61 Simple and Low-Cost Ways to Reward Employees and Boost Motivation

Ways to Reward EmployeesAre you looking for simple ideas and suggestions on how to reward your employees and increase motivation?

Is bringing the best out in your employees high on your list of priorities?

There’s no doubt that praising and rewarding employees is good for your business and helps create a positive work environment which increases productivity and, ultimately, profits.

In today’s difficult and, sometimes harsh, economic climate, a well-structured rewards and recognition program becomes and effective (and often low cost) way to improve employee morale and performance.

It’s important to point out that it’s often the things that don’t cost money – or are reasonably cheap to implement – which are most effective. [Read more…]

7 Simple Ways to Retain Your Best Employees and Continue Providing Excellent Service to Your Customers

7 Simple Ways to Retain Employees

Why should you worry about employee retention? Does it really make a difference to the customer service you provide to your clients and customers? The short answer to that last question is YES!

Companies that retain their best employees – and are known for their exceptional customer service – will find that they also retain their customers as well. Why? Because your customers want the value and reliability they’re used to getting from you and your team. They do not want to have to deal with new employees they are unfamiliar with. All trust you’ve worked so hard to build up with them would need to be earned again!

Perhaps the most important reason is that replacing employees is going to cost you a hell of a lot more than some simple training to get your new recruits up to speed. Think of all the knowledge the ‘outgoing’ employee is taking with them and the time, effort and monetary investment it’s going to cost you to replace that know how. [Read more…]

Preparing for an Interview – 3 Things You Need To Consider

Preparing for an interviewAs a small business owner, manager or entrepreneur, chances are that you will have to conduct an interview for new employees at some point in your career.

Without proper preparation, any employee selection interview is pretty much doomed to failure. You owe it to yourself to spend some time preparing for an interview as it’s an integral function of the recruitment and selection process; believe me, the time spent on adequate preparation will safe you time and money in the future.

There are, of course, many people who are content with hiring the first person available – “They’re not exactly what we were looking for but we’re desperate to hire someone” How many times have you heard that excuse? This type of attitude – hiring the first semi respectable candidate that comes along – can be fatal. Don’t be complacent and lazy and don’t rush things; invest in proper preparation.

Here are 3 things you want to keep in mind when you are preparing to interview candidates for a job:

1)      Do You really need to hire a new employee? I know, I know, that seems pretty obvious; however, sometimes it’s just easier to go out and find a replacement when a job vacancy becomes available. You might just want to take a step back and assess whether can be an opportunity to distribute responsibilities to other positions without the need for a new hire.

Don’t forget that the business environment is constantly and rapidly changing and that there may actually be no need for that job anymore; maybe you can use technology to cover, at least partially, the vacant position. Think it through; you could save yourself a salary!

2)      Prepare a Job Description – Are you filling an existing position or are you creating a new one? Either way, you need to make sure you have a proper job description for the new position. If you already have one, make sure you check it in case you need to make any changes to it; you may need to add new requirements and responsibilities.

With the Job Description, you’ll have a tool that will help you determine exactly what you are looking for in a candidate and you will also be able to paint a realistic picture of what the new job will entail, that way the candidate will be able to determine whether or not the job is a suitable fit for them.

3)      Establish Job Relationships – You need to decide where your new employee will fit into the company hierarchy. Who will be their immediate boss? Will there be employees reporting to the new hire? Make sure this is clear and that the rest of the team are aware of their roles and responsibilities in relation to the new employee.

Be sure to remember the above points next time you have to do an interview; it’ll take you a little longer to prepare but it’ll be worth it. What about you? Do you have any tips to share?

Employee Motivation – 5 Key Points to Help You Get the Most Out of Your Team

Employee MotivationAs an entrepreneur or business owner, you are quite likely to face the all important task of motivating employees. Whether you only have one personal assistant or a team of 100 employees, you must master the skill of employee motivation; it’s vital for ensuring the growth and success of your business.

So what is “motivation”?

The following quote sums it up nicely: “That which makes a person act in a particular way; an inner impulse”

Anyone who is in a managerial position and is responsible for the day to day management of a team plays a key role in influencing their employee’s level of motivation.

Here are 5 key points you want to consider when tackling the complex, but vital task of employee motivation:

1)      One size does not fit all – Individuals have specific needs and requirements. Some may be motivated by career growth and ambition and others are motivated when they are able to satisfy the most basic of needs; providing food and shelter for their families. You, as a manager and leader, need to pay attention to each individual’s specific needs. Yes, it’s more work, but imperative to ensure success of an employee motivation policy. Take time to listen to your team and try to understand what motivates them, both in and out of work.

2)      The Power of Appraisals – You need to ensure regular feedback. As a manager, you time is, literally, money; however, you must make time to sit down with subordinates to discuss performance. Some companies have formal performance appraisal policies and procedures which require managers to meet with each individual on their team on a regular basis; this is great if possible but even informal meeting and chats can serve the purpose of increasing motivation. These meetings are the perfect time to provide positive reinforcement for a job well done and also to discuss possible weaknesses.

3)      Invest in Training and Development – offering employees the opportunity to learn new skills that will help them to advance in their careers is a great way to motivate your employees. Whether it be onsite or offsite training initiatives, effective and focused training can lead to high returns for both company and employee. When a company has taken the time and effort to train their employee and has spent money in organising training courses, the employee feels valued.

4)      Empower your team – Empowerment is a key aspect of motivation. By encouraging contribution and input from your employees, you make them feel valued and important; if you then add to this by allowing them to make their own decisions, the results are even more powerful. Start off by delegating tasks you don’t need to accomplish yourself; let them take charge of easier tasks to begin with and as they gain confidence, hand over more important and sensitive tasks.

5)      Recognise their Achievement – It’s important to mention that this recognition does not have to be financial. Yes, money does motivate, but it tends to be a short term motivator. Try simpler – and cheaper – methods such as handwritten notes, verbal recognition in front of peers, or a simple thank you for a job well done; you’ll be amazed at how effective these techniques can be for achieving short and long term motivation.

I could go on for hours about the importance of employee motivation. There’s no doubt that a motivated workforce will always outperform one that isn’t; the above points barely scratch the surface of what you can achieve by applying motivational techniques to your management style; however, they will certainly help you on your way to increasing your team’s output.

What do you think? Do you have any specific techniques you use to motivate your employees?

Team Building Events – How to Use Them to Improve Your Team’s Performance

As a small business owner or entrepreneur, you are constantly faced with the challenge of having to keep your employees motivated and firing on all cylinders. There are times when productivity starts to drop, team members don’t “get along” and your company’s profits start to suffer. There is no quick fix for these symptoms; however, you might want to consider organising some sort of team building event to energize your team and get them motivated; this is a tried and tested formula for improving your team’s performance. There are a few things you need to keep in mind if you decide to go down this route: [Read more…]

Engage Every Customer – One Touchpoint at a Time



Engage Every Customer – One Touchpoint at a Time
By Bryan K Williams

Engaging your customers is not rocket science. With all of the articles, books, blogs, videos and conferences that are available, it can seem that creating an engaging service experience requires a lifetime worth of training. Not true. If you asked me, “how can we improve our service tomorrow?”, I would advise you to begin with your touchpoints. I’m sure that you have heard this word before, but I’ll go ahead and define it anyway. [Read more…]

A Great Way to Increase Your Productivity – Take a Break!

Do you sometimes find yourself working and working but you find it hard to focus and actually get anything done? Is your productivity suffering as a result of this? You might be considering changing careers or even seeing a doctor, but the solution may be much more simple than that – just take a break. Believe it or not, taking short ten minute breaks throughout the day can actually help you refocus and re energize and thereby help to increase productivity once you get back to work.  [Read more…]

4 Ways to improve Motivation and Productivity in your Team

It has been said that employees that are appreciated work better.  Employees that are rewarded in the form of appreciation from their superiors are usually going to be more motivated to do their best on their job. Therefore, companies that motivate their staff are always going to be more productive. [Read more…]