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Increasing Productivity

10 Tips To Motivate Employees Without Resorting To Money

Nothing is better for the bottom line than employees who are motivated and work for for psychic benefits.

John Rampton

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Are you looking for ways to motivate your people? If so, you need to start looking beyond monetary incentives.

The reason? Employees aren’t motivated by money. Instead, they’re motivated by intrinsic motivators like being recognised for their hard work, flexible work time, growth and advancement.

The best part is that intrinsic motivators don’t break the bank. To help you get your team on the motivation path, here are 10 tips on how to motivate your employees without resorting to money.

1Autonomy, mastery and purpose

Daniel Pink, author of “Drive: The Surprising Truth About What Motivates Us,” has found that we’re motivated by three things:

Autonomy: People want to have control over their own work. Instead of being a “helicopter boss,” give your employees the chance to make decisions. For example, if you have weekly meetings, at least have your team decide the topic or select the snacks that will be present.

Mastery: Everyone wants to get better at what they do. Provide opportunities to show your employees how they’ve progressed. Give constructive feedback, provide performance metrics, and create individual development plans.

Purpose: People want to be a part of something that is bigger than themselves. Show how their work has benefited the business. And, more importantly, show how their work has aligned with their values.

Related: 10 Motivational Quotes from Facebook Genius Mark Zuckerberg

2Offer specific and sincere praise

There’s no such thing as too giving too much recognition and praise to your employees. A simple “thank you” note or shout-out during a meeting should suffice.

Just make sure that you’re acknowledging tangible accomplishments.

In other words, you need to quantify accomplishments by looking at specific metrics. This could include sales volume, contracts/bids won, amount of customers retained, or increase in profitability.

3Develop a community

workplace-community

By building a sense of community your employees feel connected to each other – and not just to the business.

Online forums can be used, but you can’t replace old-fashioned in-person interaction. Encourage your team to eat lunch together. Play games to go everyone a break. Hold a conference or just throw a party to celebrate reaching a milestone.

By developing a community also influences after-hours bonding. That’s why you should always invite employees and their families to events like company picnics.

4Engage your employees in the incentive process

If you aren’t sure what will motivate your team, don’t be afraid to just ask them. For example, ask them what kinds of rewards they would like to receive through surveys, brainstorming sessions, a suggestion box, or questions during employee reviews.

Once you’ve gathered your employee feedback, you can create clear goals for them to strive for. Not only will this increase your business’ bottom line, it communicates the value for employee contributions. That itself should motivate them to participate in the incentive programme.

Related: Motivators And Motivation For Further Study

5Get to know them as people

What are their hobbies and interests? Do they have any children or pets? When you build personal relationships with your staff, you can find out what makes them tick. For example, if they don’t like working late because of they have a dog, then consider allowing employees to being their dogs to work.

More importantly, when you show genuine interest in them, they’ll do their best not to let you down.

6Offer flexibility

Offering flexible work schedules allows your employees to maintain a healthy work-life balance. This is because it allows them to meet family needs, personal obligations, and life responsibilities. Additionally, it lets them avoid commuting to work, reduces stress, and gives them a chance to work when they’re most productive.

7Stay connected

employee-social-connection

Frequently keep in touch with your employees. Thanks to the proliferation of email, texting, social media, and apps like Slack communication has never been easier.

Staying connected with your team allows you to offer training and tips that can improve their work. It also lets you share relevant and timely information like the latest updates on the business. Just don’t cross the line by communicating with them 24/7.

8Provide perks and privileges

Again, work-life quality is important to employees. When healthy, they’ll work harder and smarter because their workdays are more pleasurable and rewarding. If flexible schedules aren’t working for everyone, then give them a chance to earn work-from-home days.

Besides flexibility, provide preferred parking spots, longer lunches, or the opportunity to spend time on passion projects or tasks they enjoy.

Remember, when employees enjoy their work, they’re more productive – and that’s great for your bottom line.

Related: 16 Blood-Pumping Songs To Boost Your Motivation And Confidence

9Volunteer together

Does anything brings a group closer together than spending time sorting canned goods at the local food bank or raising donations for a nonprofit? I don’t think so. In fact, that’s why we’re seeing more and more businesses encourage volunteerism.

It’s not only good PR, volunteering increases productivity, boosts cooperation, and attracts and retains employees. Just remember to select volunteer opportunities that your employees are passionate about. Asking them through a survey is a simply way to find this out.

