If they enjoy talking about the glasses that you stock, they will sell more.  

Take them to the trade shows – it may feel costly to take your staff to Silmo, but it is not as much as it costs to replace them. Take them on work trips, show them a good time and let them know that they are an important part of the company, contributing to the decisions and success of the company…and reward them with a bonus as part of that success.

It’s not rocket science, but sometimes we are too busy to implement the obvious. So make time. A motivated team achieves better results.