Has this title been done to death? Look it up online and you will find endless resources on how to get the best from your team; not to mention plenty of information offering advice on how managers and business owners can learn to motivate, entice and even cajole their team into doing what they want them to do.
The problem: Limited investment in people
Many companies, if not all, will admit that their team is a huge part of what defines the company. Certainly, your employees often define how successful your organisation really is.
However, I have observed that many companies, despite relying largely on their workforce to deliver their products and services, don’t invest much money into them. Most invest only a small percentage of their budget into developing their employees, despite the fact that their operations rely so heavily upon them. In the book The One Minute Manager , by Ken Blanchard and Spencer Johnson, this is summarised very succinctly:
“Most companies spend 50% to 70% of their money on people’s salaries. And yet they spend less than 1% of their budget to train their people. Most companies, in fact, spend more time and money on maintaining their buildings and equipment than they do on maintaining and developing people.” The One Minute Manager.
What can you do to improve team motivation?
If you spend most of your operating budget on salaries, you may want to take a look at how much you actually allocate to nurturing your team. Increasing expenditure need not necessarily be just about investing in training to increase their knowledge, there are plenty of other ways in which you can invest in your team to improve productivity and ROI.
Investing some of your budget into developing your staff is known to have a positive impact, especially when it comes to motivation and morale. Some key areas for investment are:
– Working Environment
– Work Tools
– Team gathering / building events
– Improvement courses.
– Rewarding performance and Supportive Management
Discovering a balance
As you discover the best ways to improve the effectiveness of your staff, do note that it’s important to maintain a sense of perspective. Indeed, there is evidence that companies who focus too much on increasing productivity tend to lose their best, brightest people as a result.
The key is to strike a balance. Work with your team’s aspirations, but ask for improved effectiveness in return. As you improve your team by investing more in them, you will find that by improving their effectiveness by even 1% in the right way, you may very well increase their loyalty to you and your company by much more than that.
The cost savings in retaining good, effective employees is more than the savings you get by not investing in them.