10Offer the opportunity for employees to learn desired skills

People get stuck in a rut when they perform the same work tasks day-in and day-out. When you’re in a rut, it’s easy to become less motivated, creative, and dissatisfied with your jobs. As a result, you can expect lowered productivity and higher turnover.

You can change that around by rewarding your exceptional employees with time during the workday to learn any new skills that interests them. It’s a simple way to enhance their job satisfaction, improve output, and increase their abilities that they can use to improve your business.

This article was originally posted here on Entrepreneur.com.

John Rampton is an entrepreneur, investor, online marketing guru and startup enthusiast. He is founder of the online invoicing company Due. John is best known as an entrepreneur and connector. He was recently named #2 on Top 50 Online Influencers in the World by Entrepreneur Magazine and has been one of the Top 10 Most Influential PPC Experts in the World for the past three years. He currently advises several companies in the San Francisco Bay area.

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Increasing Productivity

How To Build Organisational Wealth Through Increased Efficiency

Using the right business systems can allow your staff to become more efficient through best-practices and better process flows.

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As your business grows, the demands of running and managing all its parts increase. Fortunately, technology can help you standardise, streamline and adapt your operations in order to meet these increased demands. Let’s have a look at some of the ways in which you can increase efficiency to build your organisational wealth.

Integrated business units

It can be difficult to get a holistic view of what is going on in your business if information is floating between different departments and/or locations. Manually pulling data together can be very time consuming, causing delays and leaving greater room for human error.

Related: How To Improve Your Business Productivity And Efficiency With Help From Tech

By implementing an integrated business management solution, you can significantly increase efficiency among all your business units, allowing departments to easily share and access information. This real-time, inter-departmental integration allows you to get a birds-eye view of the performance of your business at the click of a button.

Business process automation

You can significantly save time by automating key business processes with an Enterprise Resource Planning (ERP) system. Accounting, for example, is much easier when details of all transactions are quickly and automatically shared between departments (no need to manually upload or download information).

Automation will enable your teams to respond to customer enquiries with alacrity and maintain optimal stock levels. Through automatic alerts and responses, relevant managers will be notified when stock reaches predetermined minimum levels. When these levels are reached, purchase orders for replenishment stock are automatically generated.

Automation also enforces consistency in your business’s day to day operations by following local and industry best-practices built into the system.

Synchronised customer data

The success of any small to medium sized business depends on getting new customers and providing excellent products and services to existing customers. Collating and sharing customer data across all departments is essential for effective customer service. SAP Business One, for example, provides the tools to track and manage the entire sales process, from initial contact and invoicing through to project management and after sales support – playing a pivotal role in customer retention management.

This complete view of past, present and prospective customers, along with historic purchases will help you to better understand your customers’ needs, behaviours and preferences. This will enable you to respond to clients effectively in order to boost satisfaction levels, increase sales, maximise profits and ultimately promote client retention. In addition, your marketing team can better plan campaigns based on insights from accurate data about prospective and current customers.

Related: 101 Efficiency Hacks For Busy Entrepreneurs

Instant access to information

You have to be able to plan properly to stay ahead of your competitors. Having access to up to date, relevant and accurate business data removes the guesswork and empowers employees to make informed business decisions. With an integrated business management system, you will be able to better manage your cash flow and stock holding with a real-time overview of current stock levels, orders in process and outstanding payments. This, in turn, will save time and allow you to better manage your procurement process and help build organisational wealth.

Who doesn’t like it when a plan comes together and things are working well? Working smarter and better – not harder – is what increased efficiency is about. Your teams will share the benefits of increased efficiency as you grow your organisational wealth together.

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Increasing Productivity

Mi Casa Es Su Casa: Achieving Positive Corporate Culture

How to achieve positive corporate culture in a group company.

Greg Morris

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According to management consultant Peter Drucker: ‘Culture eats strategy for breakfast’. And there’s a good chance of this being true, especially since studies have shown a direct correlation between a strong, positive organisational culture and a business’s financial success.

The importance of culture

Prof JL Heskett writes in his 2011 book, The Culture Cycle, that a positive culture can make as much as a 20-30% difference in company performance, when compared with “culturally unremarkable” opponents.

Culture is also a form of protection – strong competitors may be able to copy a strategy, but can’t duplicate a culture. Indeed, when things go wrong in the economy, public opinion, or even the strategy itself, a company’s culture can serve as a safeguard against these, because employees are faithful to it.

But… while culture is a remarkable thing, it’s difficult to define and attain.

Related: A Culture Of Discipline Critical For SMMEs To Thrive

The definition of culture

Company culture is traditionally interpreted from a corporate perspective, to include the principles, opinions, basic assumptions, and mindsets that are shared by a group. But these don’t hold any value if they aren’t entrenched in a company’s processes. This is why culture is also about action.

A company can’t create an intelligible culture without people who a) agree with its core values or b) are prepared to commit the time needed to.

Further, those employees who succeed in a company are generally those who most closely associate with the culture. If the principles and ideals of an organisation are shared, a strong culture can even support recruitment through self-selection.

As a result, leaders should spend as much time determining, collaborating on, and communicating culture as they do on strategy.

Culture in a group company

With different and broad-ranging companies working together, the goal of building and sustaining culture in a holding company can be trickier than in other organisations.

In cases like this, it’s critical for every company in the group to hold onto its own distinct culture, in ways that fit the greater business.

Simultaneously, the parent company should create a culture for all of the holding companies to attach to. Because, without a uniting mechanism, real integration can be difficult to accomplish.

The problem is: which culture is the priority? The composition of a group company evolves as it acquires and sells different companies, so a root culture is necessary; one that current and new subsidiary cultures can buy into.

Related: The 7 Culture Pillars That Will Skyrocket Your Start-up To Success

Where to start

  1. Develop a set of principles, behaviours, and motivators for culture, and define what these mean practically.
  2. Write a positioning statement to share what the organisation stands for, both externally and internally. For example, Google’s is “organising the world’s information and making it universally accessible and useful”.
  3. Generate a motto that summarises your culture. Google’s is: “Don’t be evil.” In other words: do positive things for the world, even if it means letting go of some short-term wins.
  4. Communicate these messages widely and repeat them continuously. (As obvious as this sounds, many group companies make the mistake of not communicating values to subsidiaries.)
  5. Invest time and resources into smoothing out the cultural differences every time a new company is acquired. This is important because an implosion of combined cultures can cost valuable talent, customers, or worse.
  6. Teach the culture. Not just through induction programmes for new employees, but through ongoing events, reminders, collaborations, and other ways that remind people what the culture looks and feels like.
  7. Share and ingrain the group’s root culture, as an element of unity.

The heart of the matter?

Peter Drucker highlights a potent triad in organisational transformation: Strategy, capabilities, and culture. He says that all three must be created together, aligned, and designed to be supportive of one another. This is more complex in group companies but, with strong communication and high levels of collaboration, a clear and productive culture is possible.

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Increasing Productivity

Why Deadlines Aren’t As Great As You’d Think For Creative Work

Be careful about how much time pressure you put on yourself.

Nina Zipkin

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Do you ever find yourself staring down at a deadline and just freeze? There is something to be said for setting a schedule for yourself and following through, especially when you are first starting a business, but recent research from Harvard finds that when you are dealing with creative pursuits, you need to give yourself enough time to breathe, otherwise you’ll just be doing busy work instead of actually building something that is truly innovative.

In an interview with Harvard Business Review’s Working Knowledge podcast, Professor Teresa Amabile said that during a hectic day, it’s possible to get a mistaken sense of creative energy powered by adrenaline simply because things were being crossed off a checklist.

“People who are under a lot of time pressure on a given day, actually feel very productive, they tend to feel very creative,” she said.

“But, here’s the interesting thing; they were actually significantly less likely to come up with creative ideas, or solve problems creatively on those days. They got a lot of stuff done, but they weren’t necessarily creative.”

Related: Follow These 8 Steps To Stay Focused And Reach Your Goals

She noted that in her research, people came up with the most creative solutions when they were working under low to moderate time pressure. So the next time you think about imposing an arbitrary deadline on developing new ideas, you might want to go easier on yourself.

Because feeling like you’re on a treadmill doesn’t only make your thinking more fractured, Amabile says that it also makes it tougher to find meaning in your work. So what can managers do to make sure that their employees always have time to innovate? Start with providing spaces where they can be quiet, focused and away from distractions.

“Let them understand the importance of what they’re doing, their own individual actions, and how that translates into something that will contribute to a customer need, to a societal need, to something that the company really needs to move forward,” Amabile said.

“Try to give people enough time for projects so that they can explore, so they can do that background research to get the information they need, and then so they can play with it somewhat. That doesn’t mean indefinite time frames, but it probably means longer time frames than people are usually given in most companies for most projects.”

This article was originally posted here on Entrepreneur.com.

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