We recruiters often talk about how candidates need to give more to their employers and how they need to be seen to want to add value, to want to drive for good outcomes but it is a game of two halves and as Employers we all have to look at how we attract, retain and develop our people - do we have a formal employee engagement strategy in place?
Now more than ever keeping good staff happy is a challenge. The uncertain economy has made everyone far more cautious on their expenditures and frivolity isn't something that any employer wants to be seen to condone as it would be tantamount to mocking our clients or candidates whilst they go through tougher times. For many employers the ability to motivate by dangling a holiday for two to NY or similar isn't an option any more. So employers are having to get creative. Dig deeper into their ability to start to understand the talented individuals they have in the business and the different personal motivators that drive each employee.
I am still amazed by the scope of peoples motivators. Over the years I have had people state their eagerness to earn is purely because; they want a certain car parked in their drive, they yearn for wildly expensive curtains, a Le Creuset set for their kitchen, an extravagant wedding, a holiday to the Maldives, enough money to accommodate an extension for impending twins...all the way through to the simpler things such as a shopping splurge at TopShop without the guilt or fear of not eating for a week or so at the end of the month.
There are so many ways to reward staff for their successes - some of them are not financial, but are time based so there is still a price on business, but when you are rewarding best practice and over delivery these things are negated. In our office we have a dice roll every Monday based on our weekly targets and the winner gets the choice of;
At Lipton Fleming we have been known to celebrate successes such as hitting divisional targets by having a greasy breakfast and chinwag before the day begins, or a mad hatters tea party at the Sanderson, dinner at Nobu or a trip to Nandos for a few hours to wallow knee deep in chicken.
We partner some fantastic clients who invest heavily in employee engagement -this goes as far as having an on-site doctor, a spa club, personal training allowances for certain staff members who show a passion for broadening their skill set and this is just a taster of some of the softer engagement milestones they have in place.
I wish I could finish there and paint a glowing picture of employee engagement but I have to admit to sometimes failing to celebrate the smaller things that actually make a big impact. There are days in our office when I hear some amazing conversations occurring between the talented people we engage with on a daily basis searching for the right role and our consultants who are eager to genuinely get to the heart of their motivations and make a difference. Because our days can be so manically packed from dawn 'til dusk I miss my chance to say, "Well done - that call was a pleasure to listen to". Today we placed four talented candidates into jobs that they have been striving for for a good few weeks and I didn't get to congratulate one of our consultants until 8pm this evening.
Sometimes it's a pat on the back or a wink of recognition that makes us feel invested in. For most of us we relish feeling as if we are doing a good job and others see and respect that. For a fair few of us sales bods, the money and status associated with a fat bonus/quick getaway or win of any financial gain is hugely attractive but its the appreciation/recognition that makes the biggest impact and validates our efforts.
Employee engagement can be simple and cost effective, it can be about giving out as opposed to employees receiving. Many employees are keen to part-take in charitable events more than ever. Having a day off per quarter to work in a local school, children's home, home for the elderly is something that poses a great attraction to a lot of people. Having the ability to add value to somebody else is all part of making our workforce feel that as Employers - we just get our people and we understand the outside influences that have made them who they are today.
We haven't even touched the tip of the iceberg with regards to how to motivate staff without frivolous expenditure. Please feel free to get in touch if you would like us to advise or brainstorm with you on any aspects of motivational incentives as we would be keen to ensure we add as much insight to your business as possible.
Written by: Emy Rumble-Mettle