This staff noticeboard is just one symptom of a demotivated work force. The staffroom chatter is another and it is going on in many an organisation everywhere. Austerity measures will mean that the usual rewards of increased pay and benefits will no longer be able to paper over the cracks in an organisation. But it doesn’t have to be like this.
Most research suggests that money is rarely a motivating factor so motivating people is not all about salary increases. Clever organisations will communicate with their people, will provide staff with the tools to do the job and will genuinely celebrate a job well done.
I was trying to print a document in this staffroom recently. The printer was out of ink. When I asked what the system was for replacing the ink I was told we couldn’t order any. There is an ongoing dispute between two cost centres about who pays for new cartridges! My time is worth more than the cost of a printer cartridge and I spent too much of it moaning about the lack of an essential tool for my job. It’s hard not to let such demotivation affect performance.
Some of my colleagues are finishing their current contracts and are asking what the future holds. Nobody can tell them. The best have other offers. Times might be difficult but the highly skilled with good networks will not remain in an organisation that doesn’t value them.
Every employer needs to think smarter about how to keep their people motivated when rewards are limited. Communication and decision making are vital. A bad decision is better than none at all. Removing bottlenecks in processes and minor disputes between parts of the organisation will all contribute to a happier workforce. Genuine consultation will aid understanding and facilitate the sharing of good ideas. This is not the time for autocratic management. The people at the coal face can often see how an organisation can save money and improve the way it does things. Individuals are motivated when they think their suggestions are valued and properly considered. As many businesses have found during the recession employees will often share the pain to enable a workforce to be retained ready for a more promising future.
Good employers will find ways to ensure that their staff remain motivated even without salary increases.