Get to know your people


Some tips for motivating your staff and keeping their morale high.

One of the areas that many managers find tricky is how to motivate your staff and keep their morale high, says Hilary Jeanes of PurpleLine Consulting. This can be particularly challenging in the current economic climate when your staff fear losing their jobs and when you may not be able to offer financial incentives.

The most important thing you can do is to keep people in the picture. Tell them how the business is doing – for example, whether last month was a good or a bad one. It’s just as important – perhaps even more so – to tell your staff what they’re doing right rather than focusing solely on what they are doing wrong. Communicate frequently to keep people in the loop and make sure they know how to get more information if they want it.


On the TV programme Mary Queen of Charity Shops a few months ago, retail guru Mary Portas demonstrated what a fantastic role model she is with the volunteers who worked in the shop she was remodelling – her ‘grey army’. She jollied them along, recognising their strengths and worked with them to get them to take on board her ideas. No, it wasn’t plain sailing. But if she hadn’t built a relationship with them first, she would have been thwarted at every turn. What she demonstrated is that if you get to know your people by finding out what they enjoy doing and are good at both inside and outside work, this helps to build rapport, trust and loyalty. And one of the easiest things you can do is to say thank you – a few words can go a long way.

It’s easy to assume – incorrectly – that everyone is motivated by the same things as you are. Find out what works for your staff – pay linked to performance, part-time hours, training, holidays. And different people tend to want different rewards at different stages of their lives.

Another assumption you can make is that your people need the same level of support from you all the time. People need different things from you at different times – and tend to need more support when in a new job, taking on a different area of responsibility or under pressure to deliver to a tight deadline. Discuss with them what they feel comfortable with and notice what works for them. The time you invest will pay dividends in improved performance.

It’s important to remember that your employees are ambassadors for your organisation – if they are happy in their work your customers will have a positive experience and be back again. It’s something prospective employees will notice too.

Applying these principles will help you to build positive relationships with the people who work with and for you and encourage them to stay with your business. In exit surveys one of the most frequent reasons for leaving an organisation is a ‘bad manager’ – follow these tips and your staff won’t be saying that about you.

So if you want to dramatically enhance your leadership and people management skills, call or email us to discuss how we can help.   01763 245323


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Working with you to realise your potential at work by

- getting clear about your strengths and aspirations
- increased confidence and self belief
- identifying and securing your ideal job
- supporting you to thrive and enjoy your life.

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Hilary Jeanes (trading as PurpleLine Consulting Limited)