“Can I get you a coffee?” How to keep people interested and motivated at work
Being a recruiter has some hidden pleasures. One is when you come across a workplace where the employees really want to be there, and you can’t help but wonder how what makes them so interested and motivated at work.
A Motivated workplace
Have you ever been to a workplace where people are genuinely motivated? You can almost feel it as you walk in the door. Everyone seems to have time for everyone else, and yet the work pours out of the door. When you see a workplace like that you can’t help but be impressed. We see a lot of working environments of all sizes here at Proactive IT, and from the workbench through to the office I can tell you the type of business doesn’t affect the motivation. The driving factor seems to come down to a few common criteria that underpin the way the business runs.
Here are a few of the things we think help create a great workplace in which the employees are loyal and motivated.
- Everyone knows their (and everyone else’s) job role. The notion of the worker not caring about anything except doing his job and going home for the day has long since been discredited. Knowing how you fit in with the wider picture generates a sense of community and the importance of your role.
- Everyone has confidence in their managers. A lack of confidence in line management is one of the most commonly stated reasons for people moving to new positions. Clearly, this cannot be the case, because no successful company retains inefficient managers, so it seems more likely this opinion is due to a lack of understanding of what the managers do.
- Everyone celebrates success and accepts failure. You can’t win all the time, but the really great companies we know tend to not focus on what went wrong when things don’t go well. Instead, they adopt more of a ‘let’s fix it next time’ attitude. Success, on the other hand, is cause for real celebration for everyone.
- Everyone is important, not just a chosen few. Everyone tends to know about it when the sales team do well, but they can’t do that without everyone else. It’s quite common that great companies to work for will spread the success around to everyone as well as rewarding individuals who do well.
- Everyone shares, creates, sells and motivates. This is a really important one because, not only does being allowed to contribute to the development of business make an employee feel valued, they are quite likely to make you more profitable because who knows the business better than they do? Letting people be creative about their role will certainly produce a few mistakes occasionally, but it will probably pay dividends. The more people invest in their role, the more they sell the business to others and motivate each other.
- Everyone shares the vision. A clear set of goals with transparency of the aim of the business is really high on the list of things that employees find motivating. Nobody works for the money alone.
- Everyone has time to make the coffee. Nobody in the team is too busy to spend a few minutes getting to know everyone at all levels. Some businesses even enforce that coffee and lunch breaks cannot be taken where you do your work. Others have a ‘mingling’ rota for all managers, so they get to know everyone, not just their own teams.
When everyone is engaged with the business, they engage with their role within in it. From there it is a short hop to one of the workplaces that everyone likes to work at because it is so pleasant to be there. Once you have that, you have a loyal and engaged team that will stay with you through the tough times as well as the good.