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Motivating your staff without putting your hand in your pocket

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Thursday October 27, 2011 at 9:00am
When it comes to the success of any small business we are all reliant on the hard work and commitment of our staff. As a business owner myself I really appreciate how important my team is in delivering exceptional accountancy services and business advice to our clients. Reading through a newsletter recently from one of the accountancy trade bodies I came across this advice on motivating staff which I thought was worthwhile sharing.

Understand your staff - Employees are motivated by what they get out of their jobs. This may not necessarily be all about money - job satisfaction and career progression are also important factors in motivating your employees. If you can identify the personal goals of your employees and align these with the goals of your business, you and your staff will be working towards the same targets.

Building a motivated team - Building a workplace that stimulates positivity and productivity can be a strong tool in motivating your team. Employees are motivated by personal goals which are in turn driven by external factors like work environment, recognition, salary, bonuses etc. As a manager, you can encourage the firm to recognize the achievements of your staff and encourage them to develop in the chosen field.

Empowerment and risk taking - Many businesses shy away from risk. However a certain amount of “positive risk” can be a good thing. Management can encourage a culture of “intelligent Risk Taking” whereby staff take it upon themselves to make non-critical decisions and see those actions through. Training is essential to the success of such an initiative and staff should be encouraged to seek management approval on medium and high risk decisions. However, low-risk decisions such as giving a once-off 2% discount in order to win an important sale can be made by a staff member without risking the entire future of the business. This type of empowerment makes staff members feel valuable to the firm and serves as a motivating factor to the whole team.

Make team members feel important - The Best Managers make their employees feel like partners in the business rather than mere team members. When employees feel the ownership of something, they care for it more and work for its betterment. You can start by encouraging entrepreneurial thinking among the employees, explain how the business is run and help employees feel as if they own part of the business. Encourage your staff to make suggestions as to how you can offer a better service or improve a product offering. Include your team in decision-making processes and make them feel like a valuable part of the business. This will motivate your employees to work hard and put extra effort in to their work.

As accountants we tend perhaps to focus only on the financial methods for motivating staff (share options, salary, bonuses and so on) so there are certainly a few tips I’ll be taking away from here.

Andy Parker
Chartered Accountant and Business Advisor

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Parker Chartered Accountants and Financial Advisors is the trading name for Parker Business Development Ltd (Registered No. 4116664), Parker Tax and Trust Ltd (Registered No. 06950353) and Parker Financial Planning LLP (Registered No. OC347027). Parker Financial Planning LLP is authorised and regulated by the Financial Conduct Authority. All companies are registered in England and Wales – registered office contact details here