Some of the best ideas to help manage and motivate staff, particularly at this time of year, come from other fellow businesses. I’ve had a go at putting together some of my favourites:

Communicate, Communicate, Communicate

Are you sure your staff know what contribution they are making to the overall success of your organisation? Never assume they automatically know. Equally, keep your communications honest and open, particularly through difficult times. Don’t stop communicating just because you feel there’s very little to tell people.

Also, remember that good communication is about listening – try asking your staff what they would like to do this Christmas. If there isn’t money in the budget for a big Christmas Dinner, what ideas can they come up with? I’ve heard of Bingo Afternoons, an Office Karaoke, Bring-a-dish-to-the-office (I think they meant food!), a Mega Games Afternoon, Universally Challenged (an office quiz) and in-house Christmas training events.

Ditch the Secret Santa

Rather than asking staff to buy those random presents for colleagues, why not club together and make a donation to a local community project or charity that means something to you and your staff? Perhaps consider not just sending the money, but arranging for a couple of staff to hand deliver it and even volunteering some of your ‘company’ time for a few hours – a great all-round feel-good factor!

Severn Hospice, near Telford, have produced a Greetings Poster and flatpack donation box, to enable everyone to make a donation whilst still being able to exchange greetings – a simple, but effective idea!

Rewards and Recognitions are not just for Christmas

Public recognition or an instant gesture for a great piece of work can be far more effective than the promise of a promotion at some possible point in the future. Keep rewards timely, fair and appropriate to ensure they have credibility and that they encourage the behaviours your business needs. Do remember that there are tax implications when rewarding staff, so seek the necessary advice.

Invest in Your People

It might not be possible to give a Christmas bonus this year, but committing to invest in your staff’s training and development over the next 12 months will not only help them feel valued, but give them a better sense of security. Add in a relevant qualification and it can really bolster morale.

Have you any more ideas?  I’d love to hear what you do to motivate your staff this year.

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