Hess Associates

How to Keep Employees Happy and Motivated

Someone I interviewed once told me he was writing a blog on this subject. He said he was not happy
and motivated at his workplace, and was writing this so that his boss could read it and shape up!!!

All kidding aside, the best way to retain employees is by truly making their workplace the best –
a place where they can contribute and succeed and feel fulfilled.

How do you do this? We are, of course, talking beyond dollars and cents.

1. Try to have people work in the area where they are most skilled – some people like being very technical and working on problems and troubleshooting or creating – others are better at
customer-facing or inter-departmental jobs.
2. Ensure that people are given realistic goals by their managers – everything else leads to frustration.
3. Let people feel they own a project – that they are part of an important team that is getting the job done. This way they will feel a tie to the product or project, and take ownership of it.
4. Train them to move on to more challenging and more interesting tasks so that their days do not become routine and boring, causing them to look elsewhere for employment.
5. Consider the non-straight salary perks you offer – daycare, free parking, flex hours, virtual work, education benefits, equity, bonus, awards (peer recognition), cell phones, ipads, travel to international meetings, ability to represent the company by giving presentations, child at work day, and so on.
6. If you are a start up, make sure your employees are aware of your milestones and achievements, and celebrate with them, as one big team. Most likely, they had to put in a lot of overtime to get where you are.
7. Honour their family commitments – e.g. don’t berate people if they have to leave to take an ill child to a doctor appointment – try to facilitate this.
8. Support any new ideas they come to you with – this encourages them to want the company to
succeed and helps them feel important and empowered. Give an annual innovation award.
9. Acknowledge their birthdays and other milestones – go out to lunch, have a department celebration – cake and coffee, wine if allowed.
10. Give helpful, honest feedback, performance reviews, so that they can learn and improve.
11. Make sure managers are doing their jobs properly – each manager with his reports represents a mini- company – every unit should be successful.
12. Never criticize anyone in front of anyone else. This is a golden rule.
13. Never disclose salaries to other peers – this is very confidential.
14. Arrange a company picnic, walk, games day, ski day, beach day, depending where you are located.
15. Keep and encourage people to keep the workplace clean, organized, neat, well-lit, with clean, up-to-date washrooms – you want your people to feel comfortable and at home.
16. Try to have ergonometric chairs, and computer desks, and abide by all safety regulations.
17. Give people a few extra days off around holiday time – family time is sacrosanct.
18. SMILE!!!!!

Feel free to comment and add your suggestions!

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