Employing staff is a daunting thing. Any small business owner considering it feels something similar.

I was considering having staff for a long time before doing it. It was obviously a financial and capacity question for Start Fresh Accounting. But I never considered 3 or 6 months into having staff how I might help motivate my team. Whilst I do not pretend to be an expert, a novice actually, I have realized a few small things that keeps everyone happy and positive.

Ensure your staff enjoy the work they are doing.

I know that is easier said than done, some jobs just need to be done and no one likes doing them. However, if there’s highlights and elements they love doing and feel fulfilled while doing it they will be more motivated to keep coming back. I try to encourage my team to help me be creative in the business marketing which is often the fun part of our day.

Provide lots of non-monetary rewards. 

Money is rewarding and obviously everyone wants to be paid for the work they do. But not everyone is motivated by money.

In fact I’d say most people are motivated by other things. One of my favourite learnings was the 5 Love Languages. I use these ideas in lots of my relationships with family and friends, and now I use a modified version for my team. By rewarding them with praise and words of affirmation when deserved it helps motivate them, and fills their need for more than money.

Also I ensure flexibility and autonomy where we can. This might be flexible working hours, study leave, working from home during quieter seasons, or the ability to direct their own work.

Provide feedback that is future focused.

The hardest part of managing staff that I find is giving reviews or performance feedback. That is because it’s so common for the staff member to feel defensive when talking about the past. By focusing on the future we are able to set our sights on what we are going to achieve. It also helps the team to focus on the business’s vision and plan for the future. We are all working towards the same goals.

Do you employ staff? How do you keep your staff motivated? Share with us your tips